Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

Patchwork denim Erin dungarees // Tilly and the Buttons

I’ve been seemingly collecting ends of denim over the years – mostly as a result of always having to purchase 2 metre lengths of denim for jeans and only really needing 1.2-1.5 metres (they always recommend getting a little extra in case you need to recut anything which is a sensible thing to do but can be kind of wasteful!). The pieces were always too big to throw and too small to get a whole garment out of it so they just piled up. I’d used a few of them in a patchwork work Atelier Scammit Tempo jacket I made a while back but still had more to bust through!

I’d decided on some patchwork dungarees as I knew I’d wear them the most!

I’d originally planned to use the Hello Workshop Hayley dungarees which have so far been my favourite pattern but I was quite happily sent a copy of the Tilly and the Buttons newly released Erin dungarees so decided to try it out instead! In all honesty, I probably wouldn’t have purchased this pattern if left to my own devices as I have more than enough dungaree patterns to be getting on with but I figured since I had it I’d use it!

The Erin’s are a loose fit slouchy dungaree with a tapered leg shape and three different leg lengths. It has in seam pockets at the front waist and options for either ribbon tied straps or knotted through a buttonhole. The front bib has some shaping though for me it’s a bit pointless in a loose garment like this.

I picked my normal size and opted for the cropped leg length. I created lengths of patchwork denim roughly the size of each pattern piece which I then cut to the correct size. Deciding on where each patch of colour would go probably took longer than sewing it all up! I cheated a little and used my overlocker to seam my patches so I could finished my edges at the same time.

The Erin’s are an easy sew so I won’t bore you with the details. I made some changes to the pattern to suit me more – I shortened the bib length to fit and added a front bib pocket. I regret not adding patch pockets on the bum as well, though I guess I can still go back and do that!

Fit wise, they came out weirdly big in the middle. There was an excess of fabric round the tummy area which, coupled with the low cut sides, made it feel oddly clown like. I went back and took out the excess in the side seams. I took out 3cm out of both side seams of the bib and tapered this to nothing about half way down the leg.

This makes it a little snug to take on and off as the waist opening just goes over my hip. I did a baste fit before changing it so I knew I’d still be able to get it on/off though! The dungarees felt much better after making the change so it was worth it!

I left the cropped hem raw and purposely made a mark with sandpaper to make it look like I’ve let down the hem. I was really leaning into the whole outgrown toddler look!

I am not a huge fan of the inseam pockets on the front. I felt they were slightly awkward to use and just a touch too narrow. It’s funny because I used the exact same pocket design for a pinafore I drafted a couple of years ago and I love them there! Patch pockets would’ve matched the look of these better and, annoyingly, would’ve been easier to sew.

Honestly, they’re a lot of fun and I’ve already worn them loads! I’m glad I’ve managed to make the most out of my denim scraps too!

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