How to Sew an Overall Dress Without a Pattern in 6 Simple Steps

9 Materials
2 Hours

I am really excited today to show you how to sew an overall dress. I have all this black denim that my friend gave to me last year and I want to upcycle it for this project.

I already made a pair of summery DIY short overalls in a previous tutorial, so I knew roughly the method I needed to make this.

Let's get making a DIY overall dress!

Tools and materials:

  • Black denim fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine
  • Overall fasteners and buckles
  • Hammer
  • Serger (optional)
Examples of black denim overall dresses

 Here are a few of my inspirations images.

Sketch for the DIY overall dress

Here's the plan and it’s going to be super easy. I want to make mini-skirt overalls and the skirt is going to be slightly oversized. So, you know, you can pull it on and off.

So, I need a front panel and a back panel, plus straps. 

Taking body measurements for the overalls

1. Take body measurements

For this overall dress tutorial, I started by taking my measurements.

I added 4 inches to my waist measurement to get to 30 inches as well as my hip measurements to get 38 inches, as I want to leave room for what I wear under the overalls.

I also factored in seam allowance. My skirt is going to be A-line, so I took that into consideration when measuring too. 

Waist width of the overall dress
Hip width of the overall dress

Length of the overall dress

2. Cut out the pattern

I took my waist and hip measurements and divided them in half because I wanted to fold my fabric so that I would have a symmetrical piece.

Then, I transferred all the measurements to the fabric and freehanded the curve at the armhole. I cut out two pieces in the same shape: one for the front and one for the back.

How to make an overall dress

3. Sew and serge

With both pieces cut out, I sewed them together at the side seams and then folded the seam open.  

Overall dress tutorial

I also serged all the edges to make them all nice. I kept my serger thread white, and it kind of looks cool. I decided I didn't like it though so folded all the edges under and stitched them down. 

Cutting the back to be lower

When I was sewing down the edges I decided I wanted the back to be a little lower so cut that down a bit too.  

Sewing a pocket to the front of the overalls

4. Add a pocket

Then I added a pocket big enough for my phone, my wallet, and my Chapstick.  

Measuring straps for the DIY overall dress

5. Make the straps

Next came the straps. I loosely measured from the back to the front and added a couple of inches onto it.

My strap measurements ended up being about 21 inches with some seam allowance. So I made them 26 inches.  

Cutting out two long strips for the straps

I cut out two long strips and finished. I also folded them under the hem.  

Snap fastenings for the overall dress

6. Add the snaps and buckle

Finally, to finish my DIY overall dress, I put the snaps on them. I just followed the directions for putting snaps on. You get a nail part and a top part, then you hammer them on. 

Making a DIY overall dress

You only get one shot at putting the snaps on so be sure to work carefully. I added the snaps to the front piece...

Adding the buckle to the strap

...and then the hooks to the ends of the straps.  

DIY overall dress
Easy overall dress tutorial

How to sew an overall dress

How to sew an overall dress

The overalls turned out so cute! I hope this tutorial on how to sew an overall dress helps you if you want to make one too. I highly encourage you to because it was so simple.

Let me know in the comments what you think of the results!

Suggested materials:
  • Black denim fabric
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
See all materials

The author may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page.

Join the conversation
  • Debra Debra on Jan 20, 2022

    Love this! You nailed it!

  • Teresa D. Teresa D. on Jan 27, 2022

    That's beautiful. I was going to my overall short in a much longer version with African print to make it longer.