DIY Overall Dress Using McCalls 8162

I am so excited to share this post with you. This is the first time that I have drastically altered a pattern that matched the vision I had in mind and made an overall dress of all things. If you’ve known me for a while then you know I don’t wear overalls because I don’t get the city slicker look I want when I wear them. Well, I managed to make it work for me. This only happened because I took a chance and signed up for a challenge. I’m usually bad with challenges. I tell myself I’m going to do one and then get distracted and move on. Then it’s 10 months later and a lightbulb goes off in my head that I should finish what I started. 

Not this time. I was determined to prove to myself that I could do it. If you read my post from last week then you know what challenge I am referring to. If you haven’t had a chance to catch up check it out here. A few things to know about my process whenever I am sewing I am either guided by the fabric, a pattern, and or something I have saved on Pinterest. In this case, it was the fabric. I had a choice between Brocade or Ankara. On my search, I honestly didn’t find any Ankara that I would wear as a jumpsuit or overalls so I went with Brocade. I searched all the main fabric sites like, Fabric Mart Fabric, and even Amazon. I finally decided to give Mood Fabrics a try. I don’t usually purchase from there often because the prices are a little out of my range for my current budget, but this was a special project. 

Here was my initial dilemma, all the Brocade I had found was looking a little too upholstered until I stumbled upon this gorgeous Jay Godfrey Black Foliage Woven Stretch Brocade. It was black so it would go with anything and the print wasn’t too much for me. I am trying to embrace printed fabric more and this was a tiny step for me. I am so in love with this fabric and the images could never do it justice, so if you purchase it trust me when I say you won’t regret it. It has a significant amount of stretch and doesn’t fry very easily, which is always an issue with Brocade. I really did hit the jackpot. 

The next step was to figure out if I wanted to make pants or a dress. I had to use a McCall’s pattern and I didn’t have one so I searched their site and found #8162. I didn’t want any shorts because we were headed into the fall months, but it was still kind of hot. Who am I kidding it was scorching. No real rain all summer and triple-digit days. It was hotter than Hades. For that reason, I decided I wanted a dress and would alter the bottom half of the dress to meet my needs. I wasn’t sure if I liked the pockets as is on the pattern so I searched Pinterest for some inspiration. I stumbled upon this overall dress and knew I had found the one. So that hacking began.

I used the top half of view C and added the top pocket and side pockets from view D. My husband convinced me to keep it simple and not add a fly to the front. He said I may not even like the alterations I’m making so I shouldn’t add anymore until I see the final look. He’s so smart. Here’s the reality of my three week challenge, it took about 2 weeks for all the materials to come so I had no time to do a full muslin. I only did one for the skirt to make sure that the darts in the back were wide enough to get a snug fit for my sway back. If you aren’t familiar with that term it’s basically when the lower half of your spine curves a little too much. In my case due to my bum, hehe.

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Now here is a further breakdown of how I achieved this look:

Pattern Description: Close-fitting jeans & overalls

Pattern Size Chosen: 20

View: C & D

Fabric Choice: Stretch Brocade (Other options Stretch Denim, Stretch Woven, Twill or Denim)

Color: Black

Sewing Tools Needed That Aren’t Mentioned:

Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing it? The top did for sure.

Are the instructions easy to follow? Yes they were. 

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern? 

My likes

  • The back with the pocket. 
  • The back bib that held the straps
  • The shape of the pockets in the front

My dislikes

  • The pockets outlined in view d and that there were no pockets in View C. 
  • The carriers on the waist because it made the dress appear too casual. 

Pattern alterations or any design changes you made: 

I added the upper pocket (11) to bib front. 

Removed the carriers from the waistband (8)

Created a skirt sloper using my measurements with 1/8” ease at the waist, 3/8” ease at the hip and then added 5/8” seam allowance to the sides, center and top of the skirt. 

I enlarged the darts in the back to be 2 inches wide.

Made the waistband the same width as the the one from view D, but added length to the ends because my waist measured 37.5 and the pattern waist measurement was off by 3 inches. 

Cut out the back pocket (3) and placed that on the right back side.

Cut out the front pocket (6) and drafted the back of the pocket with it. I ended up with 3 pattern pieces. 

  1. The pocket
  2. The front skirt sloper minus the curve of the pocket
  3. The inside of the pocket that included the hip from my sloper and extended the same length as the pocket. I call that 6a

I stitched the front pocket (6) to the front skirt sloper with right sides together only on the curve and took the pocket turned it to the inside with wrong sides facing and pressed the seams down.

I stitched the inside pocket (6a) and pocket (6) together on the longest end and the horizontal side.

I basted the top of the pocket to the sloper as well as the sides so that it would be easy to sew the front skirt to the back.

And finally I top stitched the pocket curve as well as the center of the skirt sloper.


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I used an invisible zipper for the side. (I was trying to use what I had)

Would you sew it again? Yes! I would make one small change I would bring in the top of the bib so that there isn’t a lot of gapping. I noticed that there is even some on the model on the pattern so that may be a pattern issue or a bust issue. I would also avoid using a PDF pattern again unless I take it to a printer and have them print it. I was on the floor all night putting pieces together just to figure out what I need.

How long did it take? One week

Tips to avoid it taking as long: 

  • Get all the materials together and put them all in one place including tools. 
  • Get extra thread because there is a lot of topstitching. I went through two spools. 
  • Use different color thread for basting so that it is easy to remove when the time comes. 

Until next time…

Ashley E signature with xoxo at the end

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