Squash Pinnie

More bibbed corduroy? More bibbed corduroy!

I feel like I’ve spent a lot on patterns this year (am I haunted by what I learned about myself by forking over $30 for a single pattern? Maaaybe), but I’ve also reused or outright copied a fair few, including the Pauline Alice Turia dungarees. These are a reuse AND a copy, since I based my modifications heavily on photos of Tilly and the Button’s Cleo + this tutorial.

I wasn’t too direct, by which I mean I didn’t bother with a front or back seam – why cut apart and then try to reattach and topstitch perfectly parallel corduroy wales, y’know? – but the general notion of a shortie dungaree dress with no waist seam agreed with me, and ’tis the season. By the way, I completely failed to notice I already have pants made from this exact same corduroy until I got it home. It cost $12.75/yard not quite three years ago; this time I paid an eye-smarting $17/yard. Eek. 

But I guess I know what I want! This is useful, when I can find it. It’s a little trickier when I can’t. Specifically, I struggled to buy traditional overalls buckles, even for ready money.

I could only find the hardware locally at Gather Here, and only in a Merchant & Mills pack with two buckles and a handful of rivets for fifteen extremely bold-faced dollars. My money’s not that ready! I don’t care if the buckles were forged in the fires of Mount Doom – I’m not paying $15 for $4 – $6 worth of hardware.

Then I remembered the extremely ragged pair of Turias in my mending basket. They’re not getting used any time soon, so I stripped the brassy buckles from those. Then I re-remembered ANOTHER pair of Turias, pristine in my giveaway box, so I swapped the brass buckles for their nickel set. And happily this shell game resulted in my ideal outcome, a nice cool silvery finish against the warm corduroy!

I’m pretty jazzed about all my finishes, in fact. This project was so fast and straightforward, and the sides so relatively short, that I decided to bias bind the seams. I think they’re just plain handsome. I left the top ¼” and the bottom 1.25” of the side seams unbound to reduce bulk when turning those edges.

I could have bound a little closer to the bottom hem, since I elected not to take that full allowance. But I bridged the gap with yet more binding so everything is still sealed and pretty. I did baste the sides together pretty early in the sewing process since I wasn’t sure if I was even in the ballpark of a reasonable hem length; I had already added 3” to the Turia shorts length, but I was prepared to use either a facing or extension as needed. In the end 3” was enough, but since I like sewing turned hems better than faced hems, another 1” of turning allowance wouldn’t go amiss.

Also, this basting check also confirmed what I had hoped – I wouldn’t need a side seam opening. It’s a wiggle in/wiggle out situation.

I’m really happy with the binding/corduroy combination! I couldn’t find a perfect match to the Kaufman corduroy color (Russet), but this Kona cotton in Roasted Pecan was darn close and it rang my tonal bell. I used bias binding to face the curved pocket openings and the side seam curves, following as always this Grainline technique, which wildly requires no ironing.

I pinned estimated pocket placements when I basted the front and back together, but ultimately moved them all a bit anyway. The original Turia bum pockets are small – these are a good 1” wider on each side, plus I only folded over ¼” before topstitching, and they’re still not huge. I widened the front pockets a smidge too, but just a little and on the fly.

My first needle broke when I was topstitching the patch pockets in place, specifically where the bias facing folded back over itself, but after that I switched to a fresh 90/14 needle and had no more issues.

I did a little sneaky Googling to figure out how the TATB Cleo dungaree dress was finished and found this very helpful blog post from Thread Carefully. One of the nice details of the Turia, though, is how the top edges of the front and back bibs are faced for a couple inches. It’s a stable finish that uses fabric efficiently. The Cleo facings looked like a fabric hog, so I stuck with what I knew. I also triple-layered the top front edge by folding the facing extension twice to support the rivets, and skipped interfacing.

By the way, have you ever had the experience of doing something you know to be correct and still being surprised at a successful outcome? That was me, lining the straps with quilting cotton instead of self-fabric. I trimmed a scanty 1/8” from one long edge of each quilting cotton piece and sure enough, the corduroy rolls to the back! It’s like…there’s a good reason I’m supposed to do stuff like that!

Anyway, I’m 1. Generally self-aware and 2. Specifically self-aware that I look like a butternut squash while wearing this, but I like it and it’s cozy and I’m happy and it all came out according to plan. With one exception: I have such a weird amount left of the corduroy – a full foot selvedge-to-selvedge, and a large additional rectangle. No clue how I’m gonna use it!

Luckily I love butternut squash! 

Pattern: Pauline Alice Turia dungarees

Pattern cost: NA

Size: 44 bust/48 hip (estimated); merged bibs and bottoms; cut as skirt, 3″ longer than shorts; cut on fold; used 3/8″ seam allowance on side seams

Supplies: 1.5 yards of Robert Kaufman 14 wale corduroy in Russet; .5 yards of Kona cotton in Roasted Pecan, $29.30, Gather Here; thread, $2.39, Michael’s; hardware from stash

Total time: 6.25 hours

Total cost: $31.69

Shorteralls

A bunch of things recently happened simultaneously:

I’ve always had what a certain era of crime fiction describes as “the body of a well-nourished female”; this continues to be true if not truer, and all at once my years-old Morgan jeans were too tight on my thighs.

Two of my three remaining pairs of Ginger jeans gave up the ghost. These were also several years old, so not too surprising. One gave out at the inner thigh (classic) and the OTHER ONE’S ZIPPER EXPLODED.

And finally, my dear mummy mailed me a care package of several pairs of brand-new tights. Um, ka-CHING.

So I’m channeling my 2016-era Phoebe Waller-Bridge and wearing shorts over tights this season, plus relying more on skirts and tights for warmth (my lesson from last year), and the upshot is I rediscovered some stuff in my closet, including this old pal. This is my first-ever pair of Pauline Alice Turia dungarees!

One of my clearest memories of sewing this pair was that the fabric smelled baaad. Why? I still don’t know. But the smell persisted after several vinegar washes, especially when I heated the fabric, like with an iron. Based on the many search results for “how to get smell out of new jeans” it’s a not-uncommon denim thing! It’s totally faded away now, but these dungarees are five years old.

One thing I didn’t remember is that I apparently bought 1.44 yards of denim for this project. It had to be a remnant, right?! There’s no other possibility for getting that length, unless fabric was sold by the 4%-of-a-yard back in 2017. Anyway, apart from the odor and the oddly specific yardage, this is a classic 6.5 ounce black denim (not true black, but it never was!), and I heartily endorse this weight for short-eralls. It’s a little light for full length pants, but feels just right for a little shortie layer that I used to wear bare-legged in the summer (scandal!) and now enjoy over tights in the fall.

I didn’t record my starting pattern size back then (HONEY) but at a guess: 46. I did record the following changes: reduced front leg width 5/8″; reduced back leg 1 5/8″ at waist, blending to 1 1/4″ at leg; changes reflected in paper pattern. That last bit is crucial, and should have informed me going forward not to expect packet measurements from my altered pattern copy. However, since I am a ruthless doofus, I usually write that sort of thing on the pattern paper too (plus a date, in case of future changes), and I failed to do so on this one. At least it explains the problems I’ve had with fitting this pattern more recently!

The hardware came from a short-lived shop on Beacon Hill called Mercer’s Fabric; I bought a three pack of buckles in 2017 and have not had to buy them since. This is the only set still attached to its original garment, though – the other two have been recycled forward a couple times each.

I bought two zippers as directed but only sewed one. It’s nominally an invisible zipper, and I just about can’t think of a worse idea than two invisible zippers. I didn’t get the installation quite right so the zipper tape top doesn’t meet the overalls edge; instead I added a little button and loop to hold the very top closed. I’m waiting with a kind of morbid excitement for my fraying beginner button loop to fail. But it’s still here.

I goofed on the envelope pocket too. When sewn correctly, the flap is attached right-side-to-wrong side of the main pocket piece and then flipped forward to enclose the top edge. Alternatively, you could do what I did, fully misunderstand, and topstitch every edge to the bib including the top one, so what you have is not a patch pocket but a patch.

The seams of these overalls are finished with a combination of flat-felled seams – center front and center back; bias tape – back bib; serging (using what was then my brand! New! Serger!) – front bib and side seams; and the pocket openings – just clipped and turned once. At the time I felt some doubt about the clipped curves, but they’ve maintained just fine!

And honestly even if they hadn’t I can’t see lightly getting rid of these because one time I wore them to work and a sixth-grader suspiciously asked if I was cosplaying as Lenny from Legion. FLIPPIN’ I AM NOW.

It’ll be interesting to see how much longer I fit into these. They would have been loosy-goosier and more casual five years ago (I recall I once wore them to go hiking) but I think this fit is pretty cute too, especially over my new mock-neck shirts. (I’m finding these so useful, not least because they make me feel like an X-Man (an image search reveals no visual correlation between X-Men and mock necks, but I still feel like one)).

These will probably be a remake-and-replace when the time comes. The fabric is easy enough to source, and the utility is high. Annoyingly, due the above-mentioned recent fitting struggles with this pattern, I threw out my printed copy a few weeks ago, so I’ll have to reprint.

But I think these are worth the tape!

Final PSA: these shorties are SHORT!

Pattern: Pauline Alice Turia dungarees

Pattern cost: $9.00

Size: 46 (estimated); reduced front leg width 5/8″; reduced back leg 1 5/8″ at waist, blending to 1 1/4″ at leg

Supplies: 1.44 yards Black Washed Denim 6.5 oz, $17.08, Gather Here; zippers, $2.50, Gather Here; buckles, $3.75, Mercer’s Fabric; thread from stash

Total time: 9.75 hours

Total cost: $32.33

Navy Corduroy Roberts

I wore holes into my PA Turia dungarees (pattern here), so they’ve taken up semi-permanent residence in my mending basket until (I’m guessing) I’m snowed in with no projects, at which point I might dabble in life-saving surgery. In the meantime I find it hard to picture going through life without immediate access to navy corduroy overalls, so I turned around and made some more.

Since I was deeply unwowed by my last PA Turias I pulled out Marilla Walker’s Roberts collection. I’ve made the MW Roberts dungarees once before with a pile of changes, chronicled here, but I wanted to play it straight this time, inspired by Fabric Tragic’s black pair. I think there’s something insouciant about the Roberts silhouette! I want strenuously to be insouciant!

Plus I laid out my pattern pieces to check and the Frugal Dougal (some kind of budget-conscious magical miniature Irishman, I guess?) on my shoulder whispered that I could probably get this pattern out of two yards of 54” wide fabric. And praise Enya, I could!

There was one compromise I had to make if I wanted to use corduroy and fit the pattern into two yards: the nap would have to run in opposite directions on the front and back, but as long as I walked forcefully into every interaction and moonwalked out again, nobody would have to know. Also, the front bib is lined in self-fabric; to save fabric, I had to cut the lining upside-down relative to the front nap, but I labeled the wrong side of the upside-down bib “FACING” and considered the problem solved.

Obviously I forgot I had done this, and also that there was a need to do this, and the next time I saw that “FACING” label was when I was sewing the FACING piece as the outer and the outer piece as a FACING, but by then I’d already hard committed by sewing the side button openings which overlap that seam, so ship = sailed.

I would classify the mistake as “visible but unimportant”. As are my other, more deliberate changes to the pattern. First, I drafted out the tucks on the front leg below the waist, and I even edited my ‘master pattern’ – the printed version that I return to, and that I expect to reflect all necessary changes. The top edge of front leg now has a slight dip in the center instead of being perfectly level across, but I once saw a video (I wish I could find and link it) where a designer showed an edge like that, and how when you force it into a straight line, it pops out the volume into the fabric below. And that volume is perfect for my rounded stomach! I adjusted the front pocket pieces to match.

I also sewed two hip openings instead of one. It turns out the necessary number of hip openings to pull these off and on is zero, but at least they’re useless AND symmetrical. This took a bit of doing – after sewing the front and back facings, I realized one side was misaligned by a healthy ¾”, and did a fair amount of unpicking and easing to get it to match the other. Unlike the facing/outer conundrum above, this was absolutely worth the time.

I’m going to eat a quick bite of crow and mention that I wasn’t very flattering about the Roberts directions for the hip openings when sewing my heavily edited version – but actually they’re totally fine, provided I follow them! The diagrams are clear and the order of operations makes sense.

For my last barely-a-change, I extended the straps so I could feed them through buttonholes on the front bib and knot them. I liked the idea of being able to wear these overalls snug or loose, depending on the shirt. That works fine. But I discovered too late that I really should have sewed the buttonholes horizontally, as the straps have to do a little half-twist to orient to the holes.

I have another category of changes, which is “invisible but important”. This includes adding interfacing to the button extensions (I keep saying buttons, but I used jean rivets) and to the top edge of the front bib. Because the side buttonholes go through two layers of corduroy and their seam allowances, I forewent interfacing there. My favorite neat little addition, though, is an extra step when sewing some seam allowances.

When using heavier fabric or lots of layers, I think turned corners can look a little soft/mushy, but I discovered that if I pre-fold the seam allowances in one direction and stitch them down, I get a much crisper result. This was especially useful on the back bib.

There’s no before image, but I’m very happy with the after!

In the category “future changes”, I’d like to make my next pockets deeper. These feel a little chancy. Otherwise, these dungarees are completely comfortable!

They’ve passed a series of tests – the crawl-around-the-floor-doing-a-project test, the curled-up-with-a-book test, even the I’m-doing-laundry-but-don’t-have-a-hand-for-the-wooly-dryer-balls-so-carry-them-in-my-bib test.

I anticipate getting lots of use from these, and hopefully will be able to use the scraps to repair my old Turias, too! I love corduroy season.

Pattern: Marilla Walker’s Roberts dungarees

Pattern cost: NA

Size: 5; drafted out tuck; applied side placket to both hips; lengthened straps

Supplies: 2 yards of Robert Kaufman 21 wale corduroy in Navy, $35.45, Fancy Tiger Crafts; thread, Michael’s, $3.59

Total time: 6 hours

Total cost: $39.04

OshKosh B’Gosh B’gone?

For a while I’ve been thinking about making a new, improved set of PA Turia dungarees. I decided my next pair would use stretch denim, and I was convinced I wanted them to be blue. Not black or indigo, just true blue, so when I finally found some blue (ding!) stretch (ding ding!) denim (ding ding ding!) at this Etsy shop, I happily ordered 3 yards. When it arrived (unbelievably quickly, props) I looked at the blue denim in front of me, this thing I wanted for so long. And I couldn’t remember why.

So: wrong side! It’s a highly acceptable blue-grey! It’s preferable to the blue, but I can’t say I would have picked it otherwise. This color situation was the first indication that my sewing caught the prevailing spirit of the times. These dungarees were ever-so-slightly doomed.

But because I didn’t know that yet I launched into these with a can-do spirit, making some changes I’d been hoping for to the pattern – I split the back horizontally at the waist, lengthened the legs 2” from the bottom, added a waistband, and planned a side-button closure. I decided also to change the pocket to a single-layer pocket instead of a patch pocket.

My ‘drafting’ was limited to the rectangles for the waistband pieces and the fly shields, and the fly extensions for the sides. The waistband was meant to serve three purposes: to allow more room for vertical girth (my original corduroy pair is a bit binding when I bend), to strengthen the connection between the bib and the pants, and to finish the waist neatly. All three purposes were satisfied, but me, not so much. I figured a waistband would add vertical space without having to edit the rise, and this is both true and sort of missing the point of adjustable straps. Surprising exactly one person – myself –everything sits correctly only when the straps are yanked way up. BY THE WAY: one of my straps is twisted in every photo, but this is called cinéma vérité.

Anyway, I gave myself more than enough height, but I was surprised by width. I knew that once the side button closures were sewn, it would be impossible to change the outseam seam allowances. This worried me a little because I remembered having to take in my first pair over and over, but Lia-from-the-past had already trimmed the paper pattern pieces (without noting having done so, LIA!!) so when I did a quick baste-fit they were actually a little snug. I ultimately used a 5/8” sa on the crotch and inseams, and 3/8” sa on the outseams.

I’m not singing praise songs about these overalls, but I am feeling pretty good about the way I sewed my side button closures! I read this CC post about adding hip buttons to Jenny overalls, and this True Bias Lander pants button fly tutorial, and mashed those up to find a technique that would work with my pattern pieces.   

I’m proud of that. It’s not perfect, but it works. In a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’, though, don’t forget to interface the noted pieces. 😬

By the way, I finished my pocket edges by double-folding the fabric to the back; the extension was shaped like this.

It wasn’t until I took my front leg pattern pieces to the ironing board to press those edges in place that I noticed I had cut 2 the same instead of mirrored. Happily, I had just enough fabric to recut one front leg, but it obliterated my leftover yardage. Still! I’d rather use it if I’ve got it! I used the extra wrong leg to cut some smaller pieces, like the fly  shields and bib pocket(s).

I actually made 3 bib pockets and selected none of the above. This stretch denim was too spongy-springy to press really nicely into shape, and my pockets looked bulky and uneven. Well, two of them did. The first one might have been perfect, but I trimmed the seam allowances way too aggressively and burst through a corner, so the bib has no pocket. It’s wide. It’s bland. It’s too late now!

My front and back bib edges were serged and folded once, then sewed down from the wrong side.

I didn’t clip the curves on the back, but the stretch compensated for that. I don’t love this denim, but credit where credit is due: the bobbin stitching looked just as nice against it as the topstitching, which is never guaranteed. Also, I ran out of tonal thread at the end of the project with just 2” left unsewn on one leg hem, but I shrugged and used the wrong color, and hey, who can tell!

Sewing overalls is a lot like sewing pants, plus extras; it’s not a very speedy process, and I kept setting myself back. Still, after my cutting and construction woes, I was eager to try on the finished pair. They feel terrific. I think they look awful.

The crotch is too long. The back is buckling. They’re snug in a band across my lower belly, but loose above and below. Also, I think these are just fighting my form. I tend towards the in-and-out-y, but these make me feel like a Minecraft person, boxes stacked on boxes. Part of me appreciates that blocky simplicity, but I also feel like a Wisconsin youngster with Bigs disease* (*okay so, a long time ago I mixed up the plots of the Robin Williams vehicle “Jack” and the Tom Hanks movie “Big”, neither of which I’ve actually seen, but I committed then and I’m not backing down now!!).

That said, I gave them a day’s grace and they’re almost too comfortable to believe – soft and stretchy, warm but not heavy. I marked the giveaway reason on my sewing spreadsheet as “fit” before I even strung the buckles, but now I’m not so sure. In the words of The Clash, “Don’t you know which clothes even fit me?”

And to paraphrase them further: should these stay or should they go?!

Pattern: PA Turia dungarees

Pattern cost: NA (repeat)

Size: 40 outseam, 48 crotch and inseam; extended legs 2″, split back and added front and back waistbands (finished width 1 1/2″), added side button fly extensions; used 3/8″ seam allowance on outseams

Supplies: 3 yards of 50″ wide 12 oz. true blue stretch denim, $42.00, etsy (AdFabric); thread, hardware from stash

Total time: 9.5 hours

Total cost: $42.00

Overall this 2020 Nonsense

Hi there! As I mentioned recently, Heather and I planned to share overalls in February to mark being over 2020! Obviously flipping over a calendar page doesn’t create systematic change but 2021 does feel like an improvement so far, including some pretty cool executive orders, the re-opening of my local library branch for contactless pickup, and, well, these so-so overalls.

These were supposed to be a redemption make, ideally replacing my old pair of Turias before they split along the equator. I either wanted to repeat the pattern (What Katie Sews just posted a winter pair, very inspiring) or the fabric, 21 wale corduroy. I’m starting my transition to a corduroy-only blog (kidding, but also…I have been using it a lot lately) so I ordered 2.5 yards of Kaufman 21 wale cord in Olive Drab from The Confident Stitch and paired it with Kwik Sew 4138.

K4138 looked like the kind of pattern I could eyeball and copy but I got it on deep sale so why not use it? I was pleasantly surprised, when tracing, to see it wasn’t just rectangles – the bib and the straps are, but the pant legs have actual shaping and the waistband is curved. But the pattern support was lacking. This was my first time sewing a Kwik Sew pattern, is the back of the envelope always so coy? The only finished garment measurements given were the inseam length and width of leg at hem. It’s a beginner-facing pattern with a fitted waist, tell us the waist measurements! They weren’t printed on the pattern tissue, either.

Also, for the first time ever in my experience, the lay plan was wrong. I ordered the listed amount of fabric and far from being the usual way-too-much it was 4” too short! I could have shortened the legs from the hem to fit (and if I had actually looked at that spurned inseam measurement I probably would have) but after some experimenting I was able to come up with my own plan that fit the pieces as drafted. Surprise surprise, these legs are too long.

So yeah, cutting was unusually trying. The fabric is beautiful though – soft and light and a sheeny silvery green – and I expected sewing to be a snap. January brain disagreed.

You jump right in with a lapped zipper, using a simple fold-and-topstitch method. “Oh ho ho,” I thought to myself. “I’m sure there’s a better way. I remember pinning one!” and sure enough I had this video saved. It’s a nice clear video but I could not do it for some reason, even with the increased seam allowance! I sewed and unpicked my zipper six times. I had a shopping appointment at Gather Here that afternoon and I decided I would give up and grab an invisible zipper (so you know I was desperate) but then in the store I was in a complete flurry and walked out with some beautiful fabric and, as I realized when I got home, a traditional zipper.

I did the simple fold-over-and-topstitch method (the first one mentioned in the video, the one in the Kwik Sew directions booklet), and it came out pretty good. O_O Blurgh.

After that, sewing was ok. I cut a medium, except for the waistband. After some measuring I decided on a waistband halfway between a small and a medium (3/8” larger than small, 3/8” smaller than medium) but then when sewing I waffled a bit and sewed just the waistband side seam allowances with ½” sa instead of the called-for 5/8”. My only other pattern change was to cut the bib as a single piece with the fold on top. I also changed the sewing order very slightly, topstitching the waistband piece on the bib edge before adding it to the pants half.

I put all my interfacing on the outward-facing sides and used overalls buckles instead of buttons and buttonholes (partly because I had them, partly because I was worried about going too cute with these).    

I think the finished pair might be a swing and a miss. The proportions seem a little funny, and thanks to my fabric choice, I’m not quite sure what ‘character’ these are for – forget the Madonna/Whore dichotomy, these say Hobbit/Saboteur.

But they are sturdy, and tidy, and soft (as am I).  And who knows, maybe when I can get my ankle bones out I’ll like the proportions better. And in the meantime I can be sure that the bib won’t rip off the trousers, so I’ve definitely satisfied the minimum. Now off to enjoy my new library books!

Pattern: Kwik Sew 4138

Pattern cost: $5.49

Size: M, S/M waistband

Supplies: 2.5 yards of Robert Kaufman 21 wale corduroy in Olive, The Confident Stitch, $38.15; zipper, Gather Here, $2.10; thread, Michael’s, $2.39

Total time: 10

Total cost: $42.64

Ol’ Farmer Pants

My students have been known to comment on my outfits, never more so than when I wear overalls. I got a very suspicious “Why do you like those overalls so much?!” the first time I wore my Roberts dungarees. This pair of Pauline Alice Turia dungarees has been called my “weird old farmer pants”. One of my favorite so-called compliments, though I can’t remember which pair it applied to, was when a kiddo told me she liked my underalls. “You mean my overalls?” “No, I mean your shirt.”  (A lot of them are turning ten this year and every year they get more hilarious. I’m very fond of the hooligans.)

Anyway, despite the bad press, I’m still wearing these! I’m leaning into the farmer aesthetic, too, though anyone doing actual manual labor would laugh these right out of town – more on that later. I was hoping to wear this outfit to host a Late-November Gratefulness Eating Day for my parents (gratitude and stuffing are nice, Thanksgiving is iffy), but maybe next year, as we’re not doing any gathering. The smart money says I’m wearing jimjams right now but you never know!   

When I made this pattern in 2017 it was the only indie overalls pattern I found. Since then the options have exploded (outwards in two directions, towards loose wide bags and sexy little numbers) but this sits right about in the middle, a classic Osh Kosh B’Gosh shape. One benefit of that particular timing – 2017, not a lot of other options – is that it’s been blogged a lot. There are some truths universally acknowledged, like the included back pockets are comically small. I used the CC Ginger jeans back pockets instead, and I could have gone bigger; a non-fitted bottom means more fabric to cover.

They’re placed too far out and up, but that’s on me.

Another common change, it seems everyone agrees; two hip zippers is one too many! I’ve complained about invisible zippers in the past, but there’s not a lot of evidence of why we don’t get along, because I avoid using them. I used one here. Alright, deep breath. Here it is.

Come closer, my pretty. Closerrr.

It’s bad!! It’s bad at the top, where I couldn’t figure out how to neatly finish it! It’s bad at the bottom, where (I assume, this was years ago) my over-zealous unpicking ripped past the seam allowance and I bartacked a piece of scrap fabric to the wrong side! I admit fault at the bottom there, but I don’t feel totally responsible for the top, because the waist edge is finished with a single turn to the wrong side. There’s no waistband/facing/binding in which to hide that zipper end.

That edge is my biggest complaint about the pattern. The opening of the patch pocket is finished the same way, but that’s not carrying any weight. For the join between the bib and the pants, a seam that experiences a lot of stress, it’s a weak finish. It’s why I could never wear these to do physical work. And sewn in this lightweight corduroy, a single line of stitching with the seam allowance pressed down is basically a perforated line.

After several wears my bib started ripping right off at both ends! Originally I mended those edges with some discreet hand sewing, but that didn’t last long. So once again I popped a little piece of scrap fabric behind the rip and bartacked the crud out of it. Now that’s ripping too. I really like corduroy, but 21 wale might be for a good time, not for a long time; the pants I made Professor Boyfriend from this same fabric are nearly translucent on the seat. I guess 3 years of wear isn’t a terrible innings, but I might try to fix these one more time, if I can figure out how.    

I fit these on the fly! My 2017 spreadsheet doesn’t include the size I started from (weird thing to be coy about) but my best guess would be a 48, the largest available size, since I removed a lot of width from the legs. My fitting notes indicate that I narrowed the front leg 5/8” (cut the seam allowance off the outseam, basically), and reduced the back leg 1 5/8″ at the waist, blending to 1 1/4″ at the leg. Which is a lot. Nowadays I would start from a 44, and I’ve only gotten bigger & better, so I’m not sure what happened there.

Also in ‘mysterious choices from a  former life’ I extended the straps by a few inches, which was unnecessary, and then my extra strap ends were flapping around and bugging me, so I stitched them down (that line behind the rectangle slider dealie there), and now my straps are only pretending to be adjustable. The hardware is cute though!

Overall the pattern is pretty good, I think! That back seam is flat-felled, as are the inseams. My chest pocket is purely decorative since I stitched it shut, but I like it. I like the shape of the legs, too, though inevitably they bag at the knees. I’m wearing my Turias here with a Mélilot, which is a real get-along shirt pattern.

I still remember the nice woman at the fabric store helping me choose between these buttons and dark green ones, and eventually selling me on these by describing them as raisins! Which seemed appropriate for an Autumnal Food Party outfit. I hope you’re enjoying a meal, wherever you are, and having a safe, relaxing Thursday!    

Evenin’, all!  

Pattern: Pauline Alice Turia dungarees

Pattern cost: $9.00

Size: unknown; let’s say the final size was about a 44

Supplies: 2 yards corduroy in Navy, $23.00, Gather Here; $1.50, zipper, Gather Here; $7.99, buckles, Etsy

Total time: 6.75 hours

Total cost: $41.49

Pattern: Deer and Doe Mélilot

Pattern cost: N/A

Size: 42

Supplies: 2 meters mystery floral, $7.73, TMoS; $7.80, buttons, Gather Here

Total time: 6.5 hours

Total cost: $15.53

Black Dungarees

I used to prefer navy blue to black, but over the past few years I’ve learned to love the clean simplicity of true black. That said, it’s no friend to the blogger, is it? But if you peer into the shadows you might just see my new dungarees!

This is view B (modified) of the Marilla Walker Roberts collection, which you really can’t beat for value. Even ignoring the dress view (as I do, because dresses are not my preferred flavor of jam), that’s three hip, comfy patterns for under ten bucks American. I wish I did like dresses, because the lines of their Isca dress are just gorgeous. And look at this sweet collection! The directions aren’t the greatest in the biz, but I love the designs. Okay, that concludes Marilla Walker aesthetic appreciation hour, back to the dungas.

I reworked this pattern something fierce. Under the influence of tiny YouTube waifs who swan around in airy shapeless jumpsuits made in under fifteen minutes with 96 cm of linen and no pattern, I drafted out the tucks and the front waist seam. Directions below:

  1. First, remove all seam allowances.
  2. Treating the pocket and front leg as one piece, draft out the tuck. I like this Megan Nielsen tutorial.
  3. Butt the bottom of the front bib against the new waist seam, making sure to match the grainlines. Trace as a single piece.
  4. Add seam allowances.

I added an additional 5/8” seam allowance to the outseams, just in case, because I decided to omit the closure. The button tab directions were confusing, and a try-on of my existing jumpsuit from the collection made me think I wouldn’t need one. (The extra seam allowance turned out to be unnecessary, as I’ll discuss later.) The original front bib pattern piece was now just a front facing, so I cut 1 on the fold instead of 2. The back and back facing needed no changes, except the added SA.

I made the straps 8” longer because I wanted to use a knot-and-loop fastening for the bib. It turns out a single knot doesn’t require an extra 8 inches, but I kind of like the excess! The loops are a little wider than the straps, and I tucked them between the front pieces and the facing and sewed over the junction several times for security.

This pair of dungarees is heavy – I don’t mean warm, I mean physically heavy. I was worried having all that weight resting on relatively thin straps would be uncomfortable, but it hasn’t been a problem. The knot stays put in the loop, too, even though they’re load-bearing. The fabric is a thick, coarse linen/cotton blend, which helps everything hold!

I wish I had done something a little differently in the back – made the back bib either wider or narrower, or criss-crossed the straps, maybe. It just looks a little unconsidered back there. The facings are already stitched down at the side seams, so I won’t be editing this pair (unpicking black thread on black fabric? No thank you).

Also, I extended the legs by 2” from the bottom, but I shouldn’t have bothered.

Super wide cuffs to the rescue!

Since removing the waist seam meant removing the slash pockets, I added two patch pockets. They’re about 7” wide by 8” deep, finished. Initially I planned on having them both on the back – I measured placement by draping the back piece over myself and patting my butt, by the way – but after sewing the first I lost interest in matching them symmetrically. In my defense, 90°F/32°C heat gives me a serious case of the good-enoughs. So instead I popped the second one on the opposite front (now with the scientific technique of patting my thigh).

Why yes, they ARE functionally invisible, thank you.

Let’s talk fit for a minute. The Roberts collection has a dropped crotch, so there’s plenty of room to move. But I just read about girth measurements in the latest Threads, and I recommend the article if you find your jumpsuit/overall/dungarees patterns need more vertical space.

Vertical, check! I overdid the horizontal, though. Back to that extra seam allowance – I didn’t need it. In fact, probably because I didn’t staystitch the curves (it was VERY hot that day) I ended up removing 1.5” from the waist at each side, so a 6” total reduction in circumference. I reduced the thighs by stages, too, until I got a fit I liked. The magic numbers seemed to be: remove 1.5” from the waist, and 1.25” from the thighs, reducing to nothing 17” up from the hem (and I trimmed the facings to match). It was a lot of pants-on, pants-off, but I’m actually pretty thrilled with the final leg shape. And it was a quick sew even with the adjusting.

And in case you’re wondering, you’d really have to work at it to peer down the side and see my underwear (fair question).

I realized after the fact that I accidentally recreated this Workshop pattern. So, no points for creativity! I’m still happy with the result, though! Time will tell if I can wear the dungarees in the fall – I expect they’ll be okay with boots and a flannel. Don’t tell summer, but I miss fall, okay?

Oh and, a new friend is moving into a local mural – how snazzy is that shirt?

You inspire me, snazzy shirt man. See you next time, buds!

Pattern: Roberts Collection dungarees

Pattern cost: NA

Size: 4, with changes, above

Supplies: 2.5 yards of black linen/cotton blend, $12.48, Sewfisticated; thread, $1.99, Sewfisticated

Total time: 5.5 hours

Total cost: $14.47