Denim Dungarees

Do you know what is so great about the Turia Dungarees? They’re a whole new type of garment to wear. They’re like pants but more fun, they can be paired up in different ways, and they are great in a variety of fabrics. Plus they’re not close fitting so any crotch issues that you might have are less apparent. And they are so comfortable, easy to move around in and I just love the look. To sum it up, I have a new favourite garment! I’d been wanting to make the Turia’s for a while now, and I’m so glad I finally did.

Denim Turia Dungarees

So as you probably know this is a pattern from Pauline Alice. I used a heavy denim I got from Coupons de St. Pierre in Paris in January. It has a bit of stretch. As for the pattern, I made a lot of alterations for my length, in the legs, the bodice, the back and the straps. I also made some alterations to the crotch, and I made the bodice curved. The bodice pattern piece is a straight line where it connects to the pants. I had noticed a bit of gaping with other peoples Turia’s at the sides of the bodice. It’s the same principle as when you change a straight waistband into a curved one on a skirt that sits at the natural waist. For some the straight waistband works fine, some need a curved one. So I shaved off 1/4″ at both ends of the bodice to prevent that gaping. It worked well, although it still gapes a bit because the bodice has stretched out a bit at the sides. That’s my fault, I only topstitched once.

Denim Turia Dungarees

It’s a fairly straightforward sew, but there is a lot of topstitching involved that slows you down a bit. I’ve discovered I really enjoy topstitching though, so I don’t mind. I tried to balance the topstitching a bit so that it wouldn’t get too busy with all the yellow lines. In some places I topstitched only the first line with yellow, and the second one with normal dark blue thread. This gave it the stability it needs in the curved areas without making it too busy.

Denim Turia Dungarees

One thing I’ll do differently with the next pair is to finish the curved seams of the bodice front and back and pockets with bias tape. Le fil à coudre d’Anna mentioned this too, and I wish I’d read it before I started. Now it is just clipped in and topstitched twice, and although it’s not really visible it would look nicer and give more stability to the curved seams. And I’d interface the button areas, they stretch out the fabric even though I added a third layer of denim at the back.

I also lowered the back pockets, and sewed them at 3/8″ (1 cm) instead of 5/8″ (1,5 cm). And I only inserted one zipper, the pattern calls for two but one is fine. I have to add that this could be because I cut according to my hip measurement – if I had graded down at my waist I might have needed two, but that would have given a weird silhouette because I’d have to grade down two sizes. The straps were too short to knot even though I lengthened them, so I just stitched them down at the right length.

Denim Turia Dungarees

You know what’s funny – I used to wear these when I was a kid, and my fingers still remembered how to undo the buckles. How you hook your finger around the button and push the buckle down with your thumb, both at the same time. I’m wearing it here with my perfect blouse from a few years back. This one is still a favourite, the fabric holds up so well and the sewing too. I think that’s my favourite way to wear it, with a button down shirt. But it’s great with a striped long sleeve too. I feel there are a few more in my future – I’d like to try the short ones in a linen maybe, or a corduroy for autumn. But first there’s some other things in my queue – I cut out a pair of Gingers from this denim and I’m curious to see how that’ll work.

What do you think of dungarees? Are they something you’d wear?

16 Comments

  1. mokosha

    : Reply to mokosha

    lovely dungarees! and great photos too! i had a pair of dark denim lee cooper dungarees 20 years ago, and loved wearing them! still have them somewhere in my room, back at my hometown.. would wear a pair nowadays too, maybe not denim ones, but linen or cotton ones for sure (if i only could find time to make a pair, that is)

    • Lisa Kievits

      :

      Ah yes linen or cotton would be perfect for summer! They can be a quick project if you just do the topstitching in normal thread. They’d look great on you!

  2. melissa evans

    : Reply to melissa

    They are cute on you, but this is a clothing style I won’t be repeating. They are just not flattering for me.

    • Lisa Kievits

      :

      Ah really? What about them isn’t?

  3. Marilla

    : Reply to Marilla

    Love these! I’ve had the pattern cut out for a few weeks now, but just need to dedicate some time to it, but I feel like these are going to be a favourite! They really suit you :-)

    • Lisa Kievits

      :

      Thanks Marilla! I bet they’ll suit you too, I think they fit your style.

  4. Charlotte

    : Reply to Charlotte

    love your dungarees & that gorgeous setting. Your garden is looking very healthy, with all those new plants sprouting. Dungarees and jump/play suits are the most fun garments:) Definitely ideal for playing in the garden:)

    • Lisa Kievits

      :

      Thanks Charlotte! In Dutch we actually call them tuinbroek, which translates as ‘garden pants’. A jumpsuit is definitely on my list too!

  5. Anita McAdam

    : Reply to Anita

    Love the dungarees! They are a favourite for me especially when I am painting. :)

    • Lisa Kievits

      :

      Ha, yes they’re perfect for that too. I think they’re originally seen as work gear, right? Maybe I’ll use these for that in a few years, can’t bring myself to make work gear yet. Seems such a shame to make something that will get dirty and damaged right away!

  6. Heather

    : Reply to Heather

    Boy, your post brings back memories~ I had a pair of overalls as a child, too, and I know exactly what you mean about remembering how to undo the buckle! I’m wondering if I can convince my hubby to start wearing some for working in the garden (to eliminate the possibility of plumber’s crack, LOL!).

    • Lisa Kievits

      :

      If you make him a pair he probably will! But if he’s anything like mine, he’ll probably say they’re unpractical for going to the bathroom :)

  7. Heather

    : Reply to Heather

    Love these! They suit you so much. I have just ordered beautiful linen fabric to make a short pair. Hopefully I’ll get them done before summer is over!

    • Lisa Kievits

      :

      I’ve got my short pair ready to cut out, but sadly I don’t seem to have the time. Next spring I’ll start them early!

    • Lisa Kievits

      :

      I don’t know which shops specifically, but if you google ‘prym buckles’ you’ll get some results.

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