Flannel and Denim with a 70’s Vibe


Something about late February makes me want to snuggle up in cotton flannel.

At Mood Fabrics in NYC, I found a beautiful, super-soft flannel in a muted blue, black, and white plaid which I knew would eventually end up as a winter shirt for me. (You can see Mood’s online selection of cotton flannel shirting here.)

This month I decided flannel-shirt time had arrived, and I whipped one up using a favorite vintage Seventies shirt pattern, Butterick 4575.  The only change I made from the original pattern was to add contrasting inner cuffs and collar stand using black cotton sateen from my stash.




I wanted to make more than a shirt this month, however, and since I had some lightweight indigo denim I’d found at Mood last Spring, I decided to make overalls.  I used Butterick 3571, a men’s overalls pattern from 1974 (below), which I’d purchased on Etsy a few years ago.

(Mood’s wide selection of cotton denim can be viewed here.)


I’d never sewn overalls before, and I had to rely on my judgment as much as the somewhat skimpy instructions, since my denim was light and needed to be interfaced and/or lined in many places to beef up the garment’s structure.

I made minor changes to the pattern.  I added two inches to the waist (since I could only find this rare pattern in a 34″ chest/28″ waist.  I reinforced the back straps with mattress ticking from my stash, and lined the front bib and two long front patch pockets (which I’d drafted myself) with the same plaid I’d used for my shirt. I found the hardware I needed — buckles and jeans buttons — locally, at C&C Button.

Finally, I added a vintage embroidery patch and a genuine smiley button from the 70’s.  Groovy!











I gotta say I love this ensemble, which is as comfy as a re-run of The Waltons. I may not always wear this ensemble with the smiley button attached, but who knows — maybe I will.

See you next month!




  • Clio
    February 24, 2016

    Ooh. Very cosy! I know you used a 70’s pattern, but I feel like your outfit would be equally at home on the Hollywood sound lot for a depression era film (or behind the counter of an artisan food (pickle, cheese, whatever the latest artisan food trend is) shop in Brooklyn. If you want Vermont, you need Birkinstocks with wool socks. 😉

  • Vicki
    February 24, 2016

    Awesome job for your first coveralls! I like all your selections. You look good and the fit is perfect.

  • june
    February 24, 2016

    i wore bibs as a child in the 50’s: the only thing i might add is a hammer loop. you also need a red bandanna and that hat has to go…. of course i may be influenced by my Oklahoma heritage… another great make.

  • 'm(i)e'
    February 24, 2016

    oh ! I love this !

  • Victoria
    February 24, 2016

    Great outfit and I love the shot with the Whole Earth Catalog. It brings back memories.

  • Amy
    February 24, 2016

    Wow! These are great. The plaid matching on your shirt is impeccable… not that I would expect anything less from you! And, I agree with Clio – with the right accessories, this outfit could look right at home in a lot of places. I hope you find lots of excuses to wear it!

  • Fiona
    February 25, 2016

    Is it wrong that I almost love the insides of your overalls as much as the outside?! So often the case with sewing! Another great outfit Peter, you wear this look well!

  • Mavis
    February 25, 2016

    Peter, Beautiful work as always. Triggers the mind to “Hee Haw”, “Green Acres”, “Lawrence Whelk ” and for us Canadians, “Red Green”.

  • sallie
    February 25, 2016

    Oh this is so fun! I’m so glad you kept the original leg width for a real vintage feel! Love it!!

  • Lori
    February 25, 2016

    This is such a fun outfit and you look great in this. The vintage feel is so fun and I like it on you, John Boy! Oops, mean Peter.

  • HJ
    February 25, 2016

    I love the shirt, and I think changing the front pockets on the overalls was a very good idea!

  • Joseph Matthews
    February 26, 2016

    Hi, Amazing creative work on Denim Outfit. Truly appreciated your creativity with 70’s style. It can be an amazing experience and feel by having this on.
    Hoping to see some more like this in near future.

  • Tor
    February 26, 2016

    I love this whole outfit so much! You look great in it, what an excellent project!

  • Rick Gonyo
    February 26, 2016

    You look great. I am going to make a pair for myself.

  • Pamela O'Connor
    February 28, 2016

    A touch of bucolic in ole Manhattan. I really love how these turned out. Excellent adaption in changing the pockets. They look great on you.

  • Sammi
    February 28, 2016

    Not feeling the 70’s vibe so much as ‘Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou!”

  • Sarah Gunn
    February 29, 2016

    I’m just saying……..if you ever want to go into the overalls business…….
    fantastic , Peter 🙂

  • Sue Paduano
    March 2, 2016

    Would the rolled pants cuffs in plaid be too much or just right?

    • Peter
      March 2, 2016

      If the pants were fully lined, just right!

  • Katie B
    March 12, 2016

    I love this!! I just discovered your blog during a google search looking to do some research before attempting McCall’s Easy Stitch n Save M9234 View C men’s shirt. I have to say….your blog is great! I will definitely be following….very awesome overalls and flannel shirt…well done!!

    • Peter
      March 14, 2016

      Thanks, Katie!

  • Carol
    March 24, 2016

    I love your outfit, my father-in-law wore bibs and I made him several pairs over the years. May have to see if I still have that pattern. I have made most of my own clothes for years, and I had 5 sons and when they were growing up made most of their denim pants, I thought pants were easier to make then a dress. I just found your blog, linked to it from your article on treadle sewing machines. I love love love my treadle, and my daughter just bought me another one today, believe it or not for $120.00. The guy selling it said the head isn’t working right but that okay cause I want to put a new treadle head in it. I have my treadle that I got at an auction 30 or more years ago that still works great and I love sewing on it, but I do need one that has other stitches on it so just needed a working table. I am retiring the end of May from working in a school for more years then I want to mention and am going to officially start my own in home sewing business. I have done some sewing for people for years, but as a side line and can now sew even more. I have lots of projects in the works and can finally have the time to finish the quilt I started on my treadle 20 years ago.