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Fern from Charlotte’s Web costume

Fern from Charlotte's Web Costume | Megan Nielsen Blog

As per usual, Birdie decided what she wanted to be for Book Week almost a year earlier – giving me plenty of time to prepare! Birdie is a fantastic reader, and took a deep dive into chapter books quite early on. Bunny is a very generous book lender, and as soon as Birdie discovered Charlotte’s Web on her shelves she was hooked. We read a chapter together every night before bed, and we laughed and cried and felt all the feelings. Immediately after we finished she read the whole book again, and declared her intention to dress up as Fern for Book Week – so I got cracking planning her Fern from Charlotte’s Web costume!

Fern from Charlottes Web costume made using a vintage sewing pattern | Megan Nielsen Patterns Blog

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you might recall that Bunny was also obsessed with Charlotte’s Web and decided to be Fern for Book Week. What I love is that though both girls chose to be Fern at the beautiful age of 8 – their interpretations of Fern are quite different and reflective of their personalities. Birdie was much more interested in baby Wilbur who Fern bottle fed and carried around like a baby. She was pretty insistent that she wanted overalls – and I was very excited at the prospect of making her some!

Fern costume plan | Megan Nielsen Patterns Blog
Style 4478, vintage overalls and button up blouse sewing pattern | Megan Nielsen Patterns Blog

I had a bit of trouble finding a modern overall pattern I liked, so instead I went on the hunt for a vintage one. Birdie and I spent a lot of time looking at patterns together on Etsy and ended up purchasing this one. When it was time to sew I realised that the closure was a centre back zip, and that this was not going to be convenient for Birdie if she needed to go to the bathroom at school. So I decided to hack this pattern a bit, but omitting the darts and centre back zip, and instead insert elastic into the waistband. Honestly this worked so so well and i think is a great option for kids.

Vintage overalls strap detail | Megan Nielsen Patterns Blog

To make the straps a bit more comfy and easy to get on and off without twisting, I anchored them together with some topstitching. For buttons I actually went for snaps, which is one of my favourite hacks for kid’s clothes.

When it comes to fabric this pattern used so little that it was a great opportunity to use up some of my denim offcuts from past samples. This fabric is a stretch denim we used for the wide-leg Ash Curve pattern sample and I am really happy with the decision to use it. Birdie is growing a lot and I think the addition of some stretch in the denim will help this make last her longer.

Cutting out denim overalls from a small piece of leftover fabric

I did have to do a lot of pattern piece squishing to make it all fit – and there is a sneaky mid-leg seam on one of her back legs, but honestly, you can’t even tell it’s there. I feel pretty chuffed finding a use for such a beautiful piece of fabric that was just going to waste in my stash. The good news is that Birdie is obsessed with these overalls and wears them once a week at least and has asked for more – so I think there are plenty of opportunities for me to use up other fabrics on this pattern. Maybe the dress overalls will be next!

Vintage overalls topstitching details | Fern from Charlottes Web costume | Megan Nielsen Patterns Blog
Fern from Charlottes Web costume made using a vintage sewing pattern | Megan Nielsen Patterns Blog

Obviously I had to topstitch all the things… you know me, I have no self-control when it comes to topstitching, and I think that for denim overalls it’s a detail that really makes the look. The pattern recommended a really interesting topstitch pattern on the patch pocket, which was really enjoyable to do.

Fern from Charlottes Web costume made using a vintage sewing pattern | Megan Nielsen Patterns Blog

For the rest of her outfit, the button shirt was actually from my school uniform when I was her age (thanks mom for saving it!), so it was a lovely moment to see her wear it. I had originally planned to make the button shirt that came in the overalls pattern, but sometimes it’s better to keep things realistic, and she really enjoyed the nostalgia of wearing this shirt. For her shoes, she just has these little slip-on sneakers that used to be Buddy’s and I’m pretty sure she will never give up. The baby pig is an oldie from Ikea, and the baby bottle is a toy of Bunny’s from when she was little.

Fern from Charlottes Web costume made using a vintage sewing pattern | Megan Nielsen Patterns Blog

This is one of my favourite Book Week costumes ever, and ticks all the boxes of being useful beyond dressing up. Out of all the costumes I’ve ever made, this one gets the most use as regular clothing. The overalls are so comfy and easy for Birdie to put on that she turns to them basically every weekend. I’m really glad because she is growing so fast that I’m sure she’ll be too tall for them soon.

I can’t wait to see what Birdie wants to be next for Book Week, but till then I’m just going to obsess a little more over the adorableness of Fern.

Fern from Charlottes Web costume made using a vintage sewing pattern | Megan Nielsen Patterns Blog

If you’d like to see some of Birdie’s past costumes:

About Author

Meg is the Founder and Creative Director of Megan Nielsen Patterns, and is constantly dreaming up ideas for new sewing patterns and ways to make your sewing journey more enjoyable! She gets really excited about design details and is always trying to add way too many variations to our patterns.

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Michelle
Michelle
1 year ago

I love this post!

Pam
Pam
1 year ago

The overalls are so cute and so is the model

Melody
Melody
1 year ago

Fantastic Fern! (Thank you for the “happy post”!)

Amy
Amy
1 year ago

Absolutely gorgeous, what a wonderful costume!