A Simple Guide On How To Sew A Dungaree Dress

Have you tried your skills on making your own dress? Are you looking for something casual to wear on a warm summer day? Why not opt for a denim dungaree dress paired up with a cute cold shoulder t-shirt? And, here’s the best part – you can sew your own dress, with patch pockets and all – with a minimum of fuss. Sounds interesting, yes?

A smiling red hair young woman wearing a denim dungaree dress

If you’re not too proficient with a needle and thread, don’t worry. Our feature contains easy step-by-step instructions and helpful tips to aid you on your DIY dungaree dress journey and is suitable for all skill levels. Take a moment to go through our dressmaking tutorial, and you’ll be ready to make a dungaree style outfit in no time!

Planning for your dress sewing pattern

Alrighty! Before we move on to the actual instructions for the sewing tutorial, let’s take a moment to discuss the sewing pattern

If you’re new to the world of sewing, you may not realise the importance of patterns. But, mapping out a pattern for any outfit can help reduce the amount of effort you put into the sewing project and help reduce the overall margin for error

From beginners to professionals, everyone relies on sewing patterns because it’s an essential step before producing your garment. Once you understand the basics of pattern making, you have a better idea of how putting your garment together will work. 

1. Getting the right measurements

To begin with, you’re going to need measurements. Grab your measuring tape and measure your hip, waist, bust, and high bust area. Then proceed to measure from your shoulder to high bust. Don’t forget to measure between your waist and bust for you want the skirt’s bib transition. Finally, take measurements for a hem of your preference. 

2. Plotting the pattern

Once you’ve jotted down all the measurements on paper, grab your pattern paper and draw a straight line vertically. This line will double as your fold line

Next, chart your measurements (divided by four) and how long you want the pattern. After deciding how big you want the dress’s pinafore to be, grab a french curve and connect the measurements. After that’s done, jot the line you want working as the seam allowance for the top, hem, and side seams.

Once the pattern is complete, cut it twice on fold for the dress’s front and back. Then cut out the straps of your dungaree using the shoulder-to-high bust measurements. After your sewing pattern is ready, you can move on to estimating how much cloth (denim or otherwise) you’ll be needing for the tutorial

3. Links and tips

If you feel like jotting out a dungaree dress sewing pattern is a bit much for your first foray into dressmaking – we’ve got you covered. 

You can explore and discover a list of ready-made sewing patterns for women (both in printed and pdf files format) for all variations of dresses (strapless, sheaths, jumpsuits, and of course, the Cleo pinafore dress) online. 

The best part is these patterns are available in several skill levels and are pretty affordable. Some sites also offer free patterns for Cleo pinafores, but you may have trouble getting the perfect size

If you opt for the Tilly pdf sewing pattern, the files will be emailed to you almost instantly, and you can print them out. However, be sure to check the size chart and choose the right pattern size using your measurements. 

What’s more, if you plan on making more of the same kind of dresses, plot the pattern you purchase on cloth after you receive it and mark the pieces with different coloured markers. That way, you’ll have a design that lasts a lot longer than paper, and you’ll be able to reuse it without worries. Just make sure to keep the cloth pattern away from water, lest your markings disappear. 

Also, you can personalise your dungaree pattern by adding front pockets, opting for buttonholes instead of dungaree buckles, etc. You can even go for an optional centre-front split, as long as you leave room for the required seam allowance.  

Step-by-step tutorial for sewing a dungaree dress

It’s time to tackle your dress by the seams and get to sewing! Here’s the detailed stitching instructional for your cute dress! Ready?

How To Sew A Dungaree Dress

1. Start by working on your bib and arm seams from both the front and back pattern pieces with your sewing machine. Once you’ve finished the seams, move on to sewing your patch pocket on its designated spot. If you’re using something apart from denim to make the pockets, try interfacing the material of the pocket for stability

The things you need to sew a dungaree dress

2. Use chalk to mark the folding line of the bib (both front and back). Then fold on the line and ensure the right sides are together. Next, sew the seam allowance and trim on the wrong side (to ensure the stitching isn’t too apparent). 

Chalking and sewing the folding line

3. Fold the armhole seam in place to create an indent. Move on to creating the straps of your dress. You can do this by folding the strap pieces in half (right sides together) and sew along the strap’s length. Turn the material inside out and add topstitching to finalise the straps.

Sewing the straps

4. After you’re done with the topstitch, measure and mark out where you want the straps to go on the back piece. Ideally, the straps should be placed closer to the ends. Place the straps in place under the bib hem and sew them. 

Marking out the where to place the straps

5. Start working on sewing your armhole hems. Next, add to the strength of the straps by extra-stitching.

Sewing the armholes of the dungaree dress

6. Pin your side seams to keep them in place and sew them together in place with a flat fell seam.

pinning the side seams in place

7. Finally, work on neatening the strap ends, add your denim clasps and buttons, and you’re done.

Conlcuding the dungaree dress by adding clasps and buttons

8. Iron out any creases that may have developed while sewing your dress and try it on for size! 

Tips to decorate your dress

Whether you rely on ready-made dress patterns for women or plan to make the entire dress from scratch yourself – there are several ways to add a personal touch

This section is entirely devoted to discussing embellishment or decorating ideas to make your denim dungaree stand out from the rest!

  • One of the coolest methods of adding colour to any denim outfit is enamel pins. Enamel pins on the straps or pockets of your dungaree dress can help elevate your simple outfit to a work of art. 
  • If you’re not in the mood to do any more work, add a splash of colour to your outfit with the help of rainbow leggings to your knee-length dress. If you’re not a fan of the rainbow hues, try going for pastel shades
  • If you’re a bit of a Picasso, grab your pencils, brushes, and fabric paint and get to work on the dress! The great thing about painting on denim is that you can create quite a vivid composition by adding multiple layers of fabric paint. Just be sure to add a layer of thick cloth between the dress to ensure the fabric paint doesn’t bleed onto the other side. If you don’t want too much colour, work on areas like the hem or the neckline
  • Drive to your nearest craft store and take a look at their fabric embellishments section. You can use just about anything, from cone spikes to bronze studs or even ribbons, to add some character to your dress. Sew-on decorations are perfect for materials like corduroy or velvet that don’t do too well with paint
  • Try our favourites – the iron-on patches to embellish your dress. Almost every store carries these. If you can’t find iron-on patches in the stores near you, log on to the internet and search the major retail sites for their collections. 

Denim dungaree dress and other denim items on a table

There you have it, fellow denim-enthusiasts. Our dungaree stitching guide is at its end, and we hope you’ve enjoyed the ride. There are a plethora of sewing DIYs floating on the internet, waiting for eager beginners to try their luck on, including ours. But, if you think we’re done imparting our sewing knowledge, think again. Who knows, maybe we’ll try creating an instructional for jumpsuits next. Stay tuned! We’ll be back again next time, with more things for you to try out.

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