Hack: Anja overall for winter

When Swedish Mönsterfabriken released the Anja overall this summer I was away on holiday without my sewing machine and thought how perfect it could be for my summer wardrobe, but too late for this year. I didn’t consider it for winter wear until I saw this photo – it suddenly clicked and I couldn’t get started soon enough.

Anja is a roomy overall or jumpsuit with a dropped crotch, (a Mönsterfabriken signature style,) and the original version has slim spagetti straps tied at the back. It has two similar front versions, one with more shaping than the other to make it easy to fit it to your bust shape. It has a zipper in the back, but you might be able to avoid it if you make sure to get it over your hips. The sizing is generous, so if you size down you probably need the zipper. I made it in the size recommended in the chart, a hip measurement of 102 cm for my 100 cm hip. I could probably get away with the smaller size, too.

The original version is finished with bias tape along the top of the bodice. The bodice has shaping through princess seams. It has topstitching along most of the seams, curved front pockets and patch pockets in the back:

Anja is a perfect summer garment with its airy shape. I really love the look of these versions made in linen, cotton lawn and lightweight denim. Since summer is far away at the moment I needed to adjust it for colder weather and decided to make a version in wool suiting. The idea was to use a fabric with as much drape as lightweight soft fabrics, but a lot warmer. I worried that a very stiff fabric like heavy denim would be too boxy. For layering in winter I prefer fabrics to be substantial enough to hide lumps from the underlying garments – no lightweight cotton or linen on top unless the base layer is very fitted. A lined bodice would do the trick and allow layering shirts and wider sweaters underneath, too.

I think spagetti straps are lovely on naked shoulders or on a t-shirt, but to my eye a version in wool needs more substantial straps. I cut strips on 10 cm for a finished width of 4 cm. Then I drafted a lining and a facing for the bodice. The straps have a finished length of about 38 cm and are sandwiched into the front and back top of the bodice. The fabric is a bright navy wool twill I had in my stash, bought a couple of years ago. I had a remnant of a lovely Atelier Brunette cotton voile which was prefect for lining and pockets.

When I wear my Anja I feel incredibly comfortable, and I’ve been experimenting with layering various tops under it. My favorite (not pictured) is a lightweight grey sweater in cashmere with a wide boatneck, really snuggly. I would like to have a long cardigan for warmth to layer over this with a slim turtleneck under, too. I even made a belt, but frankly I prefer how it looks without it. It kind of lost its cool vibe when I belted it. Anja is definitely at the casual end of the spectrum, and I’m not sure I could carry this off at work, unless it is combined with a nice coatigan/cardigan perhaps? And boots, not sneakers? Forgive me, I’m rambling. It’s definitely a year for experimenting with how to dress for the office, anyway. My colleagues only see less than one third of me most days, working from home as we are. Wearing this around the house is a no-brainer, and I think it is fabulous!

For next summer I really want to make another version in linen, with those lovely slim spaghetti straps. The pattern is a very fun make, and I see lots of hacking potential for making it into shorts, maybe a summer dress, different pockets and so on, but not all at the same time of course.

Pattern: Anja jumpsuit from Mönsterfabriken
Fabric: 2 m wool/poly twill, 240 GSM (sold out)
Size: hip measurement 102 (UK12/EU40)
Time: Apprx. one day

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