Creative articles about sewing

Boiler suit: Timeless, stylish and comfortable

Boiler suit: Timeless, stylish and comfortable

In the Time to Shine! capsule wardrobe there should be a jumpsuit. A timeless piece of clothing. And if you look beyond the discomfort of this item when going to the toilet, it is a super easy outfit (you don’t have to coordinate it with something else), fits great (especially if you make it from a stretchy fabric) and is stylish (love it).

Lees de Nederlandse blog

Pattern selection

There are quite a few patterns available for you to choose from. I was eyeballing a couple of boiler suits or (c)overalls. A boiler suit is a jumpsuit that is usually a loose fitting and is made of non-stretch fabrics.

I went looking for a pattern that I could raise the waist to elongate my short legs.  Knowing what works for your body is helpful when choosing the pattern. This left two patterns:

Blanca Flight Suit from Closet Core Patterns  and the Intrepid Boiler Suit from Alice & Co Patterns

When you search Instagram #blancaflightsuit or #intrepidboilersuit it is easy to see how the pattern fits on different bodies. So it became clear to me that I would go for the Intrepid Boiler Suit. In the examples found, it seemed as if the waist was slightly higher. After ordering the PDF pattern, I read in the received description that the pattern is drafted with a 3cm seam allowance at the waist to allow for adjustments. Yes! This ‘loose-fitting’ but not ‘baggy’ pattern can also be made with stretch fabrics. I chose black stretch crepe with a beautiful drape. For the boiler suit I also used Seraflex from Mettler and my BERNINA 590 Crystal Edition 


According to the pattern directions, my size needed 3 meters of fabric. Now I had only 1.80 meter for this project. Time for a solid example of pattern Tetris. The boiler suit pattern includes seam allowance, so you can lay the pattern pieces tightly next to each other. For me the length of the trouser legs always has to be reduced quite a bit, which saved a few centimetres of fabric. I cut the sleeve in two parts. I adjusted the collar to a stand-up collar, which I had already thought of beforehand.

Pattern Tetris

Sleeves in two pieces

Collar adjustment

Stand-up collar

The pattern is fairly loose around the waist, with a belt you can tailor it nicely. For this you stitch a belt casing on the outside. You can also thread a wide elastic through this. I went for the option of adding darts at the back before the casing was attached, so you get a nicely fitted boiler suit. All these options are clearly explained in the pattern. If you want to show more of your belt, you can simply reduce the casing or add loops instead of a casing. I made the end of the casing coincide with the front pockets.


Before actual sewing, you need to do some preparations. I baste all important markings on the pattern pieces. I reinforce the shoulder seam with seam tape for stretch fabrics, the seam in front of the zipper is reinforced with seam tape without stretch. Easier for inserting the zipper.

Basting pockets

This boiler suit has a number of pockets. Two chest pockets, two front pockets and two back pockets. The facing of the pockets is also included in the pattern. After the facings have been reinforced, sew the short sides and press the seam allowance inwards and fold right side out. Then iron all seam allowances and secure with basting thread. After that, all pockets are attached to the marked places of the pattern pieces. First with pins then stitched with Edgestitch foot # 10.

Image of Edgestitch Foot #10.

Edgestitch Foot #10

Excellent for topstitching edges, hems and pleats ✓  Ideal for sewing on lace or ribbon ✓  For reinforcing edges ✓  The guide lets you sew perfect seams and hems running parallel to the edge ✓  For 5.5 mm and 9 mm machines ✓ 

Learn more

Sew the facing right sides together and iron the seam allowance towards the facing

Hold this seam allowance and turn the facing

Sharp corners

Mark the stitching line at 2.5 cm with pins


Iron seam allowance and baste

Place on marked spot


…and sew

With all the pockets in place, the boiler suit could be further assembled.


The upper part of the boiler suit has a yoke piece at the back. You cut this twice, so that you have neatly finished seams on both the inside and the outside. In the description of pattern the pattern they do this with the ‘Sandwich method’. I used the ‘Burrito method’. I advise you to google this and follow a video explanation.


Bottom of yoke pieces on top of back

Burrito roll

Pin and stitch

First one side and then the other


When the top is basted to the pants, it’s time to try on. 3 cm of seam allowance was included on both ends. I took off 3 cm from the top and used the full 3 cm from the pants, so that the waist is a bit higher. Then I sewed the waist seam.

Most boiler suits have a zipper. Make sure to have a supple zipper otherwise it can bulge weird. The zipper that goes in this boiler suit is 50 cm. Nice and easy to get the boiler suit on.

Because I have reinforced the seam with a non-stretch seam tape, inserting the zipper is easy. The stretch in the fabric is not an issue anymore. At the waist you cut the seam allowance as shown so the seam is nicely flat.

Then pin and stitch one side first. Mark where the waist is on the other side of the zipper and pin and stitch the other side.
I slide my quilting ruler into the boiler suit to make it easier to pin the other side.

Quilting ruler

With the edgefoot 10 again I sew the zipper neatly.

Change the foot at the bottom of the zipper to carefully stitch over the zipper.

Last part with open embroidery foot 20


After inserting the sleeves, the belt casing is attached and so is the collar. Then just hem and add a cool belt (thrift shop treasure) and it is time to shine!. The crepe with stretch makes it super comfortable. So happy with it!

Oh wait, the basting threads were still there. Which I secretly like a lot. Just sharing a photo of this, also because you can see better where the pockets 😉






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  • JUNE NICHOLLS EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

    Hello Bernina Team.I recently subscribed to the Inspiration Magazine, and Rebecca gave me a code for a free pattern because there was a delay in acknowledgement of the subscription. I would like to know if I can use the free pattern on any pattern or just on the current inspiration magazine.Kind regardsJune Nicholls                           , I was wondering if I am able to use the free code for the boiler suit or do I use it on the inspiration magazine that I just received. Kind regardsJune Nicholls 

    • ramonawirth EditEditing comments on the BERNINA blog is only possible after logging in with a blog user account. Sign up now or create a user account if you do not have one yet.

      Dear June,

      Since I do not know what code you recieved, I cannot exactly say, since there are different kinds of voucher codes. It does sound like one which can be used on any pattern. You can try it out and see if it works, or best, ask Rebecca if you could use it on any pattern 🙂

      Kind regards, Ramona from BERNINA International

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