I have a really big love affair with dungarees. It’s been that way for as long as I can remember. In fact, I have a very fond memory of my Mum taking me shopping for an outfit in preparation for my 7th birthday, where we were set to head to the West End to watch a theatre show, and I picked out the most amazing pair of off-white dungarees which came with a little daisy print top to go underneath. I loved that outfit so much, and wore it until it literally fell apart. 

I made myself a pair of dungarees with some amazing heavy denim from Minerva last year, and they have been on a constant rotation in my wardrobe ever since they came off the sewing machine. They were made with a 14oz classic dark blue denim, and they are very heavyweight. That’s great in the winter, but I found myself looking for something that I could wear more in the warmer months too. 

I decided to try the same dungarees pattern as I used previously, which is Kwik Sew 3897. Previously I made a size XL, and found the fit very oversized. I’ve also lost a couple of inches from my hips recently, so figured that going for a size L this time would do the trick. The denim I’m using is the black washed denim. It’s described as a medium weight, and I would say it’s perfect for a summer denim. It’s quite light and drapes, but has enough body to work well for a structured garment such as dungarees. 

Cutting the dungarees was straight forward enough. I prewashed the denim when it arrived to make sure they wouldn’t be any shrinking post-construction. This pattern calls for a little interfacing in some places, I just used some medium weight iron on that I happened to have in my stash.

I’m glad I had made this pattern previously, as it made the whole process a little quicker to work through. I had considered using a contrasting top stitch thread, but in the end I settled on black to match the denim, as I was looking for more of a laid-back aesthetic. There’s a lot of topstitching called for by this pattern, but I actually love the topstitching! I took my time with it and I’m really pleased with the final result.

As I mentioned, I wanted to be able to wear these dungarees during the warmer months, and so I decided to make them shorts, instead of full length. I grabbed a pair of shorts I already wear to roughly figure out where to cut the length. I didn’t worry too much about being too precise as I knew I could always take some of the length off once they were sewn together, before hemming. 

I had a bit of a shock when trying them on, however, as I found the dungarees to be a little more snug than I had intended. I was pretty surprised and couldn’t figure out how this had happened, as the XL pair that I had made previously are much too big. On closer inspection, it seems that on my previous pair, I had used a 1cm seam allowance, and on this pair - as per the pattern instructions - I used a 1.5cm seam allowance, which is the correct size. So, not only had I sized down a size, id also lost about 2” in ease due to using the correct seam allowance this time. Oops! Thankfully, they do fit, and although they are a little more form-fitting than I was looking for, I think they’re still wearable.

Overall, I really like how they have turned out. The black denim is lovely. Really soft and I love the colour. The topstitching is some of my best to date, and I’m really proud of the construction in general. Plus, this pair took me about half the time to stitch as my previous pair, so I’m pretty chuffed with that!