Sunday, November 13, 2011

Fortie's Fashion: Denim Shortalls Pattern and Tutorial Part 1

Isn't fashion beautiful? To start off Teen Sew's newest segment, forties fashion, we are introduced to the new doll pattern for a revolutionary piece: The romper, or, as called in the forties, the "shortall" a cross between shorts and over-alls. Want to check out what the end result will be? Check out this catalouge scan from Sear's and Roebuck, 1942.

Here's the pattern: Just Click to Enlarge and the click file, and print, to cut out the pieces for your doll. To avoid confusion, a 3/8 seam allowance is included on all pattern pieces.
Now on to materials! For this project, you will need denim thread and fabric, velcro, and bias binding trim. The pattern calls for "Surf Blue Denim". I am using a light weight fabric, so that I will not have to change needles for this project. Plan on using 1/4 to 1/2 a yard of fabric. I used standard denim thread by Coats and Clarks. It blends in easily with the fabric, which is ideal for the end result. If you want to be daring, however, you can use a contrast color or the classic gold used for jeans and jackets. Unless you want to deal with itsy bitsy buttons and teeny weeny zippers, I would suggest using velcro fastening. You can choose the sew on kind, for a cleaner finish, but I took the easy route and decided to use sticky back.

Now let's start sewing!

For the first step, take your two bodice pieces, and place them front side together. Sew a seam up the edge. like the photo shows below.

After this, we will attach the bias binding tape to the top of the bodice. You can either use the store bought kind, or you can cut an 1 inch strip on the bias of your fabric. To attach the small strip of fabric, place the blue part of the bias binding tape (or the front of the dennim) so that it is touching the front of the bodice. Sew the piece of fabric on, using a 3/8  in seam. After you do that, fold the tape over to the back of the denim so that the blue, finished part shows on the garment. Sew the tape to the back of the denim, folding the seam into the tape. This seam will show, so sew carefully. Do this twice for each side of the bodice.  Use the pictures below for a visual aide.

Sew the bias binding tape on like this, making sure to include a little extra for seam allowance.

Fold the tape over like this to make a neat finish.

The end result should look like this :)

Now that you've finished the front of the bodice, move on to the back. Take two of the triangles and sew the curved sides together. Leave the straight sides open to add into other seams. Next, sew the traingles onto the side of the bodice.
Great job! You've finished the bodice! Tune in next week for the rest of the tutorial, when we finish your doll's new vintage denim short-alls!
What 40's fashion do you want to see featured next? Questions, Comments? If there is anything you don't understand or need me to clarify, please either email me at or write it in the comment box below.
Thanks for reading, Lilly Ferron :)


  1. Thanks a lot for sharing the great tutorial. Its really helped me a lot. Keep sharing!

  2. Could you please post pictures of what it looked like when you finished?


Thanks for commenting! Feel free to leave your website name- I'll be sure to check out what your needle and thread have been up to lately! <3 Lilly

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