Oh how I eyed off this pattern for a long time. Will they suit me? (ehhhh.) Will I look ridiculous? (debatable.) Will I be able to turn it into a dress version because shorts aren’t really my jam? (absolutely.)
When I finally got around to buying the pattern, there were none in any of the online stores in Australia. Then I contemplated the PDF route for about three seconds before deciding to buy directly from the Pauline Alice website. They took a few weeks to arrive, but I love me a paper pattern.
I bought some spotty stretch denim on sale from The Remnant Warehouse in anticipation and already had a couple of metal denim zippers here that I’d picked up from an op shop ages ago. One has brass teeth and one silver coloured, but you know – this is just a muslin version, so no biggy. I knew there would be a tonne of top stitching involved in this, so I kept grey thread in my machines. My top stitching does not need any extra attention because it is, quite frankly, appalling. I did get lots of practice today though. Button and buckle set was a Birch one from Spotlight.
My measurements put me into the size 46, so I traced that off pretty much as is, with the skirt hack. It was much simpler than I thought it would be. Being dungarees (or overalls, as we would call them in Australia) there is a fair bit of ease.
Off I went, gaining smug confidence early because look at these pockets:
Oh yes – look at those pockets, so fashun, much smug.
Next? Flat felled seams. Oh. Better consult my old mate Google for those buggers. HAHAHA you guys. Look at my seams! YASSS. I AM QUEEEEEEEEEEN.
Basically you sew your pieces wrong sides together (I know, but stay with me), press those seams open, trim the seam allowance on one side, fold the bigger one over the smaller one and Bob’s your Uncle, really.
So flat, so felled, so strong for chunky butts.
Then I made the bodice front bit with the envelope pocket. Still going strong. Still loving this sew (and myself a bit, let’s be honest). First snag came with the second flat felled seam where the bodice attaches to the skirt. The pattern doesn’t specify which seam to trim but I sort of figured by the way the rest of the top of the skirt seam allowance has to fold over, that you’d have to trim the top one. I think. That sounds very confusing but you’ll get it if you make them. The rest of the top edge of the skirt is still raw and has to be finished by folding it over and top stitching. ANYWAY. Seam allowance trimmed, but where the bulky seams sit on the pockets was quite difficult to turn over for that nice flat felled finish, so it’s not as good looking as the back seam. Never mind, not that noticeable.
Next snag was turning over the raw edges of the upper back and the top of the skirt. I didn’t like how it looked and my denim seemed prone to fraying. So I decided to finish it with bias binding instead. Bit of a hacked together job, but again – not all that noticeable. Bullet mostly dodged.
Final and WORST EVER snag: those damn buttons and buckles. Pattern suggests you follow manufacturers instructions. Birch provides none. Cool. Consult my bestie Google once again, find decent tutorial (seriously, do companies just assume we know this stuff? Did you know this stuff? Let me know if I’m the only stupid one). RIGHT. Hammer. Let’s get bashy. Oops. Too bashy. Bashed that first button so good that I can barely get the buckle over it. Uh oh. Code red. Or blue, maybe. She’s gonna need surgery at a later date. And most likely a denim patch after I plier that sucker off. Second one goes on like a dream, of course, because I was much more gentle.
But she’s finished and here she is. All in all, a pretty rad pattern. Next time I’ll only use one zip – two isn’t necessary.
I have the greatest fabric for my next version, but I’m on the fence about whether I like these or not. I think I do, but again – that boxy feeling and that flattering word (can someone kill that word, seriously? With fire). I feel like maybe the cute spotty denim makes me look like a bearded, knife wielding butcher, but again – let me sleep on it.