Saturday, 1 September 2012

Tutorial for jersey dungarees (with pattern - size 3m)

At the moment I have two main crafting aims - getting to grips with sewing stretch fabrics and making baby boy clothes. So today's project incoroporates both...
The Jersey Dungarees

This was one of those projects where once the idea popped into my head I just ran with it... There wasn't much planning so there is a little bit of a shortage of photos for the tutorial... sorry! But you can print a copy of the pattern in size 3-6 months by navigating to the pattern page via the tab above.
I started out with an old yellow t-shirt in one-way stretch jersey. I also had some small pieces of the same fabric in green, left over from a previous refashion project.
The first step is to cut out the fabric pieces. You need to cut two front and two back pieces in the main fabric (yellow for me). Make sure that you turn the paper pattern piece over for one of each front and back so you get a left and a right for each. If you are using an old t-shirt like me, align the bottoms of the legs with the bottom of the t-shirt so you have a nice finished edge and won't need to hem them yourself. You also need to cut one crotch piece from the yellow fabric. Then cut two front facings and two back facings from the contrast fabric (green for me) and two strips 36cmx 3cm (with the stretch going width ways). These strips will hold the inseam/crotch fasterners, so if you intend on using large poppers/buttons etc then you may wish to increase the depth from 3cm to something more appropriate for your fasteners. I had enough of the contrast fabric to cut a pocket for the front - I just eyeballed this so there is no pattern piece (sorry).
First you need to sew the two front pieces together from the centre of the neckline down to the crotch (leaving the inseams open). Do the same for the back pieces and the facings. Then sew the front to the back along the two side seams and repeat for the facings. I used the 'elastic overlock' stitch on my machine and this worked well, but depending on your machine and the fabric you use, you will need to experiement to find the best stitch. If you are adding a pocket to the front, now is probably the best time to position and stitch.
This step is optional, but I highly recommend it if you intend on using buttons and button holes on the straps. Using the paper pattern for the facings you need to trace out the front and back strap shape. Then use these template two cut two back straps and two front straps from interfacing. This will be placed between the layers of straps to reinforce them and will make adding fastenings so much easier.
Next, turn the dungarees right side out and the facing wrong side out. Tuck the dungarees into the facing, line up raw edges and pin. If you have interfacing pieces, either pin or use bondaweb to hold them in place on top of the facing straps. Sew all the way around. Trim excess and snip curves if necessary, then turn right side out, press and topstitch.
Next you need to add the crotch piece. Fold the crotch piece in half to find the centre and then line up with the centre seam on the back of the dungarees (right sides together). You need to line up and pin the edges of the crotch piece to the back crotch of the dungarees. This can be a bit tricky, because the curves are inverse, but it is a bit like setting in a sleeve. Sew along the raw edges.
Next take the long strips cut from the contrast fabric. Fold them in half lengthways and turn the short ends under, then press with an iron if needed (make sure the contrast strips are the same length as the inseam/crotch edge of the dungarees). Taking the dungarees and the strip, pin one strip to the front leg inseam and crotch (from the bottom of one leg, right up over the crotch to the bottom of the other leg). Pin the pieces right sides together and raw edges aligned. Stitch, turn out and press. You can topstitch if you choose, but I didn't need to. Do the same for the back legs and crotch. This contrast strip is where you add fasterners of your choice... poppers, velcro, small buttons and buttonholes... the choice is yours. I haven't added mine yet as I am waiting for a delivery of popper tape. If using poppers, remember to add them to the wrong side of the front band the right side of the back band.
All that's left is to add your strap fasteners. I added buttons and buttonholes. I made my buttonholes a little too high, so I am considering adding a second buttonhole below to allow for growth... haven't decided yet though.




  1. I just wanted to leave a note to let you know how much I like this pattern. I've used it to make two little dungarees from old T-shirts, and (apart from the challenge of learning to sew on knit) they are pleasingly cute.

    1. Thanks for the comment. It would be great to see your creations in the fluckr pool at

  2. So sweet! I love that you used knit!