Denim Roberts Dungarees

This is defo one of my favourite lockdown makes! I’ve made lots of jeans (soon to come to the blog) but for lounging around the house, which I’ve been doing since March, these are fast becoming a go-to which I reach for!

This is, of course, the Marilla Walker Roberts Dungarees. I have made them before, in mustard corduroy and I also wear those loads! I made the size 2 and didn’t bother with the mini button placket on the left hand side as I sewed it shut on the corduroy ones anyway and I find there’s enough ease for me to get them on and off without the opening.

The denim is the same fabric I used for my first pair of Dawn Jeans and was a present from my friend, from her mother-in-law’s stash. She sent me almost 4m so it was enough for jeans, these dungarees and a Cleo! Love it when you can make ALL THE THINGS, especially as this denim is nice and soft.

With my other pair of Roberts Dungarees I made a permanent turn-up but with these I took up a 7cm hem and can fold up a turn-up (which stays) or not as the mood takes me.

I particularly like the shape of these dungarees from the side and the back.

I’m definitely living my best adult toddler life in these dungarees!

Instead of adding buttons (I used jeans buttons on my other pair, I made button holes on the body of the dungarees big enough to get the straps through – luckily these straps are pretty thin. I then just tie the straps through the buttons holes, kind of like the Lucy and Yak dungarees I see everywhere online. I would maybe make the straps a little longer if I did this again.

I again added the chest pocket (stolen from the Cleo dungaree dress) as it’s just so useful! Particularly for listening to podcasts while I’m sewing/walking around the flat!

I did the traditional jeans-style top-stitching on these to highlight all of the design details and to make them more like jeans.

I used this nice white with blue cotton as the lining for the bib front. It’s actually from an old Aster shirt I made (which I literally never wore!) which I was planning to refashion for ages and never got around to so I cut it up for this and for pocket linings.

Have you been sewing comfortable lockdown clothes while we’ve been in quarantine? I’ve been sewing a mixture so I’ve got stuff to wear when I have to go out into the world and can’t just sit around my house any more!


 

My First Dawn Jeans

I can definitely see why the Dawn Jeans pattern by Megan Nielsen has been so, so popular with basically everyone who has made them! It is honestly true love! I had some more denims set aside to make more Ginger Jeans, but (spoiler alert) I made more Dawns instead!

I made the size 4 with the straight leg option. The waist and hip measurements for the size 4 are exactly my measurements (26″ and 36″). I seem to remember (it’s a while since I traced the pattern) that there are different leg length options – I defo did not make the tall length, lol! I am 5’3″ for reference.

The fabric is some really nice dark non-stretch denim which my friend gave me from her late mother-in-law’s stash. I think it had probably been folded waiting to be sewn for a while as there were lines like this every so often. Luckily I fitted all the pattern pieces around the lines.

It’s quite a nice, soft denim and it feels really comfortable to wear. And because I had so much you can definitely expect more garments made from this denim (it’s like the mustard corduroy that NEVER RAN OUT – suit, dungarees, cleo dungaree dress,)

I did make some fitting tweaks. These were kind of meant to be a wearable toile but the fit was pretty good straight out of the packet so they’re more than that now! I did baste the jeans together to check the fit and I took an extra 2cm off the back seam (tapering off to the normal seam allowance 20 cm down from the top of the yoke). I took an extra 1cm off the crotch seam on the inner leg seam, tapering from mid-thigh. I also did a 5cm hem.

I should have taken some close up shots of some of the details – duh! I measured the pocket placement for the back pockets once the jeans were basically constructed to make sure they were at optimal placement for my particular bum!

The thing I especially love about this pattern is how high the waist it – it means these are as comfortable to sit in as to stand in! The waistband also tapers inwards perfectly for the shape of my waist. You couldn’t really see in the photos of my Ginger Jeans, but the waistband sits slightly away from my waist.

The buttons look like they’re struggling a bit here (lol), but the jeans don’t feel too tight – I think it’s just the nature of a button fly compared with a zip fly.

I did contrasting jeans top-stitching on this pair, though I don’t use actual top-stitching thread as my machine doesn’t like it, so it’s just normal thread. This means the stitching doesn’t stand out as much as it might, but I’m okay with that to not have the nightmare of trying to get my machine to sew with topstiching thread. I tried it for my denim Moss skirt and it did not go well so I vowed to not use it again!

Another detail I like about the construction of the Dawns is that the belt loops are sewn into the waistband seam at the bottom (and then top-stitched at the top) whereas with the Gingers they are top-stitched on at the top and bottom, and they just don’t feel quite as secure (or look quite as nice as you can see the raw edges inside the loops).

I don’t know why I didn’t tuck my t shirt in, by the way, and was just holding it out of the way!

When I made my Morgan Jeans I got the button placement wrong – I put them in the middle of where the button holes were, but that means the fly (which is obvs supposed to be hidden) is slightly visible. The Dawn pattern, though, tells you to put the buttons to the inside of the buttons holes (if that makes sense) so the fly remains hidden. I still put off attaching the buttons for a couple of days though – anyone else feel the need to psych themselves up to attaching jeans buttons?

I have worn these jeans a couple of times since I finished them and they are really comfortable. I think they have sagged a bit at the bum, but that’s to be expected with non-stretch denim I think.

If you don’t like seeing jeans, btw, you’re going to get bored in the coming months as I’ve got 3 more pairs planned/ made!

 

 

Yellow Geometric Kalle Shirt

Another day, another Kalle shirt tunic!

When we first went into lockdown I started off sewing the 3 Kalles that I cut out ages ago but never got around to making! I’d kind of been in a sewing funk for quite a few months before lockdown happened, but having so much more time after being furloughed I’ve definitely rediscovered my love for sewing (and I’ve made a LOT!). This is the second one and is made also in the size 6, with the sleeve expansion and the tunic length like the first one I already shared here.

This fabric was much harder to wrangle than the nice crisp faces cotton! It was from Sew Over It (I think) ages ago. I bought it because of the colour and the design and I can’t now remember the make-up of the fabric, but it’s definitely got something slippery and synthetic in there. It also doesn’t press super well which makes me think it’s more synthetic than anything else.

The colour of the fabric is coming out much more washed out here than it is in real life – it’s a much brighter yellow, whereas it looks kind of gold-ish here.

You can kind of see some old creases from where the fabric was folded in my stash for a while still in the fabric – it defo doesn’t pres nicely, which isn’t super ideal for a shirt. But at least it will mean I don’t necessarily have to iron it when it’s washed, which is a super win in my book!

Ah, I do love the shape of the Kalle at the back. Love the huge pleat and the cocoon-y shape of the tunic length!

You can’t really see here as the fabric has photographed oddly but the pattern is geometric black and white on a yellow background, so I used some basic white shirt buttons. I was planning loads of shirts at the same time (including the faces one and the 2 striped Archers I made a while ago) so I bought a million white buttons at once from my local sewing shop (a good while before lockdown)!

I still really like making shirts (I have 2 more cut out ready to sew 😳, I have a problem!) but I think I really have enough in my wardrobe now so once I’m caught up sharing ones I’ve made and making ones I’ve cut out that might be it for a while for my shirt-making😭


 

My first Ginger Jeans

I made jeans again! It’s been a year since I made my Morgan Jeans, and they have been the only jeans in my wardrobe that whole time. But even after realising making jeans was doable I still put off making more for ages!!! And I don’t really know why – well I do know why. I wanted some more fitted, skinny/straight legged jeans and I’m by no means an expert on fitting trousers so I was scared! I’m sure you can all relate!

So here they are! Luckily the size 4, which I made, fitted fairly well straight out of the packet. I actually had to retrace the pattern because I’d traced the size 6 or 8 (I can’t remember – though I made the Morgans in a size 8) because I’ve lost an inch from my waist and hips sometime in the last year – I think from going from an office job to being on my feet, first at a fabric shop and then at a bookshop. The size 4 matched my waist and hip measurements perfectly so I was hopeful they would at least fit on my body!

I did make some fitting tweaks as I sewed these up – as the pattern suggests, I sewed up the main pieces to see how they would fit and any changes I might have to make, before all the seams are sewed, finished and top-stitched. I would definitely recommend this if you want to see the vague fit before you put in all the work of making the jeans fully! It’s like the lazy person’s toile!

Before I cut the jeans out, actually, I shortened the legs by 2 inches at the knee. Closet Case drafts for someone who is I think 5’6″ and I’m 5’3″ so I knew the legs would be too long – I could have just shortened them from the bottom like I did with my Morgan jeans, but then you get the ‘knee’ half way down your calf instead of shortening the pattern piece on the lengthen/shorten lines.

I also made some other fitting changes to the legs while I was sewing them up. I sewed the outside leg with a 1cm instead of a 1.5cm seam allowance as the legs ended up super tight! Luckily there is extra length in the waistband so I could still fit the waistband on without having to lengthen it.

Having worn these jeans a few times since I finished them, the waistband could have been curved a bit more as it every so slightly stands away from my body, but the plus side is that it does make them still comfortable to sit down in!

I did have plans to make some more Ginger jeans and if I did I would definitely deepen the front pockets! It’s the same for the Morgan jeans, but they’re really shallow. And if I wanted super tiny pockets I could buy rtw jeans! I can’t even get my whole hand in them!

Despite shortening the legs before I cut them out, I did still have to do a 3cm hem! I didn’t trim the excess off, I just folded it up 1.5cm twice.

I waited until the jeans were basically finished to place the back pockets – I’ve seen loads of people on instagram do this and it seems sensible, rather than following the guidance on the pattern piece as every bum is different and you want the pockets to be in the right place for your particular bum!

Having made a couple of denim skirts ages ago (one for my sister and one for me) I knew my sewing machine doesn’t love top-stitching thread (or I don’t know how to correctly configure it for it to work!) so I used normal thread in the right colour. It means my stitching doesn’t stand out as much as if I used top-stitching thread but it’s worth it for the lack of headaches and tantrums which would be inevitable if I tried to use the thicker thread!

The fabric was from Birmingham literally years ago! I just looked it up – I bought it in 2014 I think!!!!!! Wow! Ridiculous! I bought it to be a wearable toile for the Ginger jeans and it has definitely worked for that, but I don’t think it had to wait for as long for me to find out!

I’ve finally been bitten by the jeans making bug I think – I made another pair alongside these (coming soon to the blog) and I have 3 more pairs planned, 2 of which are cut out and ready to go. Don’t be like past me, don’t be scared to make jeans!

 

 

Faces Kalle shirt

Since we’ve been in lockdown in the UK, I’ve been sewing up a storm and getting through all those projects I had planned in my head for years! The first of these is this Kalle shirt made from this gorgeous faces fabric. I feel like this fabric went slightly viral in the sewing community when it was first released and I think I snapped some up from Fabric Godmother. Since then it has been released in different colours and on different fabrics!

As with my other 2 Kalles (cropped and Hawaiian) I made the size 6 with no fitting adjustments, but this time I used the sleeve expansion pack to make it more trans-seasonal, given that I live in the UK which is cold a lot more than it is warm!

A slight word of warning about the sleeves if you’re planning on making a Kalle with sleeves – they are really only just long enough on me. I’m 5’3″ so I don’t think I have the longest arms (though maybe they’re long proportional to my body, I don’t know!?) and the sleeves are really only just long enough on me. They look fine with my arms down by my side, but if I put them forwards the sleeves do creep up my arms. But maybe they’re supposed to do that and all the other shirt patterns I’ve used have really long sleeves? I don’t know!

I also made the tunic length for the first time, and I really like how it dips down so low at the back!

I also still really love the huge pleat on the back of this pattern! It adds a nice amount of fullness with still being as fitted as you kinda want a shirt to be across the shoulders.

I cut out and made 3 Kalles at the same time as I was making this one (though I actually made them one at a time) and this was by far the easiest to sew because it’s such a nice stable cotton! The other 2 were not quite as easy to wrangle! If you’re thinking of having a go at shirt making for the first time, I would highly recommend a nice stable cotton which presses well for your first one. This fabric was a dream to sew with!

I still really love making shirts but I might take a break from making any more as I think my wardrobe definitely has enough shirts to last me quite a while! Now I need more jeans……

Are you sewing up a storm in this weird time we’re living through or are you taking a break from sewing to recharge your batteries? Whatever you’re doing I hope you’re save and well xx