Sewing · Work in Progress

Red denim dungarees – part 2, and more besides.

Life has sort of gotten in the way of sewing recently, leaving me a little annoyed with myself that it’s more than a month since my last update.

Marc and I are getting married later this year, and we’ve also decided to move up to Manchester. As an ex-Londoner, I’m finding Bristol small – and since Marc is no longer visiting me in London, he feels the same. So we’re saving hard, to pay for both our nuptials and (eventually) for the deposit on our first home.

Our weekends are consequently being dominated by extra work and lots of time spent travelling. The upshot is that Marc’s Mighty Hoopla dungarees are still unfinished. Some concerted effort this weekend has really broken the back of it, though, and so all that’s left for me to do is attach the shoulder straps. 

I’ve followed a number of online tutorials to reach this point. The scariest bit about the whole project was the zip fly, which is the first time I’ve tried one of these.

This video proved helpful, but I really had to take my time to ensure no errors because the demo fabric has no discernible ‘right’ side. Not to mention that I had to work back-to-front when following the video, as men’s zips open on the opposite side.

Part of the reason for the delay is the number of errors I’ve made. Seeing as I’ve made my own pattern for these dunagrees, and never worked with hardware before (aside from a zip here and there), there’s been more than a couple of re-do’s. One was the button on the front apron, which I erroneously put through the apron itself and not the patch pocket.

On the subject of pockets, placing them in the right place continues to be a dark art I cannot master. The bum pockets are at least on the bum (at the second time of asking – previously on the rear thighs) but are somewhat askew. It’s not ideal but oh well; practice makes perfect.

Since my last update I’ve also finished and posted Mikey’s romper, complete with stud details (pictured below before the sleeves went in). Personally I’m really pleased with how it came out; I hope Mikey enjoys wearing it at various festivals this summer.

I’ve also started updating a few wardrobe bits for summer. Marc and I are both dieting ahead of the wedding, and Marc is seeing faster progress than I am. He’s lost four whole inches off his waist since January, and I’ve shed two – meaning I now fit (just) into his old jeans and chinos.

Among these was a pair in a colour I can’t name (I’m colourblind); to my eyes it’s a kind of teal, or turquoise. They’re only cheap from Primark, and the cut of the leg was far too flared for my taste, even being Slim Fit. So I’ve taken the legs off and hemmed them using some cheap cotton I picked up at the local Bargain World on Gloucester Road (four assorted colours for £1 – bargain indeed).

Trying them on, they kick out just at the wrong point, but a quick turn up fixes the problem. I’m going to wear them the next time the sun’s out, with some denim-y trainers I recently acquired, plus a white-and-navy shirt I’ve been itching to dig out since last summer. The excess leg fabric is going into my growing stash. I’m not sure what I’ll ever use it for, but waste not want not.

I’ve also, somewhat bewilderingly, agreed to take on a project for Marc’s sister, Emma. She’s off to Glastonbury Festival in June and wants to take along an Absinthe Fairy-meets-Tinkerbell-meets-Sinitta at Judges’ Houses ‘look’. Our inspo is this:

So I’ve acquired an old corset of hers, and I’m going to spend next weekend investigating plastic fern/palm/ivy leaves. Armed with these and some green fabric paint, I hope to create something vaguely like the above. I’ve also started by removing some lace trim from the top and bottom edges.

As for the skirt, I’m going to buy some tulle and just play. I’ve no idea how to use tulle, and there’s only one way to find out – but I need to learn fast, as I’ve only really got a couple of spare weekends to complete this before June rolls around.


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