Without the need for a ‘professional wardrobe’ now I am no longer working as a primary school teacher, I have been turning my attention to more casual makes. My go-to outfit for pottering about at home is without doubt a pair of dungarees and a Breton. However, when wearing my ready-to-wear dungarees I have to choose between having my nipple area exposed or having a massive wedgie (front and back), so I decided it was time to make a new and improved pair!
I opted for the Heyday dungarees by Made by Jack’s Mum – this is a really popular pattern and an almost identical design to my ready-to-wear pair. It features 5 pockets, loops to tie the extra long straps and a relaxed fit. I have seen some really fantastic versions on Instagram, including a couple of corkers by @sewstainability – her navy jumbo corduroy pair are awesome!
I have made a few pairs of dungarees (Pauline Alice Turia, I Am Patterns Colibri and Helen’s Closet Yanta), but none are as comfy as my favourite ready-to-wear pair and I don’t reach for them in my wardrobe as much. So what is the missing ingredient? STRETCH CORDUROY! I’m annoyed it took me so long to realise this as it’s really obvious, but that little bit of stretch makes all the difference to wearability – whether I’m gardening, crawling around on the floor cutting out patterns or doing chores – I have the range of movement I need.
As soon as I had this epiphany I ordered some gorgeous navy needlecord from Sew Me Sunshine, which has 20% crosswise stretch. Harriet stocks this in several other colours at a very reasonable £15 per metre – I used 2 metres. Construction was super easy, but I decided to add a simple facing to the front and back bib to get a cleaner finish. I used the tutorial that Like Sew Amazing has shared on her blog as a starting point, although I didn’t really follow any instructions – I just sewed in the order that seemed logical to me.
I made the size XS (my measurements are B33″/W27’/H37″) and I’m really pleased with the fit. I made a couple of basic adjustments to the pattern to get the look I was after, including:
- Removing 8.5cm from the hem (I am 5’4″ tall)
- Removing 25cm from each strap (they are supposed to be very long, but I prefer this length)
- Removing 9.5cm from each loop
Stupidly, I realised the straps and loops were too long after I had completely finished the project. I unpicked the top-stitching, facing and straps/loops I needed to adjust and made the necessary changes before sewing it all up again. This wasn’t actually that annoying and it made all the difference to the finished look.
Of course the finishing touch was to add a label to the front pocket in the same style as my ready-to-wear dungarees. Mog got very involved in ‘helping’ with this project, so the obvious choice was a ‘contains cat hair’ label by Pink Coat Club. Although as you can see, he is only happy to add his cat hair to my projects on his terms.