Vintage Overalls The Prudent Homemaker


Winter was wanting to make herself some 1940’s style overalls. I ordered this printable pattern for her. She made the first pair out of some dropcloth that I had  (that painter’s cloth you buy from the hardware store to put down while painting) and made the second from some denim that my sister-in-law gave to me several years ago.

Vintage Overalls 2 The Prudent Homemaker

I had purchased some large buttons on a sale from Wawak years ago and she used those for these two pairs.

Vintage Overalls 3 The Prudent Homemaker

The blue blouse is a garage sale blouse she made over to be short-sleeved with a Peter Pan collar cut from the sleeves.

Vintage Denim Overalls 2 The Prudent Homemaker

The green shirt is a t-shirt. She added a Peter Pan collar to it using fabric I had on hand. She really wants to wear Peter Pan collars, so she recently added them to three t-shirts. This green one came from a recent thrift-store purchase. It was a long-sleeved t-shirt, but she shortened it to make it better for our climate.

Vintage Denim Overalls 1 The Prudent Homemaker

She loves how they all turned out.

Her shoes are these (affiliate link)

We were at Hobby Lobby looking for some fabric for a project she was doing recently and while we were there I noticed there was a new Simplicity catalog out for fall. It turns out that this is the 90th anniversary of Simplicity Pattern Company, and they have a large vintage reproduction section up towards the front of the catalog. They are offering a very similar pattern, and if you could get it at on sale at Joann’s or Hobby Lobby during one of the 5 for $5 sales you would have quite a deal! It’s pattern 8447, and it looks like you can order a printable version from Simplicity’s site too, which would be a help if you live far from a store (watch their site for sales on the actual printed pattern, too; sometimes my stores are out of the pattern I want to purchase.)

Vintage Denim Overalls 3 The Prudent Homemaker

I have to say that I’m loving that my eldest daughter is loving vintage clothing and vintage reproduction clothing just as much as I am! 

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  1. Thank you so much for these. I love to see what your kids are up to. You must be so proud of her!

  2. That period and style are very flattering to Winter as she has a natural classical look in any event. Bet your proud as punch that she is turning out such lovely items of clothing for herself . She is very talented and a natural beauty. Look forward to seeing more of her creations.

    Kind regards.

    Pattypan x

  3. Winter,
    Excellent job! I love these overalls and they look super comfortable.
    You are very talented!
    Keep up the good work.

  4. Wow! This may be my favorite project of hers to date. This is so attractive. And I never would have thought of adding a Peter Pan collar to a T-shirt. It looks so smart. Thank you so much for sharing, and for the pattern information, too.

  5. I am speechless with admiration. I failed my sewing class in high school and count myself fortunate that my mother-in-law taught her three sons to sew, so my husband has made curtains, clothes for me, and aprons. He sews while watching football, so he doesn’t feel like he is wasting his time.

  6. Those are both super cute vintage inspired overalls! I love the use of a fabric dropcloth for the first one. I’m not sure how cheap those dropcloths are, but it sure looks awesome as overalls. I also love the colour combination of that green shirt with the dark denim. Great job Winter!

  7. Charming! If Winter wants to make a piped PP collar at some point, here is a tip. Cut an extra piece, and let the top be two collar pieces, and the bottom be one. The extra layer serves as a sort of interfacing, and it masks any “see through” if the piping is a contrasting color.

  8. These were no quickie, simple, beginner projects. She is definitely taking on some very complicated sewing projects. You go, young lady! I am super impressed with her skills.

  9. How adorable! She is just great with a needle! I love her style so much. I wish other young ladies would realize how cute they can look in modest, vintage-inspired clothing.
    Would you please post a family photo soon? The last one is quite old now and I’d love to see how all the kiddies are growing.

  10. This is one of the cutest outfits I’ve ever seen for a teen girl. My teen daughter and her friends would snap this up!

  11. isn’t it funny how kids are sometimes attracted to a bygone era and/or its fashions. She actually looks like some of the women I remember from my childhood 70 years ago.

  12. I would love to see the projects that your younger children are working on as they learn beginner”s sewing skills. I could use some inspiration to work up to this skill level.

  13. very nice! I like the drop cloth one more than the denim but they are both awesome! LOVE, LOVE the shoes!

  14. Wow!! Color me impressed!!! I’m looking for a 40’s Nurses Uniform pattern. My town hosts an annual D Day reenactment which is in 2 weeks! 25,000 people attend. I’d love to dress up as a WWII nurse & participate 🙂 but can’t find a pattern 🙁

  15. I love the look of these overalls, especially the first pair! And the big buttons! She did a great job and looks wonderful. Congratulations to her for being so talented and to you for being her mom;)

  16. Those are wonderful but wasn’t she hot wearing them in the summer to pose for the pictures? I know would have been! She really is very talented.

  17. I personally can’t stand to wear pants here in the summer, no matter how thin, but these are thin and she says they’re loose enough and thin enough that they’re not too bad on “cooler” days (I took these photos when the temperature dropped from 114 down to the 90’s on a rare overcast day). She’ll get more use out of them the other three months of the year (perhaps not too much in winter as the drop cloth is very lightweight cotton; the denim is heavier but still a lightweight cotton).

  18. I love the overalls too. They do have a wonderful classic but vintage look. My granddaughter, who is 25, has a good eye for clothes but no patience to learn sewing. She tried to knit but when she saw it was going to take over a day to become good at it, she gave up. She loves vintage and can “see” something changed around—it’s just that I have to do the sewing for her. Luckily, I can, so far. When I was a senior in high school, Peter Pan collars were the latest and greatest and I still love them. So I can understand that too. My high school senior photo was in a short sleeved sweater with a lacy Peter Pan collar over it. I learned to sew in 7th and 8th grade home economics, and I guess I didn’t think anything was a problem, because I can remember making a dress with a dropped waistline and a scalloped seam where it joined the bodice. I probably made it at 15 or so. I wonder how I did it, but I just ripped out when necessary, I suppose. It was totally wearable when I finished it. Winter is certainly like that in taking on difficult patterns!

  19. Love the overalls and all the Peter Pan collars. The style of the overalls is gorgeous and Winter looks beautiful in all the photos. So talented!

  20. Those are such pretty overalls and look so pretty on her. She sure is a talented seamstress already and seems to be able to sew things up quickly. Great skills to have!

  21. What an elegant and photogenic daughter! Questions — for those many of us who are not as slender and adorable as your daughter — can you recommend any patterns for good old fashioned linen pinafores? I love my pinnie from rough linen but it is pricey and I would love to make some out of dropcloth thanks! Winter so happy you are on the blog more you are fabulous.

  22. Those are super cute. Are they much trouble to get into? It looks like the top buttons would he difficult to do by yourself.

  23. She did a wonderful job! I love 40’s fashion too. This brings back fond memories of sewing a dress with the help of my mother and great-grandmother when I was a teen. I’m sure Miss Winter will have sweet memories of her sewing projects when she is older as well. Two thumbs up!

  24. Winter is a very talented young woman! Congratulations on such a good effort. Good job Brandy for teaching her do well:)

  25. So much beauty, talent uniqueness and style! I absolutely love your blog and all you share with us! Thank you!
    Melody in OR

  26. Regarding the 5 for $5 pattern sale; how often does JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby offer these sales? I don’t typically shop at either store often, usually during the holidays. I would love to pick up more patterns since I’m trying to learn to sew better.

    Congratulations to Winter. She is a amazing seamstress for only being 16 years old.


  27. Wonderful! I’ve wanted overalls for awhile, but the current ones are so sloppy and mannish looking. These are lovely!

  28. I was reading through some of your older blog posts and came across the one where Winter made the doll shirts. She was just beginning to sew. How far she has come in only a few years.

  29. What a talent! I love vintage clothing, even overalls look classy. Winter has the skill to open a cottage industry. There is a homeschool mom in our town that does repairs, alterations. She has more work than she can do, and gets a very handsome income from it.

  30. She has improved a lot since then! She is actually 15 still.

    If you are on the mailing list for Joann’s and Hobby Lobby, you will know in advance of the sales. I know Joann’s sends out flyers and has this sale several times during the year. I don’t know how often Hobby Lobby has this sale; Hobby Lobby is new by me and though I’ve signed up for their mailing list I haven’t ever received anything. I don’t know if they send out flyers or not. Someone else mentioned them having this sale in the comments so look back through the comments and you should have a date.

  31. Right now I am not doing much sewing with my younger girls. My eldest son uses my machine some but mostly for merit badges and mending. I would check Pinterest for ideas for things you would like to do and sewing tutorials. There are some amazing sewing tutorials out there designed for beginners.

  32. I love this and all of Winter’s sewing projects. And I totally enjoy your blog. You are truly gifted in so many ways.

  33. A tip on Joann coupons- they not only print them in the sale flyers, but you can print them from the website also, and if you sign up for their text lists, they will text coupons codes to your phone that can be scanned at the store. As I’ve found the website ones will print from my work, I print them there and at home and share with my daughter- who gets her own text and flyer coupons. It’s very nice when they have the 50 or 60% off coupons to have multiples. As only one is allowed per trip, you do have to make multiple stops. Also, the high value coupon scan off the LOWEST regular priced item, so be sure to only purchase the item you really want- I’ve boughten all our gingher scissors, snap setters, and rotary cutters this way (because I just can’t justify over 50 dollars for a pair of scissors!).

    I see her own sewing machine on Winters gift wish list soon!

  34. Marcia, my mother’s highschool picture, also, shows her wearing a short sleeved sweater (pullover, no buttons) with a peter pan collar.

  35. We have a Joann, but there is no Hobby Lobby in the area. Joann doesn’t put flyers in the paper here but you can get emails and then print off their coupons. That is what I do. They also will send text message coupons.

  36. We have had no trouble using multiple coupons in one visit. They take the, for example, 60% off one regular priced item combined with a 10% or 20% or $5 off entire purchase. And the coupons don’t cancel out so you can use them over. I keep a list of thread colors I need and then when there is a 60% off regular price item I but thread…brings it down to a more reasonable price.

  37. Winter did a very nice job. I clicked on the shoe link and I like the look of the tan ones. They look just like shoes I have seen in old movies. Brandy, you should add a link back to the historic sewing project that Winter did for the trek. New readers might not have seen that one.

    I have seen a picture of my Aunt Beryl, an aunt by marriage on my father’s side. She worked at s ship builders during WWII. She’s wearing a blouse in floral print with the sleeves rolled up and a very similar pair of overalls. She worked inside the hulls as she was small. Not a job I would want to do but her husband was away, they had no children yet, and she wanted some to occupy her time. Her husband was in the last year of Divinity school so she took a bus every week to the shipyard (about 3 hours away) , stayed in a dorm style house with 15 or so other women and then took the bus back home for the weekend.

  38. Those are darling!! When I was 19, I found pair of similar overalls at the store. They were pink and they tied in back. They were 100% cotton, like a thicker muslin. Very girly!! Anyway, they were my absolute favorite and I wore them into rags. It was funny to think back at how many compliments I got on them, but everyone I met would tell me how cute and unique they were. Winter’s remind me a little of those. Very feminine and flattering, not what you expect when you hear the word ‘overalls’.

    That’s an impressive sewing project. Pretty soon there’s not going to be anything she can’t make! What a wonderful talent to take into adulthood!

  39. A sewing machine would be a very expensive gift. I don’t spend that much money on all 8 of my children combined for [i]two[/i] Christmases. Her own pair of Ginger dressmaker sheers, bought with a 50% off coupon, would be pushing the limit of the amount I would spend. At some point, I will gift her her own pair of those for Christmas or her birthday.

  40. Athanasia, are you not on Joann’s mailing list? I get a flyer from them in the mail with the sales and coupons. You can use those in addition to all of the text, email, and app coupons. I don’t get the paper but this tells me the sales for quite a long time (usually 2 weeks’ worth of sales plus any special holiday sales). The last one I got was an 11-page booklet with 10 coupons.

  41. I may be way off track, but it seems that I see women selling their sewing machines fairly often. Now, perhaps they are older and won’t have many upgrades. But I get the impression that machines are given up fairly often as a hobby that didn’t work out. I could be wrong. Also, she might save up and buy a used one herself.

  42. Winter is very talented. I love the overalls. Smart, kind, beautiful, talented –– a mother could not ask for anything more. She is a credit to you, Brandy! Ann

  43. Well done Winter. I started sewing at your age and 55 years later I still enjoy it.. I will love following your sewing as I have 4 daughters and none of them sew. Maybe one of my 5 granddaughters will.

  44. Finding them at estate sales and such is cheapER than buying new, but still not cheap. Our quilting group brought several from estate sales. A newer basic Janome and 2 older Berninas (about 10+ yrs. old). None were less than $100 and they all required a good tune-up service before using. Even with our discount, it’s still about $50 for that.

    Maybe it’s different somewhere else, but that’s the average around here. I bought a very basic cheapo new for $110.
    It’s fine for my very basic sewing skills, but I wouldn’t challenge it too much!! The sewing gurus in my life tell me that they haven’t really seen a ‘good’ new machine for less than $250 and that’s why they stalk estate sales.

  45. Hmmm, I should check. If the flyers give a longer sale notice, that would be nice. The coupons I get by text/email always seem very short dated.

  46. Yes, machines have changed so much. I do see them used for $50 but they are really basic. I am still using my mother’s machine, a WHITE, that she bought in 1964. Of course it pretty much only works really well for woven fabric and not knit and stretchy stuff. But I did make my sons’ t-shirts on it when they were growing up in the ’80s. How I used to long for a serger, but I never did indulge in one.

  47. I am amazed at Winter’s talent! She is a very enterprising young lady. And I LOVE your blog — it’s beautiful, you write beautifully, your pictures are gorgeous, and I love your frugality. Very impressed.

  48. I haven’t visited this site in a long, long time. Wow how the kids have grown. It’s fun to see Brandy’s passion for DIY expressed in the next generation.

  49. Anne, my mom had a WHITE, too. Probably bought about the same time as yours! That machine certainly earned its keep. It made my clothes, my mom’s clothes, quilts, curtains, cheerleading outfits, Halloween costumes, etc. She used it clear into the early 2000’s, when she got macular degeneration. I’ll bet the new machines don’t last 40+ yrs.!

  50. I have gotten a couple from ladies that died that were into sewing. They had told their hubbys to give them to me. I also got one from a lady who no longer could sew and it was just sitting there. I bartered cleaning for the machine. I just had to let it be known I was looking for a machine that worked but couldn’t pay for.

  51. With Winter’s talent she could easily start a small home based business sewing/mending for friends and neighbors.

  52. Her overalls are fabulous. How wonderful that your daughter enjoys sewing and actually wants to sew. So refreshing to see these day. I must say she is extremely pretty and carries off the Vintage style of clothing beautifully. I can also imagine her in a lovely Peter Pan collared top with a beautiful full gathered skirt of 3/4 length. She obviously has a lovely roll model in her Mum who has taught her well.

  53. Brandi
    What Winter is wearing is absolutely fab…she looks sensational in it as well(lovely classical 1940s model features she has )… kudos to her to finding her style and wearing it proudly n also having the courage to show it on the site as well…

  54. For the first time ever there was a JoAnn’s flyer in the paper. It was very small…4 pages basically one pie e of newsprint folded.

  55. The overalls and the polka dot dress from the previous post look amazing. Winter is so talented.
    I would also love to see how your son’s quilt is coming along (I believe you mentioned a while ago he has been working on one).

  56. Your daughter is stunningly beautiful! She should come up with an entire line of clothing and model the pieces in a catalog. She has done such a fantastic job on these vintage remake pieces. I can only imagine the pride and joy she feels at such an accomplishment. I admire her vision and what it takes to bring it to life. I have always wanted to sew but never learned. I can do some basic things…. but nothing as lovely as this!
    Please share my congratulations with her!

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