I know I have a yen for hyperbole, an over-abundance of enthusiasm and a tendency to love all of my children more than the last, but I think I can honestly say our latest pattern, the Jenny Overalls and Trousers, is my favorite Closet Case Pattern yet. It hits all my hot spots; wearable, comfortable and chic, with enough variations to almost create a capsule wardrobe. It makes me very, very happy, and I hope it makes you feel the same way.
The genesis for this pattern happened in France last year. I found a vintage pair of overalls at a Paris flea market and found myself wearing them nearly non-stop, even though they were a size or two too small; they were just so damn fun to wear that I tried to ignore how uncomfortable they were after a few hours. I started thinking a lot about what my dream pair of overalls would look like. I found lots of inspiration in mid-century women’s workwear, and came around to a style that would be chic instead of childish, a kinda glam wardrobe workhorse that I (and we) could wear just about anywhere, at any age. What that means is an ultra high rise, a wide leg, and enough classic, tailored details to keep it planted squarely in the “appropriate just about anywhere” section of your closet. I like to think of our patterns as unexpected staples you didn’t realize you couldn’t live without, and Jenny is very much that kind of design for me. Whether you make the trouser, shorts or add the bib and go for the full overalls/dungarees, I know whatever you make will be a garment you reach for again and again.
This pattern has a lot of views, and would have had even more if I didn’t seriously rein myself in (there are so many opportunities for different closures and construction methods, which is why you should stay tuned for all the SUPER fun content we have coming your way to hack and customize these babies even further). You can choose between shorts and cropped or full-length wide leg trousers, all of which can be worn alone or with our well-proportioned bib. If overalls or dungarees aren’t your thing, the pants alone are worthy of your consideration. I fought hard with the crotch of these, aiming for something with a little room to breathe. Our rise is ultra high, meaning your front bits and behind will never know the shackles of a rigid crotch seam, with enough shaping to still make your heiny look fabulous. The legs are roomy and dramatic and can go either way: drapey and floaty in linen, structured and polished in a heavier weight canvas or denim.
Let’s take a look at the overalls, shall we? Our pink linen sample has all the bells and whistles: deep curved front pockets (seriously, these pockets are a dream), utility pocket, curved patch pockets in the back and a faux fly. While I don’t always love a non-functional detail, I think the faux fly does a nice job of breaking up that rise, and I’ll be showing you how to make it fully functional in an upcoming blog post.
All views close with a tabbed waistband and a sturdy lapped zipper at the hip since I wanted these to be sleek but fairly hard wearing. You can choose between a single zipper, or adding a second one at each hip, depending on your size and waist to hip ratio. In testing some folks found a single 7″ zipper a little hard to get on and off, so we added a second waistband option in case you want extra room. AND, if zippers aren’t your thing, we have a blog post coming up that lets you replace them entirely with a classic overalls button closure at the hip.
If a fast, speedy make is your get-down, you can skip the pockets and the topstitching for something a little more minimal and clean. We made our shorts overalls with a Kaufman striped denim and I love how keeping the details simple lets the fabric shine.
If overalls aren’t your thing, Jenny may be the wide-legged trouser of your dreams. I’m partial to the cropped length for everyday, but would be hard-pressed to find a more dramatic statement than our full-length pants in a swoon-worthy fabric. We made our sample in a luscious French jacquard and the final result is full-on Chanel glamour.
Finally, you can also make a sleek and tailored high-waisted short. Here we’ve had fun with contrasting topstitching, and I love how it elevates a casual summer staple.
Finally, we have a beautiful hardware kit for this pattern! Our kits for Jenny come in a silver and antique bronze finish, and include two overall buckles and sliders, along with five jeans buttons (two for the buckles, two for the hip, and one extra for practice). If you want to sub in hip buttons for the lapped zipper, you can add extra buttons to your kit purchase. A tutorial on how to do that is forthcoming.
We’ve got so many great blog post tutorials coming your way, along with a few posts showing you how to customize and hack this pattern into a lot of looks, which gives me an excuse to make myself a few more pairs. I’m also going to cover fitting, grading and basic pattern mods since I know pants fitting makes some of you nervous, and I want you to feel super confident making and wearing these babies.
So, what do you think of Jenny? What’s your favourite view?
ps. This pattern was named after Jenny, the lovely lady behind the German sewing blog Rat & Naht (a German play on the words “Seam + Advice”). I fell in love with Jenny on Instagram where I discovered her beautiful, innovative takes on our patterns. Every garment she makes perfectly captures her creative spirit, and we admire her quiet, confident energy and skillful execution. She’s also a trained tailor; I highly suggest you keep up with her!