One item that has been long missing in my wardrobe is a good pair of dungarees. Actually, any pair of dungarees! I looked at the Turia Dungarees from Pauline Alice when they came out, but didn’t buy them, eventually bought the Burnside Bibs from Sew House Seven last year (still haven’t even traced those!) and spent another year on the allotment without the most perfectly practical item of clothing. Dungarees.
So exactly why am I so keen on dungarees for the allotment? Well, in the colder weather I wear an ancient pair of Next jeans. The elasticity isn’t very good in those anymore and they definitely require the use of a belt. But they still keep slipping down, so require frequent hoiking up – not easily done with muddy gloves. In the summer I use old linen trousers, they’re generally ok, but also need pulling up now and then. I don’t like tucking my shirts in, so the other problem is tee shirts going the wrong way when I’m weeding or digging. The wind likes it when it can blow my clothes the wrong way. So I’m after something that has good pockets, doesn’t need pulling up – or down, and is loose and comfy to wear when I get hot and bothered!
Enter the best enabler around these days, Instagram. Sue from Fadinista posted a couple of pairs of dungarees she’d made from a Pattern Union pattern, the Phoebe Jumpsuit with the Bib and Tucker add-on. It was perfect! I immediately clicked through to her blog and devoured all the details. I just knew this was the perfect pattern to make for my allotment dungarees, so I clicked through to the Pattern Union website and made my purchase. The Phoebe Jumpsuit pattern is actually FREE! I know, right?! You pay for the add-ons, there’s the Bib & Tucker add-on, a package for pockets, a skirt to make a pinafore, a shirred top version, and now a flared trouser add-on. I just bought the Bib & Tucker, figuring I could draft my own pockets fairly easily enough.
The PDF pattern comes with a print at home option, as well as my favourite copy shop version. Hubby did the honours for me, and I set about tracing. The pattern has different cup sizes, I made the 14, with D&E cup option, opting for the low-waisted trousers and high waisted top, hoping the right pieces would hit in the right places. I toiled in an old sheet from the charity shop, and then set about making alterations. The crotch hit me mid-thigh…. The hem finished about 5cm beyond my big toe, and the seam joining top to trousers lay at the top of my hip bone, about 5cm short of my waist. That’s most definitely not what I’d expected for “high-waisted”!! Sooooo….
I took 5cm out of the leg length, 3cm out of the crotch, kept the low waist trousers, shortened the bodice by 3cm and kept the high waisted line. I also took up a 4cm deep hem. And went down a size! The fit is much better in the size 12, the length is better too, but the waistline is still not on my waist. I don’t think it’s a train-smash, but I might shorten the bodice again, transferring the length lost to the trousers, probably lifting the waist seam.
The pockets were going to be self-drafted, but then again, why re-invent the wheel?? I used the Zadie Jumpsuit pockets, nice and big. I’ve opted to have buttons on the straps this time, they’re vintage wooden buttons that were sent to me by a friend. They go very well with the hazel coloured linen I bought from Fabworks earlier this year for making my dungarees. The fabric thought it was destined for those un-traced Burnside Bibs!
I’m really liking these dungarees, they’re almost too nice to wear on the allotment! I might have to make more, definitely a denim or twill version for the cooler weather. But I will wear these, they will be fabulously practical to wear for gardening, and I can’t wait for the weather to improve so I can get back out there! With all this rain, I’ll need a pair in raincoat fabric. After wearing these on the allotment all day, I think I’ll be looking to alter the curve of the crotch seam, it’s not sitting quite right. I’ll also make sure any new pair has more interfacing along the top edge, with all the moving and digging the buttonhole area gets a lot of stress. I am thinking of adding a bib pocket, and possible a bum pocket too. The Zadie pockets have worked really well, they’re a good depth for holding loads in! I’ve been really comfy in these all day, they’re well deserving of a big thumbs up! This is my entry to the #SewTogetherForSummer challenge being run on Instagram, I needed the push to get these made!