Jump to content

Coverall and collar conversion TUTORIAL

Recommended Posts

Imperial Army Collar conversion



Please Email me at tiebomberpilot@gmail.com if you want a copy of my templates. Once your coveralls are in hand and the pockets and collar are picked off this will take a day to complete.

I use AutomotiveWorkwear model CT10 coveralls exclusively. You may prefer Dickies, or another brand of coverall/ boiler suit. You need two pair, one to cut up and one to wear. The pair you cut up does not need to be the same size you wear, so save a few ducats by purchasing a size small or medium of the same coverall. You can also get one and share it with your growing local Army unit. Watch automotiveworkwear.com for sales. Each US Holiday they run a sale with a special code. Even minor holidays get a special promo code, so keep an eye on the site. Make SURE you are cutting up the proper pair. i cannot stress this enough! CAREFULLY remove all pockets with a seam ripper and sharp knife. It will take you about an hour in good light to pull the pockets off. The chest pockets remain in place. Open the leg seam and take out the ruler pocket then stitch it back closed.


Conversion checklist:


1 Remove butt and leg and any arm pencil pockets.

2: remove collars after you wash the coverall.

3 turn coveralls inside out and wash in cold water, or hot water to shrink if needed

4 line dry or dry "hot" to shrink if needed.

5 press coveralls flat from inside. This helps, trust me!

6 Measure the collar opening, overlapping a few inchest. Print templates and resize to fit you and transfer to cereal box cardboard. . Tape to your body to check fit and size.

7. Use chalk to lay out your cut lines plus 5/8" around each part seam allowance.

8. You will be putting on:


Imperial Army style Collar

Thigh pockets and flap

You may add a flap to the top chest pockets

Imperial Army Patches and blank Imperial Army tab (tab is optional per CRL)



Materials list:



2 coveralls black thread and bobbin filled with black thread. black velcro (sew on type preferred)

Long ruler sewing marking chalk tape empty cereal box elastic for leg stirrups snap for closure.



To Begin:




Bust open the bartack seams from the inside of the pocket, between the pocket face and the flap that turns under. Don't cut this bartack next to the coverall itself, you will make a hole if you do. pick out all the loose threads from the fabric. Wash the coveralls in cold water after you take off the pockets. If you want to shrink them , now is a good time and these coveralls shrink up to one size, so be prepared for that when you place your order. You can use warm water or dry them on the dryer "hot" setting to shrink them, which prevents any size malfunctions later on. Trust me on this, I got a big shock after i ordered and converted my first, and then they would not fit! So, better to be prepared for that.

Study how the collar is put on when you take it off. You will be making a new one and putting it on the same way, yours just has extensions added.




Turn the donor coveralls inside out, you will *always* work from the inside of the donor coveralls. Your fabrics' bias runs up and down along the length of the torso and legs, so lay out your templates along the bias plus as a 5/8" (14mm) seam allowance around all pocket parts to turn under and stitch Clean the gunk off the sole of your iron and set it for polyester.

Make up your collar template to fit your coveralls. Many coveralls dip in the front where the original collar was sewn. Play with your pattern until it fits right. Make a rectangle that fits your leg for the thigh pocket. The art shows a simple pocket, not the fancy boxes we have on modern cargo shorts and pants. Simple is accurate. You will need pocket flaps for the thigh pockets .


For the collar, lay out a double width of fabric, leaving enough to turn under and stitch, and make it plenty long to wrap completely around your neck and have overlap. Plan your cuts so that you have enough fabric to make the collar, it takes a lot of fabric to make it. Make it deeper than you think it should be—you will be turning the excess under and stitching in a giant fabric sandwich.


Turn the coveralls to be cut up inside out and iron them on the polyester setting using a big scrap of fabric between the iron and the coveralls. Ironing the inside leaves no shiny spots on the twill. Lay them out flat, and using a fabric pencil or chalk to mark the pockets and collar shapes to be cut, staying with the bias of the fabric. Before you cut, mark the inside of each piece you are about to cut out. Trust me on this. Cut everything out and leave at least 5/8 inch around each part. Make certain that you are not bunching your fabric up and cutting something that you really dont want to cut...it happens! So double check before you cut.


Once your parts are cut out, iron all the parts from the "wrong" or "inside" of the fabric. Identify each piece on the inside with chalk or sewing pencil. Fabric has an "inside" and an "outside" that look different ESPECIALLY UNDER FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY. If you cant tell in room lighting, look at it in sunlight and you can tell which is which. If that does not work, take photos inside with a flash...that will certainly show you.


The original collar is re purposed, cut in half and sewed over the top pockets. I used the butt pockets to make the flaps for the thigh pockets. There is virtually no waste. I also added elastic to help keep my legs pulled down in my boots.


Make up your leg pockets and flaps, and sew them on. I had to open my legs on the inside them sew them shut when I was done. Ive done about 22 Flightsuits so this is no big deal for me. If you can find a way to get them onto the machine and sew them in place…rock on!



The collar is a big treat! Plan this carefully and think this through. You are working in reverse, and when done you will turn it right side out and iron the bottom edges before you put it on the coverall. I suggest you work this out with scrap fabric first. Doing it the first time can be a bit nerve wracking, but trust me, if I can do this, you can too!


BIG NOTE: The collar pics you see are from my Jolly Roger Squadron tutorial. Ignore the big point in the back of the collar. That is NOT SEEN in the art at any time, so just ignore it and rock on.



You need to add Velcro to the INSIDE layer, before you sew the collar together. Make an arrow of Velcro and sew the soft side of Velcro in place on your INSIDE piece. Stitch the collar parts together around the top, down the pointed closure and at the box end, but leave the bottom open where it mounts to the coverall. Trim the point tip, trim the excess fabric, and flip it out again poking it to shape with a stick. Fold under and iron the bottom edge of the collar. You will have a big fabric sandwich at this point. Try the length of the collar against the opening of the suit. Pin the inner flap of the bottom of the collar all way around the neckline and make SURE that the fabric of the coveralls is properly caught by the collar and all the pins: there tends to be gaps when you think you stitched it and it did not grab correctly. Pin the collar at least 1/4 inch inside the suit opening, making adjustments for your neck as needed. You may wish to modifty the pattern to allow for the "dip" the front stormflap takes when they re made in the factory. If you added lots of extra material when you marked the collar near the tabbed closure, it will keep the collar nice and level. Finally mark and sew the rough Velcro on where you need it to close the collar. You have the option to add the snap closure now, or earlier in the process as you feel warranted. Remmber that the snap does not need to function, but it is seen in the art.



Now that you have read it, copy it into Word and print it out so you can mark it up, make notes, etc.


Add your patches, and you are done. Go out and pump some bilge, or blow something up!




Here you see the collar turned right-side-out after sewing One flap is turned under for stitching to the collar neck hole, the other has not been turned under yet. Ignore the big point in the back.



The collar seen here is from my Mechanical Crewman, it is dark blue, not black.



sewed on and ready to add the velcro on the collar itself. The closure tab got velcro in the first step.

  • Like 2
Link to comment

This is great work brother! I can see this tutorial coming in hand to a lot of people, including myself. My sewing skills are not the best.

Link to comment

thats the very reason i wrote the original JRS Coverall tutorial. I wrote it first for me to remember HOW I did it, and for peoiple who are willing to try and learn, and take a hand in their own success. A few of my Velker Flight Pilots cant afford to buy the fancy WW suits, so we make our own. Ive made a bunch of suits in every color, this is FAR simpler.


My intent is for the person who is NOT the sewing master to say


"dammit, Im doing this! "

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

i have just snt another Email out with the conversion template. Its really not that hard if you want to tackle this yourself

Link to comment
  • 1 month later...
  • 3 months later...

dang I didnt see this. 


you can get the Action Back coveralls from Automotive workwear, model CT-10, or black dickies coveralls, whichever a person prefers.  If you are bigger, you want the CT10s.



Link to comment
  • 1 year later...

bumping this topic. 

I dont seem to be able to make a feature of it  My mod actions are visible on tis one. 

Link to comment
  • 3 months later...

for the Elbco / Transcon suits all you need to do is roll down the collar, stitch it, and then take a strip off the lower leg and stitch that in place. Make sure you have a point on the end. Add a snap before you put it on and you are set for L2. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.