Sunday, January 24, 2016

Rosie the Riveter

I finally finished this project!

I made the QT Pie Painter Pants back in November as part of a larger project, and finally all of the pieces are done!

It's a Rosie the Riveter costume!

Rosie the Riveter was an inspirational poster created in World War II.

Women were an important part of the war effort, and they were able to work in positions that had not previously been available to them.

The term "Rosie the Riveter" was first used in a song in 1942, written by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb.

There are two visual versions of Rosie the Riveter, really.

The original was painted by J. Howard Miller in 1942 as part of a series of posters for the war effort. The series was commissioned by the Westinghouse Company's War Production Coordination Committee.

Norman Rockwell painted another version, which was featured on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post on May 29, 1943.

I looked at both of these versions in creating this outfit. The Miller version of Rosie is wearing a blue jumpsuit with a white patch on the collar and a red and white polka dot bandanna.
The Rockwell version is wearing blue overalls and a blue blouse, and has goggles on her head.

My version is really neither of these. I made the QT Pie Painter Pants, because they looked like nice sturdy, practical pants that Rosie would wear.

I made a shirt by adapting my own pattern. I used elements from both the Melody Valerie Yacht Club dress and the Doll Duds Polo shirt. I used mostly adapted pattern pieces from the polo shirt and techniques from the Yacht Club dress.

Here is the shirt in progress:

As with the pants cuffs, I sewed the sleeves cuff so that they are permanently rolled up.

I also appliqued a small white circle on the collar to mimic the pin on the Miller's poster of Rosie.

The reason I departed from both the original Rosie the Riveter paintings was that I was taking several factors into consideration.

I wanted it to be reasonably easy for me to sew and for a child to take on and off a doll, as well as look similar enough that it could be identified as Rosie. A jumpsuit would have been hard for me to draft a pattern and hard to get on and off. I also did not have a pattern for overalls and did not want to buy one.

Neither the pants nor the shirt is one of the best things I have ever sewn. They have a few errors, but this is for a child to play with.

The painter pants are kind of hard to get on and off, especially on Kit. I guess my Kit is one of the chubbier dolls.

I made a kerchief by hemming a square and red and white polka dot material. It is 13.5 inches square. I used the measurements from an American doll brand bandanna that I own.

I used free patterns from the Simplicity website that was offered as a free addition to pattern 1392- the steampunk pirate costume.  Unfortunately, they seem to have taken this down; I haven't found the link to add here. I used crafting foam and clear plastic from a strawberry carton to make the goggles, and added elastic so they could be worn.

The goggles look good on top of her head, but a little odd on her face. They look more like a superhero mask when worn over her eyes!

With a bandanna and goggles, the lucky doll can decide which Rosie the Riveter version she wants to dress up as!

Or why not try both? Her hair AND her eyes are protected, and she can go to work for the war effort!


  1. You really found the perfect fabric for that bandana - nice work!

  2. This is great! I admire people who can adapt patterns because it's something I can't do.


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