McCalls 8437 Overalls: How to Slay these at 5ft

sewing for my sanity overalls McCalls 8437

Yes, petite ladies can wear overalls, too like McCalls 8437. This is my first time sewing overalls and a Brandi Joan pattern produced by McCalls. Even though I’ve seen these patterns in the pattern book, I’ve never been inclined to sew one. However, I fell in love with the back of the overalls. It’s not your typical farmer’s attire but a super feminine design that adds a unique touch to the overalls. 

Why sew overalls

Overalls are an American staple. Designed by the Levi Strauss Co. in the late 1890s, they are the epitome of working-class America. Maybe that’s why I was hesitant to make them. Thinking back on my journey with overalls, my mind says that overalls are meant for Osh Gosh BGosh children and playdates, and no self-respecting full-grown woman wears overalls. But Brandi Joan did wear overalls on that pattern envelope and made it look cool. In reality, denim is so now, so in, so cool that making a pair of trendy overalls felt like the right thing to do, and McCalls 8437 was right on time.

sewing for my sanity in handmade overalls from McCalls

Choosing the fabric

Don’t be basic. Anyone can wear dark blue. Maybe the interesting thing about Brandi Joans McCall 8437 overalls is that they aren’t dark blue or light denim washed. They are black. I started to look for special denim weights and colors, anything to spice up these overalls. And while I purchased a number of lovely denim fabrics on my recent Atlanta fabric run, it was this medium-weight black printed damask woven fabric. No, it’s not denim, but it’s pretty. The process of choosing the fabric was a fun and exciting part of the project, allowing me to explore different options and get creative.

sewing for my sanity front of damask overall by McCalls

The proper hardware for McCalls 8437

Ugh! This was the bane of my existence. Finding quality jean hardware and rivets for McCalls 8437 overalls was an interesting sewing challenge. Wawak, Kylie and the Machine, and Amazon are your friends for this one, especially if you want your overalls to look modern. My local craft store did not have anything close to modern and did not have the rivets. Specifically, I was searching for pewter. Start looking for your notions early if you want something special. Kylie and the Machine ships from Australia. Wawak and Amazon are quick but might not be high quality. The dungarees kit I ordered from Amazon lacked the tool to attach the rivets. Rivets without the tool meant I had to be creative and ask DH for help. 

dungarees kit by Kylie in the machine

Sewing McCalls 8437

This pattern isn’t difficult to sew, and the Simplicity Creative Group is all about its tutorials, so if you need help, jump on YouTube and watch Brandi Joan sew them. Personally, I did not use the tutorial for McCalls 8437, but I probably could have used it for sewing the overlap and installing the overalls hardware. There are many ways to hack this pattern, including color arrangements, style, and length. Even if you’re new to sewing, this pattern is manageable and can be customized to your liking.  

Petite Alterations

You guessed it – length adjustments. I removed approximately five inches to achieve this look. Strategic removal is critical. Use the ‘shorten-lengthen line’ and the hemline appropriately to maintain the integrity of the leg taper. It’s not as daunting as the alterations for that Vogue deep V dress or a ball gown but it does take some time. I wanted to make sure I could wear my overalls with flat sandals, and I did not want my McCalls 8437 make to drag or sag (not my style or look).

Styling Overalls as a Petite Woman

My efforts were purely on not looking like a child or a farmer. There are many ways to wear these and maintain your personal fashion profile. I love tennis shoes, well sneakers really. So, I went for a white knit collared short-sleeved shirt and a white Louis Vuitton Front Row Sneaker. This is the most comfortable sneaker I own. As for the designer, Brandi Joan, she monochromatically paired hers with a sweet pair of Chelsea rain boots and a white T-shirt. However, I’ve seen many women wear work-style boots, heels, or sandals with overalls.

sewing for my sanity overalls in damask

A final thought on McCalls 8437 Overalls

In conclusion, I would sew this again and get super creative with color, pocket placement, and length. 

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