I am absolutely delighted to share with you my blogpost for the wonderful Sew Me Sunshine. Back in December 2022 I visited Sew Me Sunshine on their open evening. It was such a treat to visit Sew Me Sunshine and get to see all their beautiful fabrics and stroke them! The following day I was over the moon to receive a message from the team asking if I would like to do a blogpost for them. Initially I was in complete shock as I have been shopping at Sew Me Sunshine for several years and never in my wildest dreams did I think they would ask me! Of course I jumped at the chance and we chatted about some ideas for fabrics and pattern combinations.
We decided that the pattern I would sew would be the Turia Dungarees by Pauline Alice Patterns. I was so kindly gifted the beautiful Petrol Stretch Cotton Needlecord to make the dungarees up. The colour of the needlecord is a deep petrol which is a colour I find works well with my colouring. I wanted to use a fabric with structure and stretch for these dungarees, so they would have the correct weight for the project and have added stretch for comfort and fit.
Looking at the measurements for the pattern and my measurements I decided to make a Size 40 at the waist grading to a 42 at the hips. Although I was a little distracted when I cut out the pattern and accidentally cut a size smaller, so a 38 at the waist grading to a 40 at the hips. I decided to go with my mistake but to make the seam allowance smaller to accommodate my mishap! So when I was sewing I used a 1cm SA instead of a 1.5cm SA and this worked well. I also cut out the length for the shorts to the length of the size 48. My measurements for reference are currently B35 W31 H40 and my petite height at 5ft 0.5”.
Before cutting out the back pocket pieces I decided to photo copy and enlarge the pocket pattern piece by 15%, as I had seen on a tutorial that the back pocket pieces come up very small, I’m so glad that I made this adjustment.
The Petrol Stretch Needlecord was a delight to cut out, it behaved like a dream and I was careful to ensure that I was considering the nap of the fabric when cutting out the pattern pieces. When sewing up the dungarees I used an 80/12 Standard needle and this worked well with the weight of the fabric.
I found the construction of the dungarees really enjoyable, there were lots of stages where top stitching was involved and I found this very satisfying and relatively easy with the matching Gutermann thread that Sew Me Sunshine kindly provided along with the material.
The pattern doesn’t mention when to overlock or when to finish the seam allowances, so I used my sewing knowledge to work out the best times to do this. As I had reduced the width of the seam allowance I couldn’t do the flat felled seams as instructed so I overlocked the seam allowances together, pressed them to one side and topstitched as if I was doing a flat felled seam.
When it came to turning the straps right sides out I used a Prym loop turner which was really easy to use and made turning the straps a super speedy and easy task, I would highly recommend getting a set of these.
I had heard on a podcast that when pressing anything with a pile you could use a scrap of the same fabric to use as a pressing cloth. I used this method when I was pressing the gorgeous needlecord so I didn’t squash the pile of the fabric and it worked a treat.
The pattern suggested that once the shorts are constructed that you baste the side seams together and then you have a quick try on for fit and decide where to sew for the final seam. The fit was great as it was so I sewed the side seams and then went on to put the zip in on the left side. I used an Antique Brass trouser zip that I bought from Jaycotts and I love how the colour looks with the Petrol Needlecord. I was very kindly gifted a set of silver Prym buckles from Sew Me Sunshine but I decided that I like the antique brass colour more so I bought a set of buckles to match the zip. I am very grateful for the silver buckles that I was gifted and I’m sure I’ll use them on another lovely project soon.
The zip was easy to install and I used the method of basting the side seam shut and then pinning and top stitching the zip in. Then once the zip was attached I opened up the basted side seam and topstiched close to the zip to complete the zip insertion.
I had just enough thread to complete the project, there was literally 30cm left from a 100m spool of thread!
I’ve really enjoyed wearing these short dungarees so far with a striped Tilly and the Buttons Agnes top but I can see these being great in the Spring, Autunm and Winter with various tops, cardigans and tights depending on the weather. I think these dungarees would also be fantastic in some of the printed fabulous denims that Sew Me Sunshine currently stock and be great for the Summer too.
I would like to say a humungous thank you to all of the wonderful team at Sew Me Sunshine and especially to Harriet for asking me to do this guest blog post, it has been such an honour and a little dream come true for a sewist like me. It has been a joy to work with their wonderful fabric and make a fabulous pair of dungarees that I will wear and love for a very long time to come.
Thank you and lots of love from,
Find Katherine on her instagram @ sewvertonmakery
*Katherine was provided the fabric of her choice free of charge for her blog post & also provided with a £50 voucher*