Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Phoebe Overalls for My Sister

I've been really wanting to make my little sister another pair of overalls. There's "Sew Bibs" challenge going on in the online sewing community right now, so my instagram feed has been filled with pictures of beautiful overalls and pinafores. I've had the idea to make my sister another pair of overalls in the back of my mind for awhile now, but this challenge made me want to make them now! There was only one little thing keeping me from jumping in right away and making such a garment for my sister - I couldn't find just the pattern I wanted to use.

Last year I made my sister both overalls and pinafores from Simplicity 8447 and Simplicity 8301. I loved how the garments from both patterns turned out, but this year I wanted to make overalls of a slightly different style. In my mind I had a picture of easy-wearing overalls, with a slightly loose fit, no fussy hardwear, and maybe straps that tied rather than buttoned. I just couldn't find a pattern matching the idea in my head. There was nothing quite like it in any of the pattern books at Joann's. I considered the Burnside Bibs by Sew House 7, but the straps were more complicated than I wanted. There were a couple kids' patterns I liked, but my sister outgrew the size range of most kids patterns a couple years ago.

After not finding what I wanted, my sister and I began to think up another design together. Then, before I could begin sewing the garment we'd come up with, I saw a line drawing of the exact overalls I'd had in my head. It was a call for testers in one of the sewing groups I'm part of on Facebook. The pattern I wanted existed!! It may not have been released and available for purchase yet, but it did exist! I immediately filled out the tester application.

By the time I was accepted to test the pattern, the Phoebe Bib & Tucker
by Pattern Union, and it arrived in my inbox, I'd already picked out just the right fabric from my stash. My sister was out of town when I decided to test the pattern, so I texted her "Overalls - striped or plain denim?" 
And she responded "Stripes!"
So, the blue striped poly/cotton blend (Acquired from a church basement which was being cleaned out) it was!

The Phoebe Bib & Tucker pattern is rather unusual as it's not actually an overall pattern. Rather it's  the pattern for the bib portion of the overalls, meant to be an add-on for another Pattern Union pattern, the Phoebe Jumpsuit.

The original Phoebe Jumpsuit pattern (which is really cute) can be downloaded for free, but if you want to change it up a bit, you can purchase different add-ons, such as a shirred top for the jumpsuit, pants with pockets, and now an overall-style bib pattern, for less than the cost of a full pattern. Personally, I really like this concept! I enjoy changing up my patterns and being able to use them again and again to get garments of different styles. So I really appreciate the way this designer supports that concept and provides the tools needed for the maker to get as much mileage as possible out of the pattern. (And even better, the bib pattern comes in separate bust cup sizes! There are three different front pattern pieces, one for those with an A, B, or C cup, one for a D or E cup, and one for a F or G cup! I always greatly appreciate it when designers provide different cup sizes since we're not all shaped the same!)

For my sister's overalls I used the pocket pants add-on (which the designer very graciously provided for free to all the testers) paired with the overall bib (which was the add-on I was testing.) This resulted in the perfect pair of striped overalls with knotted straps - just as I'd wanted!

My sister was thrilled with her overalls! She was even more thrilled when I went on to make her a second pair from the same pattern - one needs multiple pairs of overalls for all occasions in the closet.

After I sewed up the initial pattern for testing, the designer made a few minor changes to the pattern prior to release. I'd thought the first version of the pattern fit well, but the updated final version fit even better! The dart placement on the bib had been finessed to perfection to give a lovely smooth fit along the sides of the bib.

For the second pair of overalls, I used a home dec weight pink plaid cotton from my fabric stash. I'm a sucker for plaid, so this piece of fabric came home with me from a thrift store several years ago. After waiting for years to turn it into something, I was thrilled to discover a) that my sister liked the idea of pink plaid overalls, and b) there was just enough pink plaid to make overalls from.

My sister appears to like both the striped and the plaid overalls equally, and says both are quite comfortable! 

They ought to be a fabulous addition to her spring wardrobe (because it really, truly, is spring now! Look at the daffodils, green grass, and plum blossoms in the picture!), and she's already requested a third pair - in green this time.

I chose for the straps to fasten differently on each pair of overalls - knots for the blue pair, and fancy buttons for the pink pair. So if I make my sister a third pair, how should those straps fasten?

And, incase it's not obvious, I really like how these overalls turned out, as does my sister. I received the pattern for free, but the positive review is all my own, and I was not required to write this post in any way, shape, or form, by the pattern designer, who has really been a wonderful person to work with.


  1. So sweet that you sewed these for her!

  2. I do love both your versions but the pink ones have my heart going pitta pat a little bit!