Monday, 31 July 2017

July Indie Pattern Update! (and giveaway winners!)



Hey guys! Well it has been another whopper of a month for new pattern releases and I've been really enjoying all the seasonal sewing inspiration you've been giving me on both your blogs and Instagram over the last few weeks. I'm currently wishing someone would grant me the gift of an extra week slotted into my life when time stands still and all I have to do is sew!


New Patterns


  • The two new patterns released with this month's edition of Seamwork Magazine were the Veronica and Georgia Dresses. I really like the clean, contemporary feel of both of these and the chambray version of Veronica is just like an image I've been coming back to on Pinterest for years!
  • Style Arc released the Quinn Woven Top & Quinn Woven Skirt which can either be bought separately or together as part of a discounted bundle. The new Lacey Dress is also a breezy summer delight with panelling to play with. One of their July freebies was also new; the Sia Knit Dress.
  • Seamstress Erin released the Ultraviolet Tee. It's an oversized shirt with short grown on sleeves that comes with two cup size options. The larger size is darted/gathered for a little extra shape.
  • If you're after a speedy and fun summer sew the new Wardrobe By Me Hera Top could be just the thing. Best of all it's a free PDF download! The faux wrap top combined with small flutter sleeve and peplum created by the elasticated waistline makes for a sweet feminine style.
  • Savvy Patterns released the Grace Tankini. It's a vintage inspired, modest two piece swimwear option with two top versions and four bottoms to choose from including a flippy little circle skirt.
  • The patterns launched with the 4th edition of Sew Sew Def were the Reese and Wooster. Reese is a tie-up dress featuring eyelets down the front and Wooster is a pair of mens cargo shorts with dropped crotch. Both come free when you by the downloadable July/August issue. 
  • New from Evie La Luve is the Mimi Bikini. I'm really interested in making one of these. I love the cut out look created by the double back straps of the top and waistband of the briefs.
  • Lisa from the Avid Seamstress added the Shift Dress pattern to her collection of classic designs for timeless wardrobe staples. The low back adds a touch of elegance and the pencil style skirt with vent is a nice detail.
  • Sew Over It's PDF release of the month was the Juliette Blouse which features an on-trend ruffle front. They also released a new paper pattern this month, the Elsie Dress, which is a gorgeous full skirted 1950s inspired design with a fitted bodice. I'm wondering if I've got time to sew one up before a friend's wedding in a couple of weeks!
  • Christine Haynes released the Varda Dress and Top. It's a shift style garment which has a curved shape to flatter the lines of the body and three sleeve options. A lovely blank canvas for special fabrics.
  • Schnittchen had a flurry of new releases this month. The first was the Marta Dress and Skirt which is the first in a series of four patterns designed by the winners of the Maker's Wish competition. The combination of pieced cups, button front and flared skirt is gorgeous. Also released were the Amanda TopChari Dress & Top and just yesterday they sneaked in a fourth with the Carla Jumpsuit! LOVE the cut of this one. It's just the sort of thing I've been wearing all summer
  • Fairly new to the block, French Navy Now released their second PDF pattern this month. The Forsythe Dress has a breezy silhouette and short cuffed kimono sleeves. The curved panels on the bodice provide opportunity to play with colours, prints and stripes and I can imagine it making up beautifully in lightweight crinkly cottons and linens. 
  • The Raglan Blouse and Sasha Skirt are new from Friday Pattern Company. The volume of the blouse which is elasticated at the cuff and waist has a beautiful seventies vibe and I love the clever design of the wrap skirt with ruffle.
  • Always offering a new challenge up to the sewing community, Scroop Patterns released the Rilla Corset. It's a WW1 era style under-bust corset which comes down over the hips. The two views feature slightly different neck and hemlines. A great introduction to corsetry for anyone with a bit of sewing under their belt.
  • Hey June Handmade released the Sandbridge Skirt; a pattern for a classic straight cut denim skirt with raw hem. It features all the classic jeans style details with five pockets, back yoke and belt loops.
  • The big summer release from Colette is the Penny Shirtdress. Shirt dresses seem to be this year's big thing and this one comes with a classic view but also a second variation which includes a wrap over waist belt which I adore! The kind of little detail that elevates a garment into something special and interesting.
  • Pattern Fantastique released the Glacial Tee which is a classic t-shirt base layer but with a contemporary feel which I appeals to me. I like the close fit, slightly shaped hemline and high neckline.
  • I Am Patterns launched their I Am In Africa collection which includes three new patterns as well as updated versions and samples of their previous patterns. The Jain Top & Dress features batwing sleeves and a slightly raised waistline, the Joy Top is a simple style with elasticated full sleeves and my favourite of the bunch the Celeste Dress & Top features a heart shape neckline and back yoke.
  • I'm really drawn to interesting wrap styles at the moment so the new Designer Stitch Ravanna Faux Wrap Pants certainly grabbed my attention. The high low hemline is unusual on a trouser.
  • Ready To Sew released the Jazz Jumpsuit & Dress which has already proven pretty popular on my Instagram feed. The loose fit is bang on trend and certainly appealing for the muggy London weather of late.
  • Pauline Alice launched two new patterns for summer in the form of the Mirambell Skirt and Lliria Dress. The topstitching on the skirt really accentuates the shaped waistband and pockets beautifully and I adore the 1940s feel of the wrap dress with asymmetrical buttoning front.
  • The Suki Kimono is new from Helen's Closet. It's a pattern for a classic, comfortable robe which can be kept practical and straightforward in a simple cotton or made glamorous in a beautiful silk.
  • New from Made for Mermaids is the Mama Tara Twist Top which accompanies the release of the Tara girls pattern. The twist front to this basic tee is unique but simple to achieve.


Pattern Updates and Expansion Packs




Sew-alongs




Upcoming!


  • Deer & Doe have a new collection coming at the end of August. It looks like it will include an updated version of their Bluet Dress, two new patterns and a surprise!
  • Pier and Palace are a new indie pattern company on the block and were looking for testers for their first patterns. I'm super excited to see what they have to offer and what their design aesthetic will be. Eyes peeled guys!
  • The Tailoress is soon to launch a small range of menswear patterns plus has another pattern for a ladies jumpsuit up her sleeve.
  • Itch to Stitch are currently testing the Chai Shirt and Dress which is inspired by vintage wasp waist dresses. I love a shirtdress with a waistband.
  • The new pattern from Grainline Studio is coming tomorrow!


Other Exciting News


  • Wendy Ward from MIY Collection's next book will be 'The Beginner's Guide to Sewing with Knitted Fabrics'. I'm really exited to see what this will include as I have been wearing my merino Longley Cardigan so much that I had to make myself a second to wear when that one is in the wash!
  • Colette launched a new look for their paper patterns. At the moment just Zinnia and Violet feature the new package design, including full colour photo booklets and fit guides, but as patterns are reprinted they will be updated. The new patterns come in misses or curvy size ranges and if you purchase a paper pattern direct from Colette you will get a digital copy including all sizes.
  • I know a fair few of you were disappointed when some of Trend Patterns' first collection of paper patterns sold out and were not set to be reprinted. Well the good news is the whole of their TPC collection is now available in downloadable PDF format!
  • Christine Haynes is discontinuing her printed patterns to focus on PDF downloads. There was a huge sale to finish up the printed stock but all sold out just yesterday.
  • Jennifer Lauren Handmade is trying out a new idea and putting together a group of pattern reviewers to honestly review and spread the word about her patterns. Each month around ten people will be selected to receive the Pattern of the Month and post a review about it.
  • French pattern company Mouna Sew are now offering their PDF patterns in English and their accompanying You Tube tutorials feature English subtitles. English paper patterns will be coming towards the end of the year!


There's certainly lots to look forward to over the next few months, not that my sewing queue needs to get any bigger! As usual feel free to add any news I may have missed into the comments and I'll finish up with some indie sewing inspiration from the online community!




  • Charlotte's Liberty Print Inari Tee Dress has made me rethink my restraint in the Liberty sale last month...it's so good to know that you can squeeze this dress out of just a metre! Great combination of pattern and print.
  • Rachel from The Foldline made a maxi length Charlie Caftan from Closet Case Patterns which is simply scrumptious.
  • I would never have though to use broderie anglais to make the Kalle shirt but Helen has used in to perfection! It's the perfect layering piece and the thickness of the embroidery adds structure to the style.
  • Pauline blew my mind with her hack of the Papercut Bowline Sweater into a dress. I must own one immediately!
  • Melissa made an outstanding fabric choice and then used it to it's fullest potential with her cityscape version of the Gabrielle Dress. It has totally made me rethink this pattern.


Finally as promised I have the winners of the tickets to the Great British Sewing Bee Live to announce! Selected by random number generator the lucky ladies are:

  • Crazyrina
  • Sarah Guthrie
  • Roo
  • Emmie
  • Astrid Breel

Congratulations! You should each be receiving an email from me shortly so I can get hold of your contact details and arrange for your pair of tickets to be sent out to you. Hope to see you there!
All those of you not so lucky don't forget you can still get £1.50 off the entry ticket price using the code DCS at the checkout.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Cornflower Crepe Holly Trousers

I haven't had a lot of time for sewing recently, which (aside from being incredibly frustrating!) means I'm running low on finished projects to share with you. However, I have had these beauties finished and photographed but as yet un-posted since last summer! Now actually seems like a better time to share them with you though as they didn't get much wear last year and I've fallen back in love with them recently. Luckily I keep a pretty detailed notebook of alterations and my sewing experiences so I'm still able to tell you a bit about the sewing process too!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Holly Trousers in Cornflower Crepe from Sew Over It

I really wanted a pair of solid wide legged trousers back when they were starting to creep into fashion  early last year. There's something so effortlessly elegant in the breezy flowing cut. This however was before the influx of patterns for wide legged trousers and culottes happened this spring so I turned to to my stash and happened upon just the thing in the form of the By Hand London Holly Jumpsuit. Unfortunately this is the only one of their pattern collection still waiting to be released as a PDF and the paper run is all sold out so if you're inspired to make your own pair you'll have to beg the BHL ladies or beg/borrow/steal a copy from a sewing pal!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Holly Trousers in Cornflower Crepe from Sew Over It

The pattern does come with a waistband piece for making as separates but the line drawings in fact only suggest shorts. I opted to use it for trousers as I was after something simple with a wide leg and I loved the way the shorts fit me when I tested the playsuit a few years back now. The waist hits just where I like a high waisted garment to sit, there is the perfect amount of ease around the bum and depth in the crotch and I like the way they're cut to skim my lower back. I think the key to a great pair of wide legged trousers is to balance that width with a great slim fit around the waist and hips.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Holly Trousers in Cornflower Crepe from Sew Over It

The inspiration from my fabric choice came direct from Lisa Comfort at Sew Over It. Just when I was mulling over this project she posted a very similar pair of trousers on their YouTube channel made from their triple crepe. I adored the way these moved and flowed on her and the gorgeous range of colours it comes in sold it for me. In the end I went with the blue violet which unfortunately isn't stocked any more (such a long time ago!) but there are still a lovely range of blues on offer. I had these trousers in mind for wearing on my trip to Antibes, perfect for long summer evenings sipping wine by the sea. Therefore I wanted a fresh, summery colour but nothing too bright or shocking as the style was already quite a departure from the norm for me! This soft cornflower blue has worked out perfectly. Blues always feel quite timeless and classic to me.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Holly Trousers in Cornflower Crepe from Sew Over It

I'm not going to lie, the crepe was a bit of a nightmare to work with. Which probably explains why I'm getting so much more enjoyment out of them now. The not so pleasant sewing experience is a distant memory and I can enjoy them for the beautiful trousers that they are! It has a lovely weight and drape which is great to wear; I'd definitely call it a bottom weight and it's one of the heavier crepes I've worked with. If you made a dress with it it would move beautifully but you wouldn't get a lightweight, floppy little dress from it. I've just thought that the red colour would make an amazing bias cut evening gown! I wouldn't have thought that I'd see a plain poly crepe fabric as an option for evening wear but actually in the case of these trousers it's the fabric that makes them feel a little too dressy for everyday.

The poly content was what I had trouble working with. First of all it seems to be made up of lots of tiny little fibres which when cut into go EVERYWHERE. It's not the usually kind of fraying with fluffy threads but lots of little shards. I decided to overlock the raw edges of all my pieces before starting to sew so I didn't have to deal with all the mess! Next I had real a real problem with skipping stitches. I was using a universal size 80 needle and changing it didn't help. As often seems to be the case with a troublesome poly it was actually changing the thread that made all the difference. I started out with Gutermann Sew All but got the best results with a cheap and cheerful Moon polyester spool. Lastly it was difficult to get a nice flat seam as the poly content means you can't turn the iron up too high and steam makes little to no difference as that kind of crepe just bounces right back!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Holly Trousers in Cornflower Crepe from Sew Over It

As usual with By Hand London Patterns I cut the US6/UK10. The fit is exactly as I'd hoped and nice and snug around the waist. Their patterns always tend to come up really long on me. I'm 5ft3" so am used to having to shorten things a bit but do find BHL to be quite exceptionally long, particularly their earlier designs. I measured the pattern pieces and compared them to my inside and outside leg measurements before cutting to save wasting fabric. I took 9cm off the hem and this turned out to be pretty much right, although once made up I decided such a glamorous style required floor sweeping length rather than my usual ankle grazing style so I'd not left myself much to play with! I ended up hemming by overlocking the raw edge and just turning the stitching up to save all the length I could. On their eyebrows as they say in the business!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Holly Trousers in Cornflower Crepe from Sew Over It

The sewing and fitting process sure makes us discover those little individual quirks about our bodies that I think I wouldn't otherwise notice! It was in the process of making these that I realised that I have one leg longer than the other, or actually more like one hip slightly higher than the other after years of carrying about bags on one shoulder. Lesson learned to always pin the hem on both legs and measure from the floor up rather than the waist down! Another thing to bear in mind when making flowing trousers like these is to be sure you've cut your fabric on grain. Anything off grain will start to make those legs twist and hang funny which will feel mighty uncomfortable as well as looking odd.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Holly Trousers in Cornflower Crepe from Sew Over It

Once you've got the fit right (which luckily for me I knew was spot on straight out of the envelope) they are super fast to cut and sew as it's basically three pattern pieces and lots of lovely long seams. The most challenging aspect is putting in the side zip which I've done a lot of now so aside from the fabric issues this was a lovely, mindless, satisfying sew. I definitely recommend sticking with the invisible zip the pattern suggests. It helps maintain the classy clean lines of this style. The skinny waistband is another thing I love about this pattern as it doesn't sag and wrinkle throughout the day as a wider waistband tends to. I interfaced mine with a mid-weight fusible. As I did when I made shorts from this pattern I omitted the waistband overlap with hook and eye fastening in favour of running the zip right up to the top of the waistband. This is just a personal preference of mine as I've never been able to get a neat and tidy finish on the overlap but have had quite a lot of practice inserting invisible zips!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: By Hand London Holly Trousers in Cornflower Crepe from Sew Over It

It's been quite fun reviewing a project so long after making it as I can look at it with fresh eyes and properly review the fit and quality. It is kind of weird to look back at photos I took a year ago though! Look how tanned and healthy looking I was! Definitely been working too much this year. I used to live in my skinny jeans while I was working but after a bout of lovely summer weather over the last couple of months it felt really weird to put them on for the first time the other day. Wide legs seem to be taking over my wardrobe!

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Win Tickets to The Great British Sewing Bee Live!

Just a quick post today for my UK based readers (or readers further afield who might fancy a trip to London in October!). There's a new dressmaking event in town brought to us by Upper Street Events in collaboration with Love Productions who brought us The Great British Sewing Bee! The Great British Sewing Bee Live will be taking place at Excel London from 21st-24th September 2017 and there will be a whole host of things going on to entertain and inspire anyone with a passion for sewing, fashion and textiles.


It looks to have a fairly similar format to the Knitting & Stitching Show which I've had a brilliant time attending for the last few years. I always discover something knew and leave inspired to sew but as much as I'm interested in and inspired by all kinds of craft my real passion is sewing and dressmaking so I'm really excited to see an event focused purely on that. Plus of course anything to do with the Bee has my extra special interest as I was lucky enough to combine my work and my hobby and join the sewing team last series as fabric buyer!

There is a huge array of things on offer to do and see including dressmaking drop-in clinics, a catwalk and garment and vintage fashion galleries. Of course one of the main draws for me at this kind of event are the exhibitors stalls and there will be over 200 dressmaking and sewing suppliers offering up their goods. Of course it wouldn't be a GBSB event without the chance to rub shoulders with prior contestants and judges Patrick Grant and Esme Young. A visit won't be complete without attending one of the Super Theatre sessions where Jenny Eclair will be hosting two shows a day including live sewing challenges with former contestants and audience members. I'm beginning to think that a single day ticket may not be enough!


One of the things I was most impressed with when looking into the event was the variety of workshops on offer (over 250 across the four days!). They vary in length from 1-3 hours and there is pretty much something for everyone with all abilities and specialities catered for. I was really delighted to see some more advanced sessions included in their number and found plenty to interest me. I was very tempted by the fitting classes including the one on tissue fitting which is a technique I have never attempted but have also never tried machine embroidery and find the idea quite intriguing. In the end I stuck with what I love and focused the nitty gritty of sewing techniques and construction. I've got myself booked onto the Double Welt Pockets Workshop led by GBSB competitor Paul Clarke and am really looking forward to it.

The good news is for you guys that I have five pairs of tickets to give away! All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning is leave a comment below. Make sure to include your email address if it is not easily accessible on your blog profile so I can contact the lucky winners directly. You have until midnight GMT on Sunday 30th July to enter and I will announce the winners in my monthly Indie Pattern Update post on Monday. Good luck!

If you're super keen to come along and want to book yourself a ticket then make sure to use the discount code the event organisers have been so kind to offer me to share with you. Enter the code DCS at the checkout for a £1.50 discount on adult advance ticket sales and concessions. I hope to see many of you there!

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Teal Linen Turia Dungarees

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed my quest last week for the perfect pattern to use for a pair of relaxed summer dungarees. I was torn between a few options which I liked various elements of and you guys threw a few more excellent choices into the mix! One that kept coming up as a favourite were the Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees, although the Wear Lemonade Fiona were a close second and nearly won out purely because of the name! However, I really liked the classic details of the Turias, the shape of the back bib and the width through the leg. I’ve also often had success with her patterns in the past as I’m quite petite and the proportions work quite well for me. Although the samples weren’t quite the look I was after a quick Google threw up some other blogger makes using this pattern which I adored.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

I wasn’t sure on the dungaree trend when it first came about last year but over the past few months I’ve seen some really grown up and classy looks incorporating them. Combine that with the practicality of all those pockets and the fact that you can crawl, bend and run around like a toddler (which my job seems to require more than I like!) and I was sold. I actually bought McCalls 7547 back in early spring and some gorgeous grey denim to make them in but it’s been too hot for wearing that much close fitting denim in London recently and as usual I wanted to make something I could wear now! I became slightly obsessed with pinning images of summer dungarees over on Pinterest actually including a few pairs of Turias. The common features of all of them were a more slouchy relaxed leg than the slim denim pair I had been envisioning, still some element of fit through the waist to retain some femininity plus a finer softer fabric like a linen or viscose.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

I tend to find a pattern I want to work with before I find fabric but on this occasion I had the fabric before the pattern. When The Fabric Store got in touch a couple of months ago to offer me some fabric I tried hard to branch out from my usual choice of their beautiful merino jerseys. I decided it was about time I tried out some of their linen and realised it was the perfect opportunity to find some for my dungarees. They have a not huge but varied range of linen in lots of colours, weights and even prints. This floral embroidered one has particularly caught my eye! It didn’t take me long to decide on this deep teal which is enough like a denim to work as a neutral with lots of the tops in my wardrobe but is still a little bit different. It’s one of their light to mid-weight linens which is great for dress making. It has a bit of structure and weight but after a wash has just the kind of flop and movement I was after.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

As to be expected with a linen it does wrinkle quite badly but that works out quite nicely for this kind of relaxed, practical garment. It does fray but apart from that is great to work with and washes and presses beautifully. I kept my iron on a medium heat rather than high as it started to get a bit of a shine when too hot. The only thing I’m slightly unsure about is how sheer it might be in direct sunlight; I’ll need to get someone to check if they can see my pants before I go out and about! I’ve had this worry before with linen because it tends to have quite an open weave and in the past have underlined but I didn’t want to with these as I wanted to retain a lightweight feel without too much body. I had 2m of the linen (which you need for the length of the pieces) but would have had more than enough in the scraps to cut some bias binding or lining for the bib but more on that later.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

My t-shirt is a v-neck Sewaholic Renfrew Top made in one of the new marle rib knits also from The Fabric Store. This colour is plaster and is amazing stuff. It has a nice spongy thickness to it and feels soft and dense unlike a lot of the cheaper ribbing fabrics I’ve come across on Goldhawk Road. It feels nice against the skin and has great recovery. I did manage to stretch it out when sewing the sleeve hems but have managed to steam it back into shape. I omitted the cuff and hem bands as with a couple of my previous Renfrews and used a twin needle instead which I think was the cause of the problem. The ribbing comes in three other lovely neutral shades and all of them have been added to the wish-list for my next order!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

Back to the dungarees. I cut a size 38 through the bust and waist and graded out to 40 at the hips. I'm really pleased I did as I think the 38 would have been too tight across the bum. I have previously cut a straight 38 with Pauline Alice patterns (Seda Dress and Quart Jacket) but these haven’t involved fitting at the hip so I made sure to double check the finished measurements and decided I could do with the extra room. I'm pretty happy with the fit overall and they are super comfortable. I have found with my Cleo Pinafore Dress that no matter how much I shorten the straps they want to slip off the shoulders and the dress shifts around but these sit really nicely. The length through the body is just right with the straps fastened as they are. One thing to note is that I don't have all that much excess strap pulled through and I'm fairly petite so if you're tall you might want to consider lengthening the strap as a precaution.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

I'd make a couple of little tweaks to the fit if I made this pattern again. The width of the leg around the thigh is on the verge of being too tight when I lift my leg so I’d add maybe just half and inch in that area. However what I do really like about this pattern is the slimmer fit around the bum and just above it giving you a feminine shape through the back. One thing to note is that the leg is a cropped length so it’s worth measuring before you cut although them hem allowance is pretty deep which gives you a bit to play with. These are hemmed at the intended length but I'm wearing them rolled up twice the depth of the hem.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

I love all the little details of this pattern and the way they are enhanced with all that topstitching that I love to do! I think it adds a great professional looking touch to any garment on which it is appropriate. If you are going to do the double top-stitching as suggested I would recommend doing a couple of samples and noting the guide point on your machine for how far away the first and then second line of stitching should be away from the seam. I aligned the seam line with the inner edge of my machine foot for the first pass then lined that row of stitching up with the outer edge of the foot for the second. Nice and easy to follow. I kept mine subtle with a matching standard sew-all thread. I was so keen on keeping it subtle that I actually made a trip out to get some thread once I had the pattern cut out as I realised I didn't have any quite the right shade and a black or navy would have been too harsh.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

Proportionally the shape and size of all the pockets are spot on I think and I liked that there were different placement marks for different size groups as the position of pockets can have such a dramatic effect on how flattering a pattern is. The back pockets are quite small so if I was making a larger size I might consider making them a little bigger. Despite looking great the front pockets are not as roomy as I’d hoped they might be. I can only just get my hands in and I’ve got very small hands. The front bib pocket is better suited to holding my phone.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

I omitted one of the side seam zips which it seems from blog posts I've read that most people have done. I can get them on and off fairly easily with just one.The pattern calls for regular zips but I chose to go with invisible as I just love them plus my local shop didn't have the right shade of a regular. If I made proper denim pair with contrast topstitching I'd definitely like to try using an exposed metal zip and in that case would use two to make a feature of them.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

I had real trouble with threading on my dungaree clips but had great fun with the hammer setting in the buttons! I ended up figuring out the ideal length of the strap and sewing them in place once the clip was threaded on as they wouldn’t fasten securely on their own. It’s a shame they’re now not adjustable but I don’t need them to be. I used Hemline ones (the brand that come in the pink packets). All the advice I could find online for threading them seemed to involve an extra bar so you could thread the strap through one more time which would have secured it. These just would not stay in place!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

It's a great pattern in many respects but I wasn't sure about some of the finishing techniques. When you're going to the effort of using flat felled seams and all that lovely topstitching is seems a shame to finish the edges of the bib by just turning in once and topstitching, leaving a raw edge visible. With the amount this linen frayed that just wasn't an option for me but I wish I'd known from the start so I could think the finishing through. On this pair I just decided to overlock all the raw edges that were visible as it would match what I had done on the side seams of the legs. At least this looks neat, tidy and less homemade. Pauline does suggest using binding to finish any fraying fabrics and I'd like to look into this next time or alternatively lining both the front and back bib. In this Tessuti post Gabby has added a facing to the waistline which I think is a great idea and would work particularly well with a lined bib.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

Because I really had to think through the instructions and keep looking a couple of steps ahead to figure out if that was the way I wanted to finish things I didn't find myself getting mindlessly lost in the project as I do with some. Plus it was the first time I've sewn a pair of dungarees so I had no tried and tested method to fall back on! You definitely need both the written instructions and illustrations to figure your way through this one. They're good and give you the guidance you need but there's no extra tips and tricks and you definitely need to use your own sewing know-how to achieve the best results. But I had them made in one very enjoyable day and didn’t get frustrated with any part of the process.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Pauline Alice Turia Dungarees in Teal Linen from The Fabric Store

Despite having some qualms about the finishing I'm actually really delighted with how neatly these have turned out. All that topstitching gives a lovely crisp and clean result and the fabric is just what I wanted. They feel really ‘me’. Thanks to all of you who gave me pattern choice on Instagram, I definitely made the right decision. Let’s hope the lovely weather hangs about so I can get lots of wear out of these!