Denim Dungaree Dress – Pauline Alice Turia Hack

img_0211 This is a make that I had originally finished four months ago (yes, four months ago! I had to check instagram to be sure) but since it has recently undergone a structural change to make it more wearable it feels like a new make. It is based on the Pauline Alice Turia dungarees. I really wanted a dungaree dress after seeing so many nice versions around both online and in the shops. I even tried some on in the shops to be sure I would like it. Finding a pattern I liked wasn’t such an easy feat though. There weren’t so many options in May/June when I was planning this. The Marilla Walker Roberts Collection dungaree dress is nice but I wanted something more traditionally dungaree-like. I love the jumpsuit option in the Roberts Collection and will probably buy it for that alone but the thin straps of the dungarees didn’t appeal to me. Since I made this I have noticed some more options – Rachel from House Of Pinheiro‘s self drafted dress tutorial being one but at the time my best option was to take the Pauline Alice dungarees pattern as a base and hack it into a dress. There were a few people who had done this already so I knew it was possible and the process was made easier by the very helpful tutorial on the Pauline Alice blog.

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The fabric is a really thick, really stiff denim from Mandors that I bought on a mini sewing blogger meet up in Glasgow. They were selling it for £5 per metre which is cheap for Mandors. And I’m not sure why as it’s 100% cotton and a good colour. I thought it would do as an experiment, after all i didn’t know for sure how the hack would fare and making a mess of £5 per metre fabric is always preferable to ruining £10 per metre fabric. The stiffness of this denim helps the dress to hold a nice shape, though, I suspect a different sewing machine might have struggled with the many folds in the pockets and seams. My machine is a heavy duty workhorse and handled it without a whimper.

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The tutorial was really easy to follow. The cutting lines are clearly marked on the diagram provided – all I did was curve the blue line on the back piece to create a bit of shaping at the back as I wanted it to hug my back instead of hanging straight down. The issue I had when it was done and I first wore it out was that it was just too big. I had imagined a loose shape at the sides but it just looked shapeless and unflattering. I put up with it for a couple of wears but then I stopped wearing it because it just didn’t feel nice on. I knew all I had to do was unpick the side zip and the bias binding on the inside, take it in and then re-do the zip and binding (and all that topstitching!!!) but I just couldn’t face it. The nagging feeling that you get when you know you should do something but don’t (surely not just me!) pursued me for a while until I could bear the guilt no more and then, three months after making my dungaree dress, I sat down and within an hour I had fixed it. It always amazes me how I can be so enthusiastic about making an item but when it comes to fixing, adjusting sides or taking up a hem I have tendency to leave things languishing in a pile. It’s a terrible habit, I know!

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Anyway, that’s all in the past now and I have a dungaree dress that I love and wear often. And it’s better than all the dungaree dresses I tried on in the shops!

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2 thoughts on “Denim Dungaree Dress – Pauline Alice Turia Hack

  1. This looks so great! I love that you’ve made the bodice more fitted, definitely something I’d wear myself too. Well done for going back to it too, it’s so hard to do that, even when you know it wouldn’t take long to fix!

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