Sewing

Dungaree Dress!

February 10, 2016

Hi friends! I hope that the New Year has been treating you well!

Alright, so… my first project for 2016 is… a pair of dungarees! Well, they were supposed to be a pair of dungarees (ie: the kind with trousers/pants on the bottom), but, umm, well, long story short, something sort of happened to my denim yardage while I was cutting out and I wound up with way less yardage than I originally anticipated.

So… a dungadress it is!

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Okay, so let me start out by saying that I probably haven’t worn a pair of dungarees (or overalls, as we call them here in the states) since I was in elementary school, but… when Marilla released the first hints for this pattern last year I became intrigued by them again. I’d seen them popping up online, (like this $300+ pair from Citizens of Humanity and thisΒ $600 suede pair from Free People – whoooooa there!), in shops around the city, and out in the blogosphere again for awhile now, but hadn’t really been tempted.

Like… at all.

I just sort of felt, you know, meh about the whole overalls trend. Probably because the last time that I wore them I was still learning long division and playing on the monkey bars at recess. It was just really hard for me to see myself wearing them as an adult.

But all of her sneak peek photos definitely made me reconsider! They looked so amazing and different and casual and fun and I eagerly awaited the release date for the pattern.

Spoiler Alert: I wasn’t disappointed!

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The cool thing is, if you buy this pattern, what you’re really buying is a whole dungaree/jumper wardrobe. You get a short sleeve shirt pattern and two dungaree style options that you can mix and match.

The two top options for the dungarees include a low hanging bib with skinny straps (like the option I picked – it’s labeled “C1”) and a short sleeved, button front version. The two bottom options included are a more traditional trouser style as well as a skirt option w/two lengths. I chose the skinny straps/skirt option (and added a few modifications of my own, just for fun), but still have plans to attempt the top pattern and the trousers version in the future too.

You definitely get a lot of bang for your buck with this one… and it’s enough to keep you happily sewing away testing out different combos for quite awhile.

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I have no idea where the denim that I used for this project came from. I just know that it had probably been in my fabric stash for about three or four years since it had rainbow colored threads around the raw edges from back when I was first learning how to use my serger. It also wasn’t labeled with any sort of fiber content, purchasing info, amount of yardage, etc. which most of the fabrics in my stash now have.

I’m guessing that it came from JoAnns though, since that’s mostly what I had access to back then, but I’m still not entirely sure. Dark blue dye kept bleeding off onto my hands the entire time that I was working with it even though it had been pre-washed and even tumbled through the dryer (multiple times!), but it’s a nice medium weight and has a nice amount of stretch to it.

Anyway… it’s mystery denim!

Just makes life a little more exciting, I guess! πŸ˜‰

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(Heeeellooo world! Take a look at my armpits! Haha, just kidding. Awkward photo aside, here’s how the sides of the dress look hanging a bit more loosely – so you can see the shape a bit better without my hands on my hips. πŸ™‚ Β )

As far as sizing goes, I took a look at the measurements and cut a size 2 based on my body measurements. My bust and hip measurement were slightly smaller than the measurements listed for size 2, but were quite a bit larger than size 1, so I ended up going with the size 2, figuring that I could take in a bit extra at the sides if needed. After stitching up the side seams, I ended up taking them in by an extra 3/8″.Β Since the pattern is supposed to have a slouchy fit, even with this extra amount removed, it’s still more “comfortably body skimming” than skin tight, which I really like. Made out of stretch denim, it’s also really comfortable!

It’s worth noting that the front pattern piece on the skirt isn’t actually supposed to have a seam. I ended up splitting that pattern piece into two separate pieces due to the amount of fabric that I had left. It was done entirely out of necessity and I wasn’t sure about it (since I really like the original look of the pattern), but I ended up liking it a lot once I added the extra topstitching. It’s just another variation that you can play with on this one.

I also shortened the skirt pieces by 5 inches (shortened by 3 inches on skirt lengthen/shorten line marked on pattern pieces and by 2 inches when folding up at skirt hem).

The pocket on the front of the dungaree bib was self-drafted. To make it I just sort of looked at the bib, took into account the seam allowances all around the sides and then… just sort of went for it. I sketched out the general size/shape of the pocket that I wanted on a piece of paper, then neatened it up with a ruler before I cut it out of the fabric.

The two back pockets were made by using the back pocket pattern piece from Itch to Stitch’s Liana Stretch JeansΒ (haven’t made them yet, but also on my sewing queue!), andΒ modified the topstitching on them to match the rest of the look for this garment. In order to place them, I tried the garment on before I sewed up the sides and attached the front strap buttons and used these clover clips to hold it all together while I stood in front of the mirror and… well, um, basically just kind of traced the outline of my butt with a chalk pen (if you do this, please make sure to check on a scrap first to make sure that your specific pen will wash out of your fabric later!). While wearing the in-progress garment, I marked a line where the top curve of my butt began and another line where it ended. Then, after checking out the pocket placement on a few well-fitting pairs of jeans, I traced two more lines a few inches in from the side seam at each side. After I removed the garment, I straightened up what I’d just traced with a ruler and set and stiched the pockets. Highly technical, I know… but I think it worked out just fine in a pinch.

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I also tried out a few denim distressing techniques using a sanding block and some sandpaper using some tips from Angela Wolf and . I enjoyed the process so much that I *may* have been a little overzealous on the pocket edges, which you can see here. These pictures were all taken after the garment was washed after sewing it up by the way, so you can see how it’s faded in little areas, especially in these detailed shots. It was an entirely solid piece of deep dark blue denim before the distressing.

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Yay, pockets! Yeah, I know… these pictures are always a bit awkward. But check out that pretty pattern that’s hiding in the pockets. I think it’s an Atelier Brunette print and it was very generously gifted to me by the lovely Elle. She happened to send me the perfect amount to use to line the bib and the two pockets on this project and the fun print makes me smile every time I see it (doesn’t it sort of remind you of confetti?). Thanks Elle!

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Similar to the previous photo, but in this one you can see the buttons/snaps! This was my first time ever placing them, and although I practiced first, I did goof a little and the fabric got a bit wonky there so I added a little extra top stitching to (hopefully) help draw attention away from the area. Thinking it’s going to be one of those things that only I will notice though, and it’s in a spot on the garment that’s generally covered by a bag or my arm, so I’m not going to let it bother me too much.

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Overall, I highly recommend this one, especially if you want to add something a little fun and different to your wardrobe! I definitely want to try out a few more variations on styles from the Roberts CollectionΒ in the future. Maybe something in linen or a fun, shimmery, metallic print for the summer!

What do you think about the dungaree trend? Have you ever worn them? Would you try sewing a pair?

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great rest of your week!

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  • http://blog.lindsaywoodward.com/ Lindsay Woodward

    That is so cute on you! I love all the topstitching accents! I’ve been on the fence about dungarees – I think they can look really great on other people, but I’m afraid that with my body type I’d just look childish. I guess I should go try some on in a store before I commit to sewing any!

    • Juli

      Thanks Lindsay! Since I have a relatively long torso, it’s always been really difficult to find ready-to-wear overalls that fit properly… so now I’m super curious to try sewing up a pair with the trouser-style bottoms! Doing some “sneaky sewing research” would totally be worth it to help decide if you like the style. It might be a matter of just finding a style or fabric that you really like for them, but I think that you could definitely pull them off! πŸ™‚

  • www.tresbienensemble.com

    I love denim everything right now. So, I can easily see adding this sort of garment to my closet! Your dungaree dress is fantastic. Thanks for such a thorough pattern review.

    • Juli

      Thanks Michelle! I could totally see you making these! πŸ˜€

  • http://gingermakes.com/ Sonja @ Ginger Makes

    Oh wow, this is so cute on you!! Love love love love love! I’m a bit afraid to wear them myself- I’m pretty sure I would look like a little kid. I retired my last pair of overalls as a high school student when a member of the basketball team picked me up by my straps and carried me down the hallway… embarrassing!

    • Juli

      Oh my gosh, that’s sort of a funny story now (like if I saw it happen in a tv show or movie, I’d probably laugh), but I’m sure was one of those things that was pretty mortifying at the time! Anyway, I think you could pull them off if you ever want to try them again! Maybe some kind of linen (or the right brocade fabric, even?) pair wouldn’t feel quite so little kid-ish? πŸ™‚

  • Elena Knits

    Lovely dungadress! I always wanted to make a pair of dungarees but I am not sure I will be able to pull it off…

    • Juli

      Thanks Elena! Do it, do it – seriously! I could totally see you wearing a pair!!

  • Juli

    Thanks Meg!

  • Teresa Buckthought

    I remember having a pair of stone wash overalls when I was about 10 and I thought I was the queen of style! I think your version is really cute, I’d totally make/wear something like this. All the pockets are awesome xo

    • Juli

      Haha, thanks Teresa! I felt the exact same way about a denim pair that I had when I was about the same age that had these big brightly colored embroidered patches all over them. I used to wear them with a pair of shiny bright yellow Ked sneakers and thought I was pretty cool! You should definitely give this pattern a try, there are so many style options to play around with to find your perfect style/fit.

  • http://www.thepugandneedle.com Heather

    I love your dungaree skirt!! It’s so cute and the little details you added are perfect Juli! I can’t wait to see what else you make from this collection! I’ve made the top and it’s really great!

    • Juli

      Aw thanks so much Heather!! It’s such a comfy layering item, so it’s been getting a lot of wear this winter! I really, really love your Liberty top with the contrasting panel that you made from the collection too. I think that’s probably one of my all time favorite Liberty prints and it’s so perfect for that top! πŸ˜€