Turia Dungarees in Yellow Linen

I made these overalls once before in a shorter version, and they have been a warm weather staple for me ever since. On a whim I decided to make another pair,  full length this time, and in a really fun color. Initially I was going for pink or mauve twill, but after I hopped into The Fabric Store a couple months ago, I became fixated on making them in one of the gorgeous linens they have in stock, which I imagined would be comfortable and relatively cool to wear even on hot LA days. A bolt of bright yellow mid weight immediately called to me from the wall of linens- more sunny day yellow than butter yellow if you’re wondering, since pics don’t really do this color justice.


I’ve never had my ‘colors done’ per se, but, now after 37 years of living in this skin, I know exactly what hues make it SING. Yellow, chartreuse, rusty orange, any shade of brown- they all tend to look great on my skin, which has yellow undertones and pops when draped in these colors. This used to bum me out when I was younger because I would always be drawn to the bright purples and pinks and reds in stores. Few high schoolers, at least in my day, gravitate towards a neutral + orange + yellow palette, which are colors that more often than not look kind of ‘meh’ on the rack. But as soon as I would try those colors on (always urged to give it a try by my mother, who already knew the transformation that would happen), the result was undeniable. Brown was my color! Olive green made me radiant! Paprika made my eyes pop! In contrast, bright reds, hot pinks and brilliant purples just washed me out, made the bags under my eyes look a bazillion times heavier, made my skin look gray and sallow (yes, I had awful bags under my eyes, even in grade school- I had terrible allergies and stayed up too late reading most nights). Now this certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t wear colors I love even if they don’t “go” with my skin (although red has remained a no-no for me since it doesn’t elevate my skin OR my mood), but as I have gotten older and started paying attention to different facets of what I like and dislike, I’ve noticed that I rather enjoy stomping around in colors that you don’t see people wear as often. This skin I’m in, it BUCKS TRENDS! Funny how it takes decades to appreciate the littlest things…

BACK TO THESE OVERALLS. There isn’t really much else to share, since not only did I make these overalls once before, but I even made the EXACT SAME MISTAKE in sewing them that I did the first time. And guess what! I didn’t forget that I made a weird mistake in the construction process when I first made them, I just forgot what the problem was specifically and was too lazy to read my previous blog post about it (which literally would have taken me only 60 seconds, I know, I know- I’m rolling my eyes at my own self). I think I assumed that once I came to my wonky misstep, I would totally remember what the initial problem was and I would be able to fix it easily. And that did happen, but about 2 steps too late. The issue is in the way that the back upper pattern piece is nested on the pattern sheet (and this is no fault of the designer- I should have been paying closer attention! Although it’s interesting to note that I did make the same mistake twice!) Most of the pattern pieces are nested in a similar way with the largest size on the outside and the smaller sizes graded smaller and smaller inside those lines, but on this particular pattern piece, the largest size is on the outter-most side on one half of the piece, but on the other side it’s on the inner-most side. Does that make sense? Lot’s of patterns are formatted this way and haven’t been a problem for me, but I guess I usually see patterns drafted as all one way or the other, so the switch that happened on the pattern paper didn’t register in my brain, and I ended up cutting the correct size on one half of the pattern piece and a smaller size on the other. Essentially this means that the back pattern piece that connects the straps is too narrow to accommodate them, so (two times, now) I have had to add an additional slice of fabric to the back side seams to make up for the smaller size I cut out. Bah humbug. One of those things no one else will notice, or will think is a design feature. BUT I KNOW. I KNOW FOR TWO PAIR!

Aside from that snafu, everything came together beautifully. Because linen likes to fray so easily I tried to finish and/or bind all of my seams, and for some spots that didn’t get special treatment in the construction of the overalls (instructions suggest you use flat felled seams on many of the pieces, but some are left raw) I made some self fabric bias tape and used it to cover the raw seams, specifically in the bib area and the back straps. As with the overall shorts I made, I only used one zipper because two were unnecessary, and I graded to a size larger in the pants at the hips (38) and kept the top a straight size 36. I also used my Ginger jeans pockets for these overalls (the pockets drafted for this pattern are really tiny), ignored the pocket placement stated on the pattern pieces, and instead tried the almost-completed garment on and positioned the pockets on my butt where they would look best. This should be standard procedure for all pants making that comes with back pockets, since everyone’s booty is different and pocket placement can really make or break the way a butt looks.

When I first finished sewing them up, the overalls fit pretty snugly in the thighs, but, as I had hoped, literally within minutes the linen had relaxed significantly and the legs were very comfortable and loose-fitting without looking too big. When I make this pattern again in a sturdier fabric than linen, I might go up one more size in the pants so that I can ensure that they don’t fit too tightly in the hip and thigh area.

I am in love with the color of these overalls and other people seem to be, too- I don’t think I have worn them once without a stranger coming up to me and complimenting them. But linen is a tricky fabric to pair with this kind of garment. Overalls are designed to get a lot of wear and tear and as such they are usually made with a very stable fabric, most commonly denim. After a few weeks of moderate wear, mine are already starting to pill in the seat and the thighs, and of course they are always wrinkly when I first put them on, as linen tends to be. This of course will not keep me from wearing them into the ground, but they might not last as long as, say, the first version of this pattern I made a couple of years ago, which are comprised of a heavy twill and are still going VERY strong.

Whatever I decide to do for my next pair, I am really happy with how these yellow linen ones turned out and I am glad to be reminded of how NOT to cut out that back pattern piece out next time. Third time’s a charm, right?



15 responses to “Turia Dungarees in Yellow Linen”

  1. Anneke Caramin Avatar

    I’m the complete oppisite of you skintone-wise (yellow makes me look like I’m on the brink of death) but we share a love for linen overalls! I made a black pair and they became such a wardrobe staple I’ll probably make them again once they are worn to bits.

  2. Celeste Morris Avatar

    Love your bright bibs!!! Your description of making them made me laugh out loud…not at you…but because of my own experiences. I don’t make muslins, in part because I am lazy and stingy, but mostly because I have found that when I’ve used a pattern more than once, I either repeat prior mistakes or mess up simple things because, “I’ve made this before, so now I know stuff!!!” Not!!! My husband says, “I have to make the same wrong time I drive to “x” because that way I know how to get there!!” As long as we get there!!! Great make!

  3. Mary Roberts Avatar

    I’ve found if you don’t tumble dry linen it lasts a bit longer and doesn’t pill so much. I remove pilling from my favorite white linen trousers with a razor, make sure it’s one that does not have aloe Vera or something on the blade to make it smoother shaving. They are truly sumptuous! Thirty years ago I had my “colours done” and thought it was the best investment in myself I ever made. Just sayin…

    1. Jasika Nicole Avatar

      I don’t tumble-dry any of my me-mades, they all get hung out on the line to dry. Glad to know that getting your colors done worked for you- still stand by my (long, presumably clear) list of why I am not into it. To each his own. Just sayin.

  4. Sarah Avatar

    These are so fun, what a colour! I’m sure you make people smile when they see you wearing them, that’s why they can’t help but compliment you!

  5. PsychicSewerKathleen Avatar

    I laughed with astonishment reading your description of your relationship to colours herstorically! I didn’t even KNOW until I was in my late thirties (now I’m in my early ’60’s) that I had yellow undertones to my skin – in fact I have some orange undertones in there too AND this is why I could never wear red and had to be super careful with purple, blue, pink etc. My mother would always say my very best colour was a bright almost grassy florescent green – NOT a colour I like AT ALL. Nor is yellow, or rust or even brown. But I have had to accept these are the colours that suit me best and after pushing myself for years to buy those colours I’ve come to love them. Funny how that works. I now just love olive, brown and rust 🙂 Yellow remains on my “shy away from” list but whenever I hold up yellow to my face my husband says, “Hey that looks nice!” I laugh and put it back – not yet I say, not yet 🙂

    1. Jasika Nicole Avatar

      Hahaha, I don’t like a bright grassy green either but its so amazing how an ugly color can completely transform when it’s put up against the skin it works well with! Such a bummer you don’t like yellow- it is turning into my favorite color to wear and now I’m hunting down a pretty yellow or yellow-infused wool for a winter coat! No place better than California to flaunt around in a bright yellow swing coat, lol.

  6. Renee Avatar

    These are super cute. I have the recently rereleased Jalie overall patterns and am going to make them. Up, now possibly in a black or bright red twill now that I’ve seen your post. How interesting! You do look great in yellow. I don’t know that it would have occurred to me to put you in that.

    1. Jasika Nicole Avatar

      i remember you saying that you were planning on sewing the jalie overalls- I cannot WAIT to see them on you- I feel like this is an opportune time to work in a little nautical theme cause I know you love it! Like, red pockets or buttons or SOMETHING!

  7. Kate Avatar

    Heck yeah these are just gorgeous! I am jealous of your ability to wear yellow – it was my favourite colour as a kid and it’s so happy and lovely but I have a yellow undertone to my skin so yellow near my face makes me look like I have jaundice. But then the grass is always greener (yellower) on the other side I guess! I definitely identify with the thrill of figuring out what colours you look and feel great in – even/especially when they’re not the norm. Also I definitely need a pair of dungarees now, right? Right.

    1. Jasika Nicole Avatar

      haha, aw thanks so much for reading! But I DO have yellow undertones- that’s what I was trying to explain in the post- my mom would always tell me that a golden color, namely mustard yellow (BLECH!) would look good on me and I always ignored her, but now I see that my sallow, kinda olive complexion actually warms up a bit with those colors while cooler tones and reds make the bags under my eyes even heavier. So I dunno, maybe it’s a matter of taste or a combination of undertones that makes some colors look better than others…

  8. matkailijakirppu Avatar

    Great dungarees! Fab colour! 🙂

  9. Fiona Avatar

    Lovely lovely lovely! I really like this pattern and wear my linen pair all the time. Great to hear how you finished those raw edges as on my pair I’m not all that happy with the finish around the bib. They are so amazing in yellow! Great choice to use the larger pockets too, might have to copy you next time!

  10. Patricia Avatar

    I love your overalls. Yellow looks great on you. It’s great to have sewing skills because we can create outfits that cater to our own style and personality. The traditional denim overall can be any color that we like. Beautiful job!

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