Let’s talk dungarees today. By dungarees, I mean the type that's made with knit fabrics - onesie without sleeves, if you will, and those that are often referred to as rompers Sorry, grown-ups, we will also be focusing on kids clothes today, following my round-up on the leggings and PJs. Perhaps we can talk grown-up outfits another time, but the truth is, since becoming a mum, much of my sewing efforts have been focused on the baby. The constant growing opens up great opportunities for new outfits, and I cannot deny the joy that I am filled with when I see Freya in mummy made clothes.
As kids clothes go, in my humble opinion, dungarees are possibly the cutest outfits that you can put your kids in, and one of the most well received gifts. As much as I enjoy knocking up a pair of leggings, dungarees have the advantage of being an outfit in one; they also do a wonderful job showing off beautiful prints. They are modern, comfortable, and can be made to suit both warm and cold months. It really is no wonder that they are so popular!
As the weather turns cooler, I wanted to make another pair of dungarees to keep Freya warm for the coming months. The Whimsical Woodlands jersey was the perfect backdrop to help us embrace the autumnal days! I paired it up with some quilted jersey from my stash, et voila! A pair of reversible dungarees were born.
Without further ado, let’s start with the pattern round-up!
Best reversible pattern
I used the Dandelion dungarees pattern by Poppy and Jazz, which is the kids pattern range from Sew Over It by Lisa Comfort. This truly has been a tried and tested pattern in my household, and just as I started experiencing anxiety that Freya was outgrowing the 24m range limit that came with the pattern, what do you know? Lisa extended the age range to 6 years! I was over the moon. And so was she!
The best thing about this pattern is that it is reversible. Having made it quite a few times in the past, I also know that the fit is good on Freya. I did make this pair in size 18-24m, due to the limited stretch and the thickness of the quilted jersey, and there is currently plenty of room to grow (she's just under 14 months right now). I have put in 2 sets of poppers; together with the rolled over hem, they should be good to see us through till warmer times!
I have made some tweaks over time purely as a matter of personal preference. Let me walk you through those.
Firstly, I tweaked the strap construction. Instead of cutting a separate piece as the strap for each side, I cut them as part of the back piece by extending the shoulders. I also raised the poppers by 1.5 inches, so that the straps stay up better. This basically means that at the front, I added 1.5 inches to the top of each shoulder; at the back, I added the length of the strap piece, before deducting 1.5 inches. You should remember to allow for seam allowances, too.
Secondly, I raised the centre back by 1 inch.
I like the end result after these adjustments, but in all honesty, I also didn’t have any problem when I sew a pair straight out of the envelope. I wanted to share what I did just in case you were wondering why this pair looks a little different from the official photos.
I’m particularly fond of this pattern for the cooler months. Being reversible, these dungarees are essentially fully lined, and you really can knock yourself out with all the cooler and warmer combinations of fabrics! Although the pattern calls for the outer and lining fabrics to be of similar weight and stretch, I had no issue working with a stretchy single jersey and a stable quilted heavy weight jersey. If you are a beginner though, I think 2 layers of French Terry would be a great place to start.
If you are in the market for a pair of non-reversible dungarees, don’t worry. I’m getting to it. But before I tell you about those options, let me point out that you can quite easily adapt this pattern to only partly line it. See my post here.
Now, some other options. And they are free! Yep, you read that right!
Best slim fit pattern
My recommendation goes to the Romperalls by Peek-a-boo patterns. I have used this pattern in the past to make a gift to a toddling little lady who is quite petite and slim built, and it worked a treat! This pattern would’ve been too tight for Freya right now, though :)
You are even allowed sell items made from this pattern. How generous is that for a freebie?
Best grow with me option
Not satisfied with just the one free pattern? Fear not, I dug deep and found another! Here is one that is designed for Bernina by the Simple Life Pattern Company, and it comes with tie shoulders and foldover cuffs. The link takes you to some super cute photos and some pattern hacks, and here is a direct link to the free pattern. I must disclose that although I have printed this one off, I have not yet tried it, and did read somewhere that the sizing might run a little bit small. You might want to do your own research before cutting out.
Want to add a snap crotch?
Let me say that I’ve never missed the snap closure on any of the dungarees that I’ve made. It’s so easy to whip them on and off, frankly, I’m glad to not have to mess about with pliers. However, I fully understand that some do miss them, especially for a younger baby, so I wanted to include a link to a tutorial that might help you. Here it is! You are welcome.
Right, that’s it. I trust that you are now off to sew some dungarees! How about some seasonal ones as Christmas presents?
Thanks for reading. Until next time,
Alice from Queen of Darts
Hi Jennie, I’m sorry for not having seen your message until now!
You’ve probably figured this out already by now, but the bagging out of the leg hems is similar to how you would bag out sleeves in a jacket, if you see what I mean (or want to search for videos explaining these). If I were to try and explain in words, you would basically want the legs to be holding or shaking hands with each other (outer fabric and lining), with right sides together!
I hope this helps!
Hey, these pictures are so lovely! I’m making this for the first time and can’t get my head around the bagging out of the leg hems! Do you have any pearls of wisdom you’re able to share with me please?! Thanks, Jennie