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Guest Post: Dungaree Dreams

Hi Everyone!

It's Vicki here and today on the blog we have a very special guest post by the lovely Aimee from the fab creative blog called Wrong Doll. Please go and check out her blog for more of her gorgeous makes, but for today we have a very special project to show you here on the Minerva Crafts Blog using our distressed Denim Fabric from Art Gallery.

I'll now pass the post over to Aimee, enjoy!!...

My love affair with the pinafore extends way back into my childhood days and when I started sewing a couple of years ago, I dreamt of making one of my own. 6 months later, I came across Art Gallery Fabrics and their Denim Studio range in Love Sewing Magazine and I had my fabric of choice. It took another year until I had the confidence to attempt a Victory patterns/Kwik Sew mash up, melding the Madeleine skirt with the K4138  dungaree bib. The resulting dungagree dress is my proudest make to date and even got me a mention in Love Sewing’s Stitcher of the Year category.

Having achieved a longheld dream, I disappeared down a Google rabbit hole in search of dungaree dress patterns and found them to be in woefully short supply. So I was ecstatic when I happened across a vintage multi-size Maudella pattern on a late night eBay trawl. Initial excitement turned to dismay, when I realised the delicate pattern tissues had been cut into. Thankfully, the previous owner had left the excess strips attached at the base of each piece, so I was able to painstakingly re-attach them.

Having re-instated the pattern at its extremities, I graded the skirt waist up from a size 16 to 18 by adding 1cm to the sides. Confusingly, I only had to add 0.5 cm to the sides of the waistband but maths isn’t my strong point and I decided not to labour the point. I cut the bib on a size 12 and ignored the fact it seemed a little shy - barely spanning from point to point - assuming this was reflective of vintage stylings. However, I recently discovered on a pattern cutting course, that I’ve been working from a bust mis-measurement for the last two years and should have cut on a 14. Thankfully, the disparity in measurements hasn’t affected my handmade wardrobe to date, with my propensity for loose fitting Japanese tent dresses.

In the past, I’ve made the mistake of believing what looks good on the pattern envelope will look good on me. But not this time – I’ve learnt the error of my ways. I don’t do mini and I don’t do mustard. I extended the skirt length by 4cm and eschewed yellow for blue. But not just any old blue. For a pattern of such provenance, I felt myself being pulled back to those textured denims and I scoured the internet for a UK supplier. Minerva Crafts stood out with their huge range and maximum bang for your buck, with free postage for fabrics over £20.

For my first dungaree dress, I bought 3 metres of Scarlet Brick and it felt like a massive indulgence. However, when the fabric arrived I can attest to the tag line – you really can ‘feel the difference’! So, this time around there was a noticeable absence of hesitancy – the only question was what to choose from such an enticing array. In the end, I plumped for 2 metres of Distress Denim Fabric Rainy Night which lived up to my expectations and then some. I also pushed the boat out and changed my overlocker threads to four shades of grey, as recommended by May Martin at The Big Simplicity Blog Meet earlier in the year. And it worked a treat – they blend in perfectly and are a pleasing change from the green I’ve refused to deviate from, due to a strong case of 'overlocker rethreading anxiety' – it’s a thing, trust me.

Initially I’d planned to add in-seam pockets and I know I’m in good company when it comes to pocket love – whenever they make an appearance on Instagram, a social storm of appreciation gets whipped up. But my fella pointed out they could interfere with the thigh skimming lines of the skirt and I had to admit he was right – this was an exception to the rule that pockets make EVERYTHING better. I stayed true to the pattern instructions apart from turning under the waistband facing - I overlocked the edges instead and attached to the waistband by stitching in the ditch. And I eschewed what looks like a lapped zip for my first invisible zip, guided expertly by the instructions in Wendy Ward’s latest book – A Beginner’s Guide to Making Skirts.

So, here is my second dungaree dress in what promises to be a series – I just can’t get enough of them! Thanks to Minerva Crafts for the denim and giving me the opportunity to write my first guest blog and share my dungaree dreams.

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