Young woman in Folkwear #240 Rosie the Riveter overalls with button down shirt under overall bibs.  Standing at bottom of stairs posing with flexed bicep.

The heroic working women of World War II inspired this factory wardrobe of camp shirt, pleated slacks, and overalls with a sweetheart bib. Rosie the Riveter was the fictional character pictured in posters to recruit women into the work force during World War II in the late 1940's.  Women started working in large numbers building airplanes, slacks or overalls, and "utility clothes" became the uniform of Rosie and her colleagues.  Folkwear pays tribute to the accomplishments of the heroic women with this hard working wardrobe of Shirt, Overalls, and Slacks to sew using our 240 Rosie the Riveter Pattern.   

The Shirt is styled from men's sport shirts and is know today as a "camp" shirt.  It is timeless is a crisp white cotton and lots of fun made extra-large in bright tropical prints or patterns. 

The pleated Slacks have large side pockets and a back zipper.  Straight legs fall smoothly from the hips for a clean look.  Add the sweetheart-shaped bodice for Overalls with straps that cross in the back.

The pattern includes historical information and instructions for a knitted sweater and a crocheted snood to keep hair in place as well.  

This pattern has lots of ease, which was useful to working women who needed to do lots of moving around.  Just keep that in mind when determining your size, especially for the shirt (a muslin may be helpful too).   

Suggested fabrics: For Shirt, choose medium-weight cotton, rayon, silk, or blends. For Slacks and Overalls, choose medium to heavyweight cotton, wool, blends, corduroy, denim, velvet, or velveteen.

Below are some fabric suggestions from some of our favorite fabric stores.  Please note, these suggested fabrics are based on fabrics that are in stock at the time the blog post is written, and may go out of stock from store at some point.  If link is invalid for specific product, look for a similar fabric you can substitute.

I love this homespun dotted canvas from Hart's Fabrics.  One of my favorite dresses of all times is made in canvas and has softened very nicely and lasted for years.  You will defiantly want to pre-wash and soften up canvas for garments, but it can be so worth the effort for a durable and sturdy piece.

canvas fabric, small asymmetrical white dots on dark blue background

We currently have a very suitable Chambray (below) in stock here at Folkwear.  I was considering using this fabric myself for the overalls.  

light blue cotton chambray fabricdark blue heavy denim fabric
Chambray (left)    Denim (right)

If you prefer a heavier fabric, we also have a dark wash heavy denim (above) that would make great slacks (or overalls).

We also have a beautiful Merchant and Mills sanded twill and several organic yarn dyed linen fabric choices in stock. Check out all of our available fabrics here.  The twill would be great for the slacks or overalls, and the linen for the shirt (but also would make a lovely pair of slacks!).

slate grey sand washed twill fabric on boltnavy blue sand washed twill fabric on boltazure blue organic yarn dyed linen fabric

This medium-heavy weight cotton Kolkata Cloth has a nice texture and drape for pants and would be lovely used for the Rosie the Riveter overalls as well.  Stonemountain and Daughter has a variety of colors in stock at the moment.  I really love this paprika color!

paprika colored medium weigh cotton kolkata fabric

Any light weight cotton will work well for the shirt.  The pattern suggests a plain white for the classic look of the time.  This tencel cotton poplin looks like a great weight and texture for the classic white camp shirt.  Oak Fabrics has quite a few lovely choices.

white tencel cotton poplin fabric

I love a seersucker shirt or dress in the warm summer months.  This lovely clay red seersucker from Vogue Fabrics would look fantastic under a grey or blue fabric overalls or pants.

clay red colored cotton seersucker shirting fabric

Another fun option for the top would be using a print.  I love this rayon polka dot fabric from Bolt Fabric Boutique.

multicolored polka dot rayon fabric on bolt

Also, I loved this mariner cloth from Style Maker Fabric.  It made a great sundress from this pattern - and would be perfect for making the slacks or overalls too!  And it comes in several different colors.

charcoal mariner cloth - cotton

woman standing in front of a grey wall wearing a blue sleeveless sundressWe used the blue mariner cloth for this dress!