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

Vacation Roberts

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Here’s something a bit different today – the background! Professor Boyfriend and I went on a semi-spontaneous 3-day trip to Mexico! We both have family (and in my case seasonal employment) in Europe, so whenever we’ve travelled together it’s been to visit various dads and sisters and things, or for work. It was a bit strange going somewhere just, like, ’cause, but once I got over the hump we booked a trip and a few weeks later we were on our way to Isla Holbox in the Yucatan (which I first learned about on Made by Meg, funnily enough – I’m a travel copycat!).

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I was excited to road test my new Roberts Collection jumpsuit months ahead of schedule. This jumpsuit almost wasn’t; my fabric order showed up a full meter short, but luckily it’s an ikat fabric with no wrong side and no obvious up-or-down so I was able to creatively cut a size 4 from 3 meters of 45” cotton. Before cutting, I shortened the bodice pattern pieces by 1”. This is easy on the front, but there’s a diagonal seam on the back, joining the bodice to the leg. I cut horizontally just below the ‘sleeve’ (it’s a little overcut kimono thing, so not really a sleeve, not really an armsyce), overlapped my pattern pieces by 1”, and redrew the diagonal from the center to the side seam. I then made sure the seamline matched that angle on the back leg piece.

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That diagonal back seam is the only one I flat-felled, before deciding the fabric was too soft and squashy and life was too short! Everything else is serged and top-stitched.

You might notice one of my shoes is darker than the other. It’s wet. I fell off one pier (and later, out of one hammock).

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I’d love to figure out a different way to finish the ‘sleeve’! I think even extending it slightly and hemming it before sewing the side seam would be better. This is a simple bias tape finish but it’s wrinkly and strange around the armpit. Or maybe a facing would be best? I’ve heard from some other sewists that they struggled with the Marilla Walker Roberts collection directions, but the sleeve is the only place they really fell down for me.

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I was never going to pattern-match with my shortage of fabric (I have just shreds left) so I cut the pocket facing on the cross-grain, and frankly I dig it! The pockets are a nice size, too.

I went to Gather Here for buttons and brought home snaps instead. Then I learned that different size snaps require different size snap setting tools. Oops. I thoroughly mangled one, returned the rest, and ordered snaps + tools (which Gather Here doesn’t stock, and I wanted to make sure they’d match) from GoldStarTool. They have a great selection, fast service, and they’re cheap cheap cheap. I recommend them for hardware! Though, the minimum order was 100 snaps. I needed 5. All is snaps now. Luckily I love installing them! Bam! Bam! SNAPS!

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The Roberts neckline facing was a great opportunity to try a new-to-me facing finish, which I discovered on Made by Rae. Since the facing has a concave corner it was the perfect tidy, low-bulk finish! I’ll definitely use it going forward, though you can see I didn’t quite roll my interfacing far enough to the wrong side everywhere.

I love this summer outfit! So easy and relaxed and breathable, with good sun coverage. I want to make another, possibly a solid one in linen? I mean, I always want another anything in linen. I exist in a permanent state of wanting linen.

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How’s that for comfort?!

Taking blog photos on a relaxing vacation was actually a blast! It was a chance to wander and explore for half an hour each beautiful evening, and we always concluded by watching the sunset from the beach. Holbox would be an Instagrammer’s paradise! So many murals, all the signs are hand-painted, plus vivid tropical plant life – we walked by a dozen amazing ‘backdrops’ for each one we photographed (partly because my boyfriend won’t take pictures if it means standing in front of someone’s house, or even on a bit of sidewalk that seems like it might belong to someone. He’s a very polite young man). My only regret is that I can’t compete with the super-saturated backgrounds we did find. 😉

This would have been a low-cost trip, by the way, except that all of our travel was impacted by winter weather (none of the flights we actually took were the flights we initially booked, and thanks to a connecting flight cancellation the whole trip was pushed back by a day, so we paid for shuttles/accommodations we couldn’t use. Also Air Canada is a fart in the sky and rebooking with them took 11 hours of grim effort). It was so luxurious to eat maracuyá gelato in 86°F weather with a fresh sea breeze, but I probably won’t choose to travel to or from the Northeast in February again. I already miss my summer clothes, though – it was nice to get a glimpse!

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Love from among the palms!

 

Pattern: Roberts Collection jumpsuit

Pattern cost: $8.50

Size: 4, shortened 1” above the waist

Supplies: 3 meters of dark green ikat cotton, $26.16, Etsy; $10.49, snaps, GoldStarTool (set of 100); thread from stash

Total time: 8 hours

Total cost: $45.15