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.
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.
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!
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!