DIY Dungas – Sewing Weekender 2020

Welcome! We are so pleased to have you here as part of the Sewing Weekender 2020, and we are super excited to share our DIY Dungas with you! A huge thank you to both The Foldline and English Girl At Home for organising such a great event.

Dungarees are so much fun and lockdown is the perfect time to sew up an oversized super comfy pair. Especially if it is a simple draft your own pattern!

We’ll be on hand to answer any questions you have whilst you are making your dungarees, so just pop a comment in the box below and we’ll get back to you. So, without further ado, let’s make some dungas!

DIY Dungaree Overalls Tutorial

You will need…

  • 2-3m woven fabric* (we have used cotton and linen)
  • a tape measure
  • a marking tool
  • fabric scissors
  • your sewing machine

*When it comes to working out how much exactly how much fabric you will need, 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.

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”/127cm)
  • FRONT WIDTH Measure your hips at their fullest point. Divide this measurement by 4. Then add 5”/12.5cm. This is the width of your FRONT rectangles. (Rachel’s was 43 ÷ 4 = 10.75 + 5 = 15.75 rounded up to 16”/40cm)
  • BACK WIDTH Add 1”/2.5cm to your previous calculation. This is the width of your BACK rectangles. (Rachel’s was 17”/43cm)
  • 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”/66cm)

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”/2.5cm wider than the front.
  • STRAPS Cut a strip of fabric 4”/10cm by 60”/150cm (or piece the length from smaller pieces depending on the size of your fabric) 
  • LOOPS Cut a strip of fabric 2.5”/6cm by 10”/25cm (this will make two loops)
  • MAIN POCKET Cut a rectangle that is 10”/25cm wide by 12”/30cm deep (or smaller if you want a smaller pocket, using a 5:6 ratio)
  • BACK POCKETS Cut two rectangles 8”/20cm wide by 9.5”/24cm deep (or smaller if you want smaller pockets, using a 5:6 ratio)
DIY-Dungaree-Overalls-Tutorial-cutting-your-pieces

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”/7.5cm in from CF (a). Then plot your CENTRE SEAM measurement (Rachel’s was 26”/66cm) down the CF edge (b). Draw a line that starts at your 3”/7.5cm 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”/15cm in from the SS (d). Then measure 10-12”/25-30cm down the SS edge (this determines how low your opening is at the side – we used the full 12”/30cm) (e). From whichever point you choose, draw a 2”/5cm line at right angles to the SS (f). Then use a curve to connect to the mark at the top (g). This will be the sides of your apron.
  • Moving to the bottom half of your pattern, measure and mark 5”/12.5cm in from CF at the hem (h). Then connect this with a straight line to your crotch curve (i).  (The 5″/12.5cm is intended for ankle length dungas. If you would like to make yours shorter – use 4″/10cm for 3/4 length, 3″/7.5cm for knee length, 2″/5cm for shorts length.)
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”/4cm above and 1.5”/4cm 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”/2.5cm 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”/2.5cm 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”/10cm in from CB. Then measure your CENTRE SEAM measurement down the CB edge. Draw a line that starts at your 4”/10cm 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”/18cm in from the SS. Then measure 10-12”/25-30cm down the SS edge (use the same as you used for the front). Draw a 2”/5cm 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”/14cm in from CB at the hem. Then connect this with a straight line to your crotch curve. (The 5.5″/14cm is intended for ankle length dungas. If you would like to make yours shorter – use 4.5″/11.5cm for 3/4 length, 3.5″/9cm for knee length, 2.5″/6cm for shorts length.)
  • Using a ruler, mark a point on your SS that is opposite the widest point of your crotch curve. Then measure 1.5”/4cm above and 1.5”/4cm below this point. This is going to help give us some shaping at the hip area.
  • Measure 1”/2.5cm in from the SS on the horizontal section of your opening. Connect the top mark at your hip to this point.
  • Measure 1”/2.5cm 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”/12.5cm wide by 12”/30cm long). At the raw edges, measure 2”/5cm 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”/5cm shorter than the centre, creating your point.
  • Repeat this for your BACK POCKETS, except this time you only need to measure 1.5”/4cm up as they are a smaller size.

Sewing Your DIY Dungas

(⅝”/1.5cm seam unless stated otherwise)

Preparing the 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”/5cm wide by 60”/150cm 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″ (2-3mm) 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”/3cm wide by 10”/25cm. Sew the long edge with the same 3/8” (1cm) 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” (0.5cm) at the top edge, then press under by 1¼”/3cm 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”/1.5cm.
  • Repeat the previous step for your back pockets, this time with a ¼” (0.5cm) turn followed by a 1”/2.5cm 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.

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”/1.5cm 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”/0.5cm followed by a second turn of 1¼”/3cm. 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”/7.5cm down from the top edge. Fold your pocket in half to find the centre, 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”/25cm up from the widest point of the crotch. This is where the top of your pocket will sit. Position it so that it is centred 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 centre 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 bottom of the leg. 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.
  • 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” (1cm) 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.

Or as Nikki did on her 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.

DIY-Dungaree-Overalls-Tutorial-attaching-straps

And then you are done!

We would love to see your DIY Dungas!! If you share them on social media, use the hashtags #sewingweekender and #diydungas. Check out some other makers who have already given them try….

We really hope you enjoy the rest of your Sewing Weekender. Take care of yourselves and we hope to see you here again soon!

Rachel & Nikki xxx

2 thoughts on “DIY Dungas – Sewing Weekender 2020”

  1. Great tutorial, just made a try out pair from an old duvet cover and they fit perfectly. Now to find some fabric to make a proper pair. Thank you.

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