Bearded and Knife Wielding {Turia Dungarees Dress Hack}

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.)

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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:

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Oh yes – look at those pockets, so fashun, much smug.

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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.

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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.

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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.

webdsc_7413webdsc_7399I 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.

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My favourite things.

I thought a nice, sensible way to start my blog would be to list some of my favourite patterns and designers as I’ve trialed many over the years. Let’s just say I can be picky. I have very three very specific prerequisites and I rarely stray from them. I like my upper arms covered, I like my thighs covered and I like pockets. The latter being the most important, obviously. I must stop right here and add the disclaimer that I don’t believe in ‘fashion rules’, I loathe the word ‘flattering’ and I will fight to the death against anyone that tries to convince anyone else that they need to cover up certain parts of themselves. Basically, you wear whatever the hell you want and no one can tell you otherwise. So while I have no issues with whatever anyone else decides to cover or uncover, I am more comfy with sleeves and knee length skirts. With that said, here are my favourite patterns.

  1. Emery Dress by Christine Haynes.I have made so many of these. So many. Sometimes I make them with a fuller gathered skirt, sometimes with a circle skirt, sometimes with the slightly gathered A line version straight from the pattern. You can see below I’ve also made a more scooped neck, maxi version and also a bit of a heart cut out back version. It’s a dress that goes together in the most lovely, simple way and it is suitable for those of us with a curvier shape. Boobs and hips, if you will.

2. Sudley Blouse by Megan Nielsen.

Oh Sudley, how I love thee. A relative new comer to my stash, she became a firm favourite right away. And to be honest, I bought Sudley for the blouse version – but on a whim decided to go with the dress first. I’m yet to make the blouse *cough*. This is my ideal beach dress – no zip, no buttons – just a straight over the head, easy peasey, comfortable as heck dress. A nice change to the structured ones I usually wear. Perfect for a slightly dusty feeling Sunday too. Did I mention it’s reversible? REVERSIBLE. It’s another that goes together really nicely and pretty quickly because there are no darts or closures. The trickiest bit is that lovely bias facing, but there’s an excellent tutorial for that here.

 

3. Simple Gathered Skirt

Ok, so this is kind of cheating because it’s not really a pattern, but it’s something I make all the time and is super easy. I have a curved waistband from a vintage pattern that I know fits me well and I use it for pretty much every skirt I make – I just gather skirt panels the width of the fabric I’m using. That’s it. One on the fold for the front, two panels for the back and a zip up the back. So easy. Gathering is great like that because you can just make it fit. I line up the centre front of the skirt to the centre front of the interfaced waistband and add pockets. Sometimes I maxi them, sometimes I add buttons down the front instead of the zipper – but they’re all basically the same.

 

I have way more to share, but those are definitely the three that I’ve sewn the most.