Emma's Tilly and the Buttons Mila Dungarees


I am so excited to be writing my first blog post for Sew Me Sunshine! I chose to make the Tilly and The Buttons Mila dungarees as I love the pattern and it carries both bold and plain fabrics really well so figured it could appeal to all. I obviously chose a patterned fabric as I love lots of colour!! I received the Eliza Stretch cotton for this project just before Christmas and I couldn’t wait to get started so I jumped right in…as I always do! Just a little note on the fabric, it’s 97% cotton, 3% spandex and has a 20% crossways stretch making it perfect for the Mila dungarees. It would also be great for trousers or a dress that required a little bit of stretch. It’s a very reasonable £7 per half metre and at 145cm wide you’re getting a lot of fabric for your money. It’s a great quality cotton, medium weight and beautiful to work with.

So, onto the make! I first made this pattern when I started sewing at the beginning of last year and I didn’t own an overlocker or really have too much of a clue about what I was doing so the finish on them is quite poor! Fast forward a few months and I felt much more prepared to take on this sew and do it some justice by taking my time and finishing all my seams properly and topstitching with a bit more care!

I really wanted to pattern match my front pocket onto the bib as best I could as I always think it looks great when people do this!! I managed it to a degree, the left side much more so than he right but I was still happy with the end result! It’s a much trickier business than I anticipated getting it all to match!!

Once this was complete and I was happy I moved onto the straps, I sewed them as per guidance booklet and trimmed the seams back with pinking shears. I always do this to avoid any unnecessary bulk. I then turned them with my trusty knitting needle, I do have a loop turner but sometimes I find it an easier task with the knitting needle and the Mila straps are one such occasion!!

When it comes to sewing the crotch seam, I really like to ensure that my seams match perfectly! With any trousers or shorts that I make now I just baste a few stitches where the seams all meet, this ensures that when you sew the full crotch seam, nothing can move or slide out of place and so when you turn it right way out, everything will look neat and well finished!

Once the waistband is on and before I sew all the facings in I like to check the fit, just to see where I am and if any adjustments are going to be needed. I also pin the straps at this point so I know where to shorten my straps (I actually left them long on this pair as liked the way it looked!) Once happy, I sewed the waistband facing in. This is definitely worth taking your time over as you are stitching in the ditch so you need to be sure you are catching all the facing in. There’s nothing more annoying than finding a small section that hasn’t caught in!

All that remains then is to sew your buttonholes and hem the dungarees! I do find I have to make a small adjustment here as I am between sizes so I figure out my own buttonhole/button placement when I try them on for a fit. I also take note of how much I am going to need to take up on the hem.

Then that’s it! Dungarees done! I absolutely love making this pattern, it’s a couple days worth of on and off sewing but it’s not hard. It’s quite a relaxing sew! I always feel that dungarees take me back to my childhood or as if I should be a children’s television presenter…haha! I don’t know, either way, I love the fun that they bring to my wardrobe. I need to make a plain pair in plain denim, I see that Harriet has some lovely green/black reversible denim in stock…imagine the fun you could have with that!! I think I could be tempted….!!

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog, until the next time…!


Instagram @thezipperfoot

I was provided this fabric free of charge in exchange I wrote this blog post. I chose the fabric, and chose what pattern to use. 


  • I love these so much! It’s so nice to realise how much you’ve improved when you re-make an old project isn’t it!

  • Emma these are absolutely gorgeous! What I love most about reading this blog is hearing how perfected your sewing techniques are now becoming! Loving the neat crotch seams! I’ll get mine perfect one day!👌


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