After making a few pairs of Safiya trousers and wearing them constantly, it was only a matter of time before I made the dungaree version!
I loved the ramie I made my trousers in, so I bought the same fabric in black for the dungarees. It’s from Textile Express, and it has a beautiful slubbed texture.
Fitting: A Saga
I cut a size 2 in both the bodice and the legs. I really should wear a size 1 in the bodice, but given that the size 2 only just fits over my hips, I think I would have struggled to get it on! I reused the leg pattern pieces from the trousers I made, so the dungaree legs have several centimetres added to the rise.
I… *struggled* to fit the bodice. I’m very small-busted, so sometimes bust darts just don’t work for my body, and this was one of those times. After I’d made the bodice and sewn the waist seam (but not attached any facings yet, thank god) I tried it on, and the fit was terrible. The bust darts were too long and the whole bust area in general felt far too roomy. The vertical folds of fabric at the waist, combined with the extra long darts, created a cone-bra effect which was not the look I was going for!
The bust darts in this pattern come from the armhole, so they’re quite short to begin with, but I decided to shorten them further to fix my fit issues. You can probably see where this is going… predictably, shortening the darts didn’t actually solve the problem at all because the dart intake was still the same. What I ended up with was a set of even pointier darts, because they had less room to taper slowly towards the bust apex. I have to admit, I despaired a bit at this point. I couldn’t see how I would ever make the darts work for my body because I just didn’t need them!
Not expecting to find anything, I looked up ‘how to remove bust darts’, but most of the tutorials told you to close the dart and move the fullness down to the waist; not an option in my case, because there’s a seam there. (As a side note, one of the tutorials that came up was this one, which I still don’t really understand…) Then I found this tutorial, which was exactly what I’d been looking for! I had to change the method a bit because the Safiya darts come from the armhole and not the shoulder, but it still worked perfectly! Here’s what my pattern piece looked like after the adjustment:
I still don’t understand how this adjustment works, but I’m so happy with the results! It allowed me to remove the dart without impacting any other areas of the pattern, and the fit is so much better as a result!
Aside from my bodice-fitting woes, these were a simple and easy make- although they take about double the amount of time as the trousers, due to the facings and straps/belt. A beginner could definitely tackle this project, but maybe make the trousers first as a bit of a warm up.
Overall I’m really happy with my dungarees; I’ve worn them multiple times throughout Me Made May (see below for evidence!), which has proven to me how versatile and wearable they are in different temperatures. Plus, they’re extremely comfy (helped by the adjustable waist!) and are 100% secret pyjamas!
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