I have always loved dungarees. Or anything with a pinafore type top.
When I was pregnant I had a pair of maternity dungaree shorts and I also used to slop around in a pair of vintage men’s Lee dungarees which were so comfortable.
I’ve been on the lookout for another vintage pair for a while but haven’t been able to find any that don’t make me look pregnant again lol. I’ve tried on so many pairs in vintage shops but nothing was remotely any good. So I decided that I would attempt to make my own. I was pretty set on what they needed to look like and was worried that finding a pattern would be tricky. I wanted something slightly oversized and not fitting but not too oversized and I wanted something that looked authentic – as if they could possibly be vintage. Finally I found The Kwik Sew K3897 pattern. Although I wasn’t overly impressed with the envelope photograph I thought I could make them work for me.
The next job was to find denim in the weight I wanted. I ordered about 4 or 5 samples of different weights and colours, washed and dried them all and settled on an 8oz rigid indigo ring spun denim from fabricUK.com. It is the perfect weight for what I had in mind and after washing it and purchasing some twin needles and lots of topstitching thread I was ready to go.
For about the second time in my life I actually made a rough muslin, I don’t usually have the patience and need immediate results from my sewing projects. The pattern sizes were XS-S-M-L-XL and although the measurements were given I wanted to try to make sure I selected the correct size for the fit I needed.
I settled on medium and found the actual construction fairly straightforward. I did have a bit of an issue with the tension with the twin needling to begin with but once that was sorted I was away!
I found the whole process quite exciting and very satisfying. I had tried twin-needling before so was pretty confident about that, but I’d never done it with top stitching thread. The corners took a bit of YouTubing to work out how to do it so it looked neat. The back pockets look as if they are not properly spaced in that photo but I swear that I measured them and that they didn’t look like that! some of the seam areas were a bit thick and tricky to sew over and I did have to unpick few areas that I wasn’t really happy with. White topstitching on indigo denim isn’t very forgiving.
The only bit that I did struggle with was the side seam just under the front pocket (shown below before fronts were stitched to backs) but all in all I’m pretty pleased with the results. They have already had a lot more wear than anything I’ve made for myself previously, and I really feel that they don’t have that ‘home made’ look about them. They also have the added benefit that they are slightly oversized meaning they are very comfy with my ‘lockdown belly’!
I was also quite pleased with my bar tacking…
I bought the buttons and bib clips from Ebay. The buttons were much easier to fit than I’d expected and have proved to be very secure. There were lots of different clips available but they all looked a bit too flimsy. These ones were a bit more expensive than most (about £4.75 if I remember correctly) but I think the project called for them.
The fabric company also sell the same denim but in black so I am considering making a black pair with gold topstitching but in the small size. I think the small will still have a bit of room in them and I’ll also make them slightly longer. I love to have a big turn up on my jeans.
The final 4 funky photos courtesy of my eldest daughter Ruby.