The idea of a coveralls box has been rattling around in my head for a few years now. Personally, I love the style and the perfect blend of old school workwear with modern fashion, but I know that not everyone shares my opinion. But I'm here to draw you to my side!
The new year always comes with a fresh sense of possibility, and it seems like an auspicious time to make some bold fashion choices. It's also a long month, spent largely indoors if you're in a cold climate, which creates the opportunity to tackle some more intricate (yet not necessarily difficult) projects, like these coveralls.
From Rosie the Riveter to Tom Cruise in Top Gun, this humble garment is undeniably a classic. And it's secret pajamas too! Essentially a button-front shirt combined with relaxed-fit pants, coveralls are a one-piece outfit that you can dress down for chores around the house - they are great for cleaning, gardening, even painting - or you can pop on a pair of heels or a cool belt, roll up the sleeves or pant legs, and feel truly chic.
With this versatility in mind, we wanted fabrics that could go beyond a simple cotton twill (though we have a few of those for good measure). We wanted fabrics that will feel amazing and that will wear well no matter how you decide to use your coveralls. We also wanted to stretch beyond the denim blue or canvas cream you see into some bolder colors - olive, rose, and orange, to name a few - as well as some gorgeous prints.
So, without further ado, let's dig in!
Sew Essential Box: V-Neck Jumpsuit from The Assembly Line
We're calling this box our entry-level Coveralls as the style falls somewhere in between a full worker's boilersuit and a jumpsuit. The snap front and loose waist give a relaxed feel while the tapered leg and three-quarter length sleeves keep it tailored and put together. It's the best of both worlds!
Looking back, this could be seen as our year of The Assembly Line patterns. We have really fallen in love with their blend of precise tailoring and effortless comfort. And this jumpsuit is no exception. The v-neck neckline is slightly raised in the back for the illusion of a collar, and inseam pockets lend an easy flair. Use the included waist tie for some definition or leave the middle loose for a secret pajama feel. Whatever reflects your own personal style!
For fabrics, we kept to more utilitarian fabrics, to highlight the blend of work and play that this jumpsuit has. That meant twills and broadcloths, both sturdy fabrics that will really show off the style lines. We muted hues and a nice neutral, we think you'll love what we picked. So let's find out!
- Brick Red Cotton Twill - There's something about coveralls that makes me lean towards muted colors. But I love the idea of the fabric being so loved and so worn that it starts to age a bit. This red fits perfectly with that idea - slightly faded, on the darker and softer side. The color is earthy and humble, but in the best way possible. Paired with a medium weight, flexible drape, and thin hand, this fabric will sew up into a fabulous jumpsuit that lives up to its secret pajamas name. We guarantee you'll love it!
- Wheat Cotton Linen Blend - Traditional coveralls are a blank canvas, the thing you put on to protect your "good clothes" where you don't mind some paint or dirt on it. So, it seemed wholly appropriate to use a lighter color as one of our options, a fabric that can reflect its wear and tear with you, like a living object. Light and neutral, this linen blend is soft, supple, and breathable, and it will feel amazing to wear, no matter what you throw at it!
- Storm Blue Cotton Twill - The color of this cotton twill is somewhere between a dark gray and a green-blue, reminding us of cold lakes and twilight skies in the wintertime. That makes it a wonderful choice for January sewing (and beyond!). Neutral yet not boring, this cotton twill is thin, breathable, and flexible. It will give you a very similar look to the sample made in the photos, meaning it will be an instant classic in your handmade wardrobe!
Sew Select and Sew Curvy Boxes: Thelma Boilersuit from Merchant & Mills
There's a certain joy in the timelessness of Merchant & Mills patterns. There is a sense that you could pluck yourself out of time, go back 100 years, and find the same sewing patterns behind the counter at your local general store, probably at a nickel a piece. These patterns are built to last and built for clothing that will never really go out of style.
So when looking for a classic set of coveralls that would make Rosie the Riveter proud, it was easy to turn to the Thelma Boilersuit. It has absolutely everything I was looking for: a hidden button placket, back dart shaping (so it doesn't look like you put on your grandfather's work clothes), a notched collar, button-sleeves, and a straight leg cut. These are your quintessential coveralls, and they will become indispensable in your wardrobe.
Just because the cut is timeless, doesn't mean that we didn't have a little fun with the fabrics though. We do have some traditional choices, like denim and canvas, but we thought we would play with color and print for these so that your classic coveralls can have a thoroughly modern flair. Let's take a look!
Sew Select Box:
- Light Olive Green Cotton Canvas - It seemed a no brainer to use a military green in these boxes. It was the summer of Top Gun after all! So when we found this olive green canvas, we snapped it up. Made from 100% cotton, the cloth is medium weight and supple, with a dry hand a slight nubbly texture.& It's the perfect combination of sturdiness and wearability, plus an absolute classic in both color and weave. You'll be able to wear this boilersuit for years and years to come!
- Denim Pinstripe Stretch Drill - A yarn-dyed denim print with vertical railroad stripes is a perfect amount of pattern to brighten up this pair of coveralls. With the feel of a traditional denim, at 9.5 oz, this fabric has structure and strength while a healthy dose of spandex (3% in fact) keeps it pliable and wearable. Plus, like any good denim, it will get better with each wash. And if that's not a reason to wear the heck out of your new handmade boilersuit, I don't know what is!
- Old Rose Cotton Twill - People often think of twill as a sturdy weave, like denim, but with the right fiber, it can be light and soft. This cotton twill is medium weight but is supple and thin, making it an amazing choice for this boilersuit. Plus, the rose color feels lived in and soft, just the right balance of color and fade. If you're looking for a twill that will look as amazing as it feels, this is definitely the fabric for you!
Sew Curvy Box:
- Sunset Orange Stretch Cotton Denim - We love a good stretch denim, especially when it comes in such a lovely color! This adobe orange denim is a treat, just bright enough to make a statement, but rich and earthy enough to feel natural and chic. At 10 oz, this denim is sturdy and ready for any thing you might throw at it, but the cotton and spandex blend keeps it supple and comfortable while you do it. And, like all denims, it will get better and better with wear, which is great because you won't want to take this boilersuit off!
- Navy Organic Cotton Spandex Twill - Deep and dark, like the Atlantic on a winter's day, the color is just one thing to love about this fabric. With a silky, dry hand and a medium weight, the fabric is supple and wearable, like your favorite pair of khakis that you wore until holes appeared. Lightly brushed for softness, this is about as classic as you can get for coveralls.
- Natural Earth Magic Printed Canvas - While this fabric may be a bold choice for coveralls, I couldn't get the print out of my mind. The floral, a medium scale with the large blooms about 2-3" across, is reminiscent of vintage wallpaper, yet feels modern and new. The nontraditional print contrasts with the vintage styling of the boilersuit, and the soft canvas keeps them flexible and wearable. For a one of a kind pair of coveralls that will make everyone jealous, this is the fabric for you!
Sew Indulgent Box: Blanca Flight Suit from Closet Core Patterns
If you have been eyeing a coveralls pattern lately, it's probably the Blanca Flight Suit. Closet Core Patterns really knocked it out of the park with this one! A quick Instagram search reveals so many gorgeous makes!
The semi-fitted shape gives the coveralls a tailored, dressier feel, while the zipper front, patch pockets and large belt looks maintain the workwear elements we love. The ability to customize the pattern, with short or long sleeves, long or crop pants, and an option for a tie belt, means you can create a flight suit that reflects your style and that you'll want to wear over and over again.
For fabric, we wanted to maintain that interplay between classic workwear and modern tailoring with classic twills in lighter colors and a truly stunning print. This is the luxe box, after all, so we want to make sure you feel effortlessly chic when you put your finished make on and step out the door. So let's dig in!
- Light Gray Organic Cotton Spandex Twill - There's nothing like a classic khaki twill, especially when it's lightly brushed like this one. The hand itself is enough reason to snap up this option - soft, dry, flexible. It's everything you want for this flightsuit. And the color opens up so many options! Light and neutral, it will pair with brightly colored accessories for an effortlessly chic look. This flight suit will go from work to weekend and back again without losing a beat. And that's what we call a wardrobe staple!
- Canyon Poppy Floral Print Canvas - Printed on cotton linen canvas that is surprisingly thin and supple, this fabric combines a wallpaper-like print with muted oranges, greens, and pinks, all on a rich chocolate brown background. The print itself is simply stunning, but also not overpowering, meaning you can make a full flight suit without feeling like you get lost in the pattern. For a one of a kind look, this is the fabric you'll want!
- Tarragon Green Stretch Cotton Twill - We have a bit of a green theme going this month, all with herby, muted hues. The earthy colors, with hints of yellow and brown, feel quite apt for the cold winter months leading into spring, and we are here for it. The fabric itself is a lovely medium weight twill (at 7.5 oz) and has a nice amount of stretch for movement and ease of wear. Soft and supple, it will feel like secret pajamas and look the best Top Gun ready flight suit around. Who can ask for anything more?
In keeping with the theme of slow sewing in January, we are reviving our Blazer Boxes in our Tried and True series. These were an absolute favorite of customers last year, and the tailoring aspects pair really nicely with these Coverall boxes. If you missed them last year, you won't want to this round!
And that's it for this month, folks. Can you believe we're already talking about 2023?? It feels mad but sadly, the holiday season can't last forever. But we plan to make the most of what time we do have. We're going all out for the holidays and beyond, so make sure you check back for gift ideas, fun new products, and some favorite kits from the past year. All announcing next week!
Until next time. . .