DIY Dungaree Overalls Tutorial – No Pattern!

Fancy some DIY Dungaree Overalls? We can’t wait to share our quick and easy tutorial with you!

We all love dungarees and who wouldn’t want an oversized super comfy pair, perfect for lockdown? Especially if it involves a free and simple draft your own pattern and tutorial!

Whilst spending so much time at home recently, Rachel was suddenly craving a pair of the casual oversized dungarees that have been all over social media for a couple of years now – especially the style and fit of the hugely popular range from Lucy & Yak.

Lucy & Yak Dungarees

Rather than buy a pair she thought she would attempt to make her make her own without a pattern! Rachel loves pattern drafting even more than sewing, and she finds projects when you draft directly onto the fabric are the most fun of all. No sticking PDF pages together, no blending between sizes – just your tape measure and your fabric (roughly 2-3 metres, see more details below)!

It took several attempts to get the fit just right. She wanted something really roomy at the waist and hips and slightly tapered at the hem. The first attempt was far too snug on the hips, the second was far too roomy, but the third was just right!

When she posted them on Instagram and asked if you guys wanted a DIY Tutorial, it was a resounding YES!

So we got to work doing just that. But, as we are all in isolation, we had to do it relay style!!

Rachel wrote instructions and created diagrams and passed them to me. I then stitched up her my own pair, taking pictures as I went allowing us to create the tutorial we have for you now! We hope you enjoy it!!

DIY Dungaree Overalls Tutorial

You will need 2-3m depending on the width of the fabric, your measurements and your desired length.

Taking Your Measurements

  • LENGTH At the same height as your underarms, find the centre of your chest (you could tie an elastic under your arms if you want something physical to help you get the right height). Let your tape measure hang from this point to the level of your ankle, or where you want your dungarees to end. (Do this in a mirror so you can see the measurement.) This is going to be the length of your rectangles. (Rachel’s was 50”)
  • FRONT WIDTH Measure your hips at their fullest point. Divide this measurement by 4. Then add 5”. This is the width of your FRONT rectangles. (Rachel’s was 43 ÷ 4 = 10.75 + 5 = 15.75 rounded up to 16”)
  • BACK WIDTH Add 1” to your previous calculation. This is the width of your BACK rectangles. (Rachel’s was 17”)
  • CENTRE SEAM Make sure you are wearing trousers or something with a crotch seam (the crotch seam is where your inside legs, and front/back crotch seams intersect – it indicates the halfway point between your legs). Hold your tape measure back at your centre chest position (just as you did for your length measurement), run the tape measure down your centre front and then under your crotch. Measure to where the crotch seam is on your trousers (the halfway point underneath your body). (Rachel’s was 26”)

Cutting Your Fabric

  • MAIN Start by cutting four rectangles. Two for the FRONT and two for the BACK. The rectangles will be your length measurement by your width measurement. They are almost the same, except that the BACK is 1” wider than the front.
  • STRAPS Cut a strip of fabric 4” by 60” (or piece the length from smaller pieces depending on the size of your fabric) 
  • LOOPS Cut a strip of fabric 2.5” by 10” (this will make two loops)
  • MAIN POCKET Cut a rectangle that is 10” wide by 12” deep (or smaller if you want a smaller pocket, using a 5:6 ratio)
  • BACK POCKETS Cut two rectangles 8” wide by 9.5” deep (or smaller if you want smaller pockets, using a 5:6 ratio)

Creating The Pattern

Creating Your Front Pieces

  • Let’s first identify the pieces. With your rectangle positioned so that the print (if your fabric has one) is the right way up and the short edge is at the top – the right long edge is the CENTRE FRONT (CF) and the left long edge is the SIDE SEAM (SS). (Mark them if you wish.)
  • At the top edge, measure and mark 3” in from CF (a). Then plot your CENTRE SEAM measurement (Rachel’s was 26”) down the CF edge (b). Draw a line that starts at your 3” mark and continues parallel to CF until you are a few inches away from your CENTRE SEAM measurement. Then use a curve to connect your straight line to the CENTRE SEAM mark and create your crotch curve (c).
Stitch-Sisters-Dungaree-Tutorial-DIY-Dungaree-Overalls
  • On the other side, measure and mark 6” in from the SS (d). Then measure 10-12” down the SS edge (this determines how low your opening is at the side – we used the full 12”) (e). From whichever point you choose, draw a 2” line at right angles to the SS (f). Then use a curve to connect to the mark at the top (g)
  • Moving to the bottom half of your pattern, measure and mark 5” in from CF at the hem (h). Then connect this with a straight line to your crotch curve (i)
Stitch-Sisters-Dungaree-Tutorial-DIY-Dungaree-Overalls
  • Using a ruler, mark a point on your SS that is opposite the widest point of your crotch curve (j & k). Then measure 1.5” above and 1.5” below this point (l). This is going to help give us some shaping at the hip area. 
Stitch-Sisters-Dungaree-Tutorial-DIY-Dungaree-Overalls
  • Measure 1” in from the SS on the horizontal section of your opening (m). Connect the top mark at your hip to this point (n).
  • Measure 1” in from the SS at the hem (o). Connect the bottom mark at your hip to this point (p)
Stitch-Sisters-Dungaree-Tutorial-DIY-Dungaree-Overalls
  • The front is now finished. Time to move onto the back. 

Creating Your Back Pieces

  • The back is created in exactly the same with a few differences to the measurements…
  • Position your fabric is the same way so that the short edge is at the top, the right long edge is CENTRE BACK (CB) and the left long edge is the SIDE SEAM (SS).
  • At the top edge, measure and mark 4” in from CB. Then measure your CENTRE SEAM measurement down the CB edge. Draw a line that starts at your 4” mark and continues parallel to CB until you are a few inches away from your CENTRE SEAM measurement. Then use a curve to connect your straight line to the CENTRE SEAM mark and create your crotch curve.
  • On the other side, measure and mark 7” in from the SS. Then measure 10-12” down the SS edge (use the same as you used for the front). Draw a 2” line at right angles to the SS. Then use a curve to connect to the mark at the top.
  • Moving to the bottom half of your pattern, measure and mark 5.5” in from CB at the hem. Then connect this with a straight line to your crotch curve.
  • Using a ruler, mark a point on your SS that is opposite the widest point of your crotch curve. Then measure 1.5” above and 1.5” below this point. This is going to help give us some shaping at the hip area.
  • Measure 1” in from the SS on the horizontal section of your opening. Connect the top mark at your hip to this point.
  • Measure 1” in from the SS at the hem. Connect the bottom mark at your hip to this point.
  • The back is now finished. Time to move onto the pockets.

Creating Your Pockets

  • This step is only necessary if you want your pockets to have a point at the bottom…
  • Take your MAIN POCKET and fold it in half on the short edge (to create a shape that is now 5” wide by 12” long). At the raw edges, measure 2” up from the bottom. Draw a line that connects this to the fold, and cut along the line. The sides of your pockets are now 2” shorter than the center, creating your point.
  • Repeat this for your BACK POCKETS, except this time you only need to measure 1.5” up as they are a smaller size.

Sewing Your DIY Dungaree Overalls

(⅝” seam unless stated otherwise)

Preparing the Pieces

Most people will need roughly 2-3m of fabric. When it comes to working out how much exactly there are a few things to consider. If your fabric is plain or has a multi-way print, you could cut on the lengthwise or crosswise grain depending on which uses less fabric. Depending on the width of the fabric and/or the size of your hips, you may be able to fit both your rectangles side by side on the folded fabric. If your fabric is narrow, or your hips are wider, you may need to cut them one below the other.

DIY-Dungaree-Overalls-Tutorial-cutting-your-pieces

We are going to start by preparing the pockets, straps and loops before we move onto the main construction…

  • Take your strap piece (if you are piecing it do that first to give you one long strip) and fold it in half on the long edge to create a shape that is 2” wide by 60” long. Sew all along the long edge with a 3/8” (1cm) seam allowance to create a tube. Using a safety pin, bodkin, or turning tool; turn the strap through to the right side and press flat.
  • If you wish you can topstitch along both long edges approx 1/8″ from the edge.
DIY-Dungaree-Overalls-Tutorial-making-your-straps
Topstitching the straps
  • Repeat this with your loop pieces, folding it on the long edge to create a shape that is 1¼” wide by 10”. Sew the long edge with the same 3/8” seam allowance, trim the seam to half the size, then turn it though and press. Topstitch if you wish, then cut the strip in half to create two loops.
  • Take your main pocket and press under ¼” at the top edge, then press under by 1¼” to create your hem. Topstitch the hem in place close to the fold. Then press under the side and bottom edges of the pocket by ⅝”.
  • Repeat the previous step for your back pockets, this time with a ¼” turn followed by a 1” turn. Topstitch and press as before.
  • If you wish, you can have some fun with your pocket by topstitching a design on it with contrasting threads. We love the free downloadable guide from Closet Case Patterns.

Now, take your two front pieces…

  • Laying them right sides together (RST). Match up the CF from the top to the end of crotch curve (the wider part). Stitch with a ⅝” seam. (Don’t sew below the crotch curve as this will be the leg portion of the dungarees.) Finish the raw edge in your chosen manner (pinking shears, overlock, zig-zag, etc) and press.
Sewing the CF seam from top to crotch
  • Hem the sides of your front with a double turn of 3/8” (1cm). 
  • Hem the top edge of your front with a turn of ¼” followed by a second turn of 1¼”. Topstitch close to the fold as you did for the top of the pocket.
Turning your hem on the bib
  • Grab your main pocket, and position it 3” down from the top edge. Fold your pocket in half to find the center, and then line it up with the CF seam. Pin in place and then topstitch the sides and bottom edges to attach it.
Attaching the main pocket

Moving onto the back pieces….

  • We are going to attach the pockets before joining the centre seam. Measure 10” up from the widest point of the crotch. This is where the top of your pocket will sit. Position it so that it is centered with an equal amount of fabric on either side. Pin in place, repeat for the other piece and then topstitch it in place.
  • Now you can join the back pieces together at the center seam, hem the opening edges and the top edge exactly as you did for the front pieces.
  • Take your front piece and your back piece and lay them right sides together. Stitch them together at the side seams from the hemmed opening all the way down to the hem. Finish the raw edges and press.
  • Sew the inside leg seams, starting at one leg then sewing up over the crotch seam and back down the other leg. Finish the raw edge and press.

If you want to test the fit of your dungas at this point, try them on pinning the top of the front and back to a t-shirt. Take in or let out the side seams as desired…

  • Take your loop pieces and fold them so that the raw edges are together and it is not twisted. Finish the raw edges as desired, then position them at each edge of front bib lined up with the bottom of the hem. The loop should be behind the bib, visible above the top but with the raw edges hidden behind. Stitch in place with a couple of straight lines, a box or a box with a cross inside.
Attaching the loops to the back of the front bib
  • Grab your long strap piece and tuck the raw edges back inside to form a clean edge. Topstitch the edges in place. Then attach a safety pin to one end of the strap and feed it into the channel created by the hem at the back. Pull through until the strap has an even amount sticking out of each side. Then topstitch along the centre back on the hem to anchor the strap in place.
  • Finish the bottom hem as desired. We just did two folds of 3/8” and them topstitched it in place. 

Wearing Your DIY Dungaree Overalls

To tie the dungas, take one side of the strap and pass it through the loop at the front. Then tie it in a knot to hold in place. Repeat for the other side.

Once you have them tied as you wish, it is possible to get them on and off without untying them so you won’t need to do that every time.

As another option, try cutting the strap in two. You can then attach the raw edges of each strap to the back of the bib, just as you did the loop. Each strap can then come directly over your shoulder and through the loop.

DIY-Dungaree-Overalls-Tutorial-attaching-straps

Or as I did on my red ones, you can leave off the loops and pass the strap through the back channel and then around and through the front channel, tying them together on one shoulder.

And then you are done!

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that you decide to make your own super comfy dungarees. If you do make your own DIY Dungaree Overalls, please make sure to tag us on social media or send us a picture!

We definitely have more pairs of these DIY Dungaree Overalls planned, so keep your eyes peeled!

If you don’t fancy drafting your own, then there are also options from the Indie pattern designers you can purchase as PDF patterns. We particularly love the Patsy Overalls from Ready to Sew and the Greer Jumpsuit from Hey June.

If you really want to start sewing but don’t know where to begin, then make sure to check out our amazing classes. We can even get you started Learning to Sew from scratch.

Stay safe and keep smiling!

Rachel & Nikki

32 thoughts on “DIY Dungaree Overalls Tutorial – No Pattern!”

  1. Thank you very much for taking the time to write this tutorial. I’m a little confused by the instructions to measure length as they appear to be the same as those for the centre seam but I’m a beginner garment sewer so may just be reading them wrongly. Please help!

    1. Hi Anna-Marie, you are starting with your tape measure in the same place for both measurements but for the overall length you want to let the tape measure hang all the way down to your ankles. And for the centre seam it is only to your crotch seam (between your legs). In other words, the first measurement includes your legs and the second one doesn’t. Does that help?

  2. Michelle Mersom

    I love you Guys soooo Much!! I cannot wait to have a go at these! Can I ask what fabric choices you made, and what will work well for these? Both look totally amazing. Rachel I love your silvers in your hair! Stay safe and hope to se you soon x

    1. Hey Michelle! How are you? Lovely to hear from you. Mine were made from a duvet cover so polycotton I imagine. Nikki’s were made from a cotton linen. Can’t wait to see yours!

  3. Thank you so much for giving us such a fabulous freebie… I’ve had cracking afternoon drafting out the pattern and starting to sew it together. Thrilled with my first pocket (obviously, don’t get out much!!!) Can’t wait to get it finished tomorrow. Will send pic if I’m feeling brave. Also used duvet I bought ages ago…perfick! Thanks again for all the effort… love you guys x?

      1. Sorry, am a beginner so don’t have much of a clue but could you say approximately how much fabric you’d need to buy. Decent fabric here (New Zealand) is usually only 115cm wide for some reason. In Europe it was easy to find fabric of 150 cm width which would obviously be better. I’d love to have a go at these, they’re perfect.
        Sandie

    1. Hi Francesca. If you are confident working out how to adjust the proportions of all of the measurements, then you could try. You wouldn’t be able to just start with smaller rectangles based on the child’s measurements as all of the other adjustments for the shaping and ease would be out of proportion. If you manage it, we’d love to see!

  4. I am SO excited to make these! Do you know roughly how much fabric you used altogether? Just trying to figure out what I’ve got in my stash that is big enough to make a pair ? Thank you!

  5. Thank you for clear instructions- I have never drafted a pattern but may try these. These look great and so comfortable, but as I am a bit on the wide side and only 5’3″ I am not sure about how they would look. Would you suggest shorter length or longer length for my tubby proportions?!

    1. Hi Sue, I think it is all about what you thinks looks good on you. Why not cut them longer, and then you can have a play with different lengths once they are sewn and cut off whatever you don’t need? Happy sewing!

  6. Lovely Rachel & NIkki – how kind of you to put in all the work for nothing for our sewing pleasure. It took no time at all to do the drafting straight on to the fabric (an old duvet cover) and sewed up really quickly. I’m pretty pleased with the results and even though I wouldn’t normally wear dungarees I thought I’d have a go as I wasn’t wasting new fabric if it was a disaster but I think the result is defintely wearable. So thanks for pushing me out of my comfort zone, thanks for the inspiring pics and thanks for your efforts. Your online classes are great too!

  7. Great tutorial! I drafted straight onto my fabric (an old pair of curtains!) and did have a mild panic after cutting out my rectangles because I realised I hadn’t added my own seam allowance but they still fit me so I count that as a success! I can’t wait to make them properly in ‘real’ fabric now!

  8. Hi stitch sisters, thank you for this fab tutorial. I made a mock in an old duvet and then used a lovely lilac linen. They are fabulous! I love them. So comfy and as my teenage daughter said ‘quite cool’ !! Thank you xx

  9. Thank you for taking the time to make this pattern. I’m new to sewing so this is a good test for me. I’m using a duvet cover which is space themed but i got it cheap so I’m not too worried if it doesn’t go to plan. Just an observation and a question if that’s ok. So you say you need 4 panels, 2 front and 2 back but in the instructions for the front it doesn’t refer to 2 panels so I was a bit confused. Do I need to do 2 symmetrical pieces for the front and 2 for the back as well? I have cut 4 panels and now the look huge so I’m not sure if I’ve done too many panels or go my measurements wrong. Thank you again x

    1. Hi Sarah, yes that is correct. You need to cut two rectangles for the front and two for the back. If your fabric is folded when you cut, you will get two of each. Just make sure that each set of two is laid right sides together before you start adding the shaping so that you end up with two mirrored pieces (a right side and a left side). They are supposed to be oversized but will look even more huge when flat because you have included a crotch extension, but when on your body part of that width will go through your legs so it won’t be quite as large. Plus, you have the option to slim them down later if there is too much ease in the pattern for your liking.

      1. So I made them and something definitely went wrong haha. They were big enough for 2 or 3 of me to fit in and I’m a size 18-20. Any ideas about what I might have done wrong? It’s something to do with my measurements. I did 1 x my measurements for each the front panels and 1 x my measurements For each of my back length but that meant 4 x my measurements. I must be understanding something properly. I’m not giving up though, I want to try again. Thank you

  10. Thankyou so so much for this brilliant no pattern ‘pattern’!
    Have made 2 long pairs and one short and going to make another short pair.
    Totally fab and comfy to wear..I think I’m a bit obsessed now as so many gorgeous fabrics to choose from.
    Thankyou you are both wonderful for doing this.

  11. Hello! Thank you so much for the tutorial! I’m making a pair now but I’m thinking of making them short dungarees. I’ve measured the length as 30” this sits on my knees and I though I can make them shorter if need be however my crutch measurement is 24” leaving little material for the length in the leg. Should I follow this tutorial exactly or will it change a bit for shorts?

  12. Hi Stitchsisters,
    Well, what a tutorial! I actually have a wearable item (a total first for me!) Made out of my sons fleecy duvet as a practice set, they will be perfect for a cosy night in. I will definitely be making more in fabric fit for the public very soon! 😉 I did, however, do something wrong somewhere as the leg side seams were equal but the inside seam wasn’t, the back was shorter, somehow! Not a problem though as I just hemmed them equal-ish!
    Thank you and keep stitching xx

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