I’ve always loved the look of traditional overalls. I saw the Fibre Mood Constance overalls and knew I needed to make myself a pair immediately. My goal was to alter the original pattern as little as possible. I know I tend to just self-draft patterns based on my measurements. This time around, I wanted to see if I could do just a few alterations. Lucky me, I was able to get away with few alterations, and the overalls look fantastic!
My hip measures 42.5 in (107.95 cm). I sized up and cut out a size 46 for this pattern. Note that this pattern only goes up to a hip measurement of 51 inches.
I love that Fibre Mood comes with the seam allowances drawn on the pattern pieces. You can either ignore the seam allowance when making your alterations or remove it from your pattern to make alterations easier. For this blog post, I removed the seam/hem allowances.
The first thing I checked was whether the center crease line bisected at the ankle and knee? If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that patterns don’t always balance the knee (i.e., Hudson joggers). Thankfully, these overalls had the ankle and knee lines drafted correctly for me.
I checked the distance from the center front to the crease line at the hip level. I placed my horizontal line at the top of the crotch curve / widest part of the hip. The pattern measures approximately 4 inches, and I need the measurement to be 3.5 inches. That means I need to cut along the horizontal line and move the top pant lateral towards the side seam, 0.5 inches.
Next, I redrew the crotch curve and the side seam from the hip to the knee. Remember that this alteration lengthens the crotch hook. You wouldn’t want to alter the crotch hook length first because now it would be off. This is more of a reminder for myself, since this is exactly what I did when I first made my alterations. I had to go back and redo my crotch hook length a second time.
The way to find the crotch hook length is to first draw a horizontal line from the crotch hook towards the center crease line. Next, find the center front at the top of the pant pattern. Draw a line from the top of the center front straight down, parallel to the crease line and perpendicular to the horizontal line drawn from the crotch hook. The measurement from the intersection of these two lines to the end of the crotch hook is your crotch hook length. The pattern has a front crotch hook that measures 3.25 inches. My crotch hook length needs to be 4.25 inches. Therefore, I needed to lengthen the front crotch hook 1 inch. To do that, I extended the horizontal line at the crotch level and measured 1 inch. Then, I redrew the crotch curve from the crotch level up to the hip level. Finally, I also redrew the inseam from the end of the crotch hook to the knee.
Another way to confirm crotch hook length is to make sure you have the correct length from the end of the crotch hook to the center front crease line. I mention this because the angle of the center front does change the crotch hook length. If the center front is closer to vertical, 0 degrees, the crotch hook length will shorten. If the center front is tilted to 5 degrees or more, the crotch hook length will be longer. This is why it is essential to verify that both the crotch hook length and length from the end of the crotch hook to the center crease line match your measurements.
The last alteration I made to the front pant pattern was to lengthen the leg. I needed to add 2 inches to make the pants long enough. Simple enough alteration to make.
I redrew the seam allowance and hem allowance.
Here’s the final version of my front pattern piece.
Similar alterations are going to be made to the back piece. First, I removed the seam/hem allowance.
Just because the front pattern piece is balanced does not mean the back pattern will be balanced too. I was fortunate to find that the center crease line bisected the ankle and knee levels perfectly.
The pattern measures 3.25 inches from the center back to the crease line. If you are curious where to place your horizontal line, place it at the top of the crotch curve. The pattern piece for my size also had a tick mark along the side seam that perfectly lined up with the horizontal line. Therefore, I needed to move the top part of the pattern piece so that it measures 4.5 inches from the center back to the crease line. Therefore, I moved the top of the torso medially 1.25 inches.
Next, I redrew the crotch curve and side seam from the hip level down to the knee.
See below for why I don’t always like measuring the crotch hook length from the center back. This method is more reliable for me when I know my center crease line placement is correct. I know I will always need 8.25 inches from the center crease line to the top of the inseam. I didn’t need to make any adjustments to the pattern because it was the perfect length.
For my first muslin, I didn’t make this alteration. You’ll notice with the front piece, I never mentioned measuring the height from the hip level up to the waistband. I was trying not to tinker too much with the pattern and so left it. For the back piece, I did the same; however, after trying on the overalls, I immediately knew I needed to shorten the center back. I ended up lowering the center back 1 inch.
The last alteration I made to the back pant pattern was to lengthen the leg. I needed to add 2 inches.
I redrew the seam allowance and hem allowance.
Here’s the final version of my back pattern piece.
Center Seam and Crotch Hook Length
As I described above, I don’t always like to use center front/back to determine crotch hook length. If I know my center crease line is the correct distance away from the center front/back at the crotch level (top horizontal line), then I would rather use the distance from the center crease line to the bottom of the crotch hook (i.e., top of the inseam). In the diagram above, you can see that if the center back is closer to 0 degrees, then the crotch hook length shortens. Conversely, if the center back is angled more (e.g., +5 degrees), then the crotch hook lengthens. To be safe, you would probably want both ways of measuring crotch hook length to be accurate.
I had some puckering of the back yoke piece on my muslin. I ended up removing 0.25 inches from the side seam and the center back (0.5 inches total). Therefore, I had to remove the same amount at the top of the back pattern piece and on the waistband. I didn’t need to narrow the waistband entirely, just the bottom of the waistband that attached to the back yoke piece. The top of the waistband was left as-is.
I really love the fit and style of these overalls. I’m thrilled to have this pattern in my library now!