Sunday 17 March 2013

Overalls effect: How to transform old dungarees into a skater dress

Think after a successful week of collaborative excitement I've forgotten about my tutorials and my adoring public? Think again.

You will need

Comfortably close fitting dungarees (not baggy ones, in other words)

A square metre of floral fabric (Author's note: Lucky leggy ladies may require slightly more fabric, depending on how much coverage they'd like - or not!)

Cream lace trim (optional, but it's probably the easiest way to give the hem a nice finish)

Matching thread for your fabric and trim

Sewing machine

Iron and ironing board

Patternmaster or graded setsquare

Fabric scissors

Paper scissors

About a square metre of pattern paper

Strip of card about 60cm long (or longer if you'd like more length, see author's note above)


Ballpoint pen



Honestly, the only reason I didn't mark this as "Very easy" is that it requires sewing which, I appreciate is a technical skill and potentially a daunting prospect for some, but, seriously, this is as easy as sewing gets and not a bad project to start with if you're considering taking up dressmaking.


About 2 hours.

To ad-dress the matter of quick recycling...

Take your strip of card, stick a pin at one end, measure and mark out a point 50cm from it. Measure halfway across the front of the waist of your dungarees and mark out a separate point for that length, so if the front of your waistband is 34cm wide, measure a point on your strip of card that's 17cm away from the pin. I'm sure that if a mathematician were doing this, they would calculate it more accurately using pi and all sorts (perchance even mash) but I still stand by my method and its ability to deliver the requisite goods.

Pin your card strip at in the middle of your fabric paper. Use your ballpoint pen to pierce through the two points you parked out so that your card works as a compass and your two new holes as reference points for drawing your 2 circles. Cut out your pattern paper. It should form a doughnut shape.

Meanwhile in dungaree camp, you need to mark out a 1cm seam allowance below the waist of your dungarees, using your patternmaster...

...and cut along the line.

Pin your circle of pattern paper to your fabric and cut it  out.

Sew your fabric circle to your dungarees and finish the hem, either by turning it under by 1cm and sewing it in place or by attaching some lace trim. Personally, I'd recommend the latter.

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