Dungaree Dress Disaster Diverted!

Dungaree dress close upThis is my second make of the Turia dungarees – this time as a pinafore dress! A really easy process, following this tutorial. Not that this was an easy make. Ever felt tripped up by fate and fortune? I have…

Metal buttonDo not, under any circumstances, buy Prym dungaree fittings. I’m not even going to provide a web link. What an abomination! One good thump of a hammer and the shank point came straight through my button head. One button then promptly fell apart and the other one could not be removed from my dungaree dress for love nor money. I eventually cut – cut! – it out, and have never been so grateful for the darning stitch on my Bernina.

Abomination CollageI sewed on some lovely 1950s buttons but you’ll now never see those because the straps of my dungarees have since had to be knotted. It turns out, the buckle’s teeth aren’t sharp enough to stop straps from working their way loose. You couldn’t make it up!

Rant over. I cheered myself by hemming the dress with a pretty embroidery stitch.

Embroidered hemI think I rescued all my hard work. The dress is made from an absolutely fantastic cotton twill I bought from Belle Fabrics in Leigh-on-Sea. I’m tempted to phone in another order. Unbelievably, this shop doesn’t have a website though I did feature it in my run down of Top Ten Fabric Shops in the UK. If you’re ever in the area (and you really should visit Leigh-on-Sea) I would dart in and scoop up some of this twill.

dungaree dress ivI am very happy with my lapped zipper on this make. These days, I baste shut the seam lines over the zip before I machine sew. Otherwise, I find that the lapped seams spread, exposing the zip.

Basted lapped zipper

Lapped zipperThis dress was quite the journey! Worth it, though. I have a super-comfy outfit for weekend wear. In fact, I’m about to wear it up the pub to meet a friend. Ella is fast asleep, having spent the day scaring geese, leaping into ponds, barking at old men, chasing squirrels and disturbing the woman we discovered sleeping in a bed of long grass at Epping Forest. It’s a dog’s life!

Dungaree dress by tree

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36 Responses to Dungaree Dress Disaster Diverted!

  1. I love the extra details you added. Your photos are wonderful too.

  2. Kyleigh says:

    Very cute! Love the fabric and the hem stitch! Looks super comfy.

  3. ohsewsimple says:

    Love it. I have had a similar experience with Prym but wasn’t so crafty retrieving the situation .

  4. Caroline says:

    Hi Karen! I can sympathise with your Prym disaster – I have had a similar one with their eyelets when I made a corset a while back, though did manage to fix it, luckily. I always baste over a zip in the same way too to stop it from being seen, especially on fiddly fabrics.

    May I mention that I am having a Simplicity pattern giveaway over at my blog this week:

    Thank you!

  5. amaryllislog says:

    I’m glad you were able to work it out. I love how the straps of the pinafore tie, just that extra special touch and a super cute and comfy outfit! Ella is adorable as always, umm love your necklace too!

  6. Great dress. I like the tie detail. It is a bit different and looks nice. Did you make your top? The fabric is fantastic. Xx

  7. Brianne says:

    I LOVE your shirt with the cars on it!! What’s the fabric?

  8. Jeanne says:

    Those buttons were cute, but the little tie detail is very cute! Great fix! Love the car T shirt too!

  9. Tanya says:

    Ha! I know exactly what you mean – Prym has produced substandard accessories!! Yesterday evening, I finished making the Turia Dungarees out of corduroy (yes – I used your first wonderful make as an inspiration – I hope you don’t mind, but I added a button placket instead of zips and a zipped welt pocket on the front bib. Strangely enough, I too added embroidery stitches to my version, instead of the ‘traditional topstitching’). Anyhow, I’ve digressed: on Saturday, I was attaching the Dungaree clips, one of them was fine but the other fell apart, as it was badly made. Then I had to take the dungarees, broken clip and all back to John Lewis, to show them the problem. Thankfully, they replaced it with no quibble.

    BTW, for the Prym brand, you don’t need a hammer to attach the dungaree buttons to the fabric: a firm press between the fingers usually does the trick!!

  10. Tutti G-Land says:

    Wonderful! All the tiny extra things makes it very special.

  11. Thimberlina says:

    Love them, and just the job for the autumn with woolly tights 😀

  12. Angela says:

    What a cute dress (we call that kind ‘jumpers’ here)! Despite your troubles, it has turned out well (and I will avoid prym, too).

  13. hannah says:

    This is super adorable. Perfect for the colder weather too. I loved the buttons but I do think the knots look cute too


  14. KathleenS says:

    That looks like a centred zip,not a lapped zip? And like the others, I like your t-shirt!

  15. sewbusylizzy says:

    I can’t even imagine how angry/disappointed/frustrated/worried you just have been when the hardware let you down! Excellent save and lovely pictures as always!

  16. Very cute make, great details and well done for saving it. I noticed we have the same David Bowie earrings 🙂

  17. Lori Abraham says:

    Love it! and glad you persevered to share it with us!

  18. Bella says:

    I think you’ve definitely saved these! They look great! I had the exact same issue with the metal buttons on my Turias. At first they seemed ok, but after one wear the left button became detached and I couldn’t get it back on for love or money. Instead of buying more of the same crappy buttons I decided to remove the other one too, which turned out to be extremely difficult. I didn’t quite have to resort to cutting, but still! In the end I found some amazingly sturdy dungaree closures at a wholesaler. We home sewers never have access to the good stuff, I find. Anyway, I love your dress version, it’s good to see yours before I embark on my own!

  19. bimbleandpimble says:

    Grrr! That sucks! It’s like me and Birch invisible zips. It’s not worth the pain!
    Your dungafores look rawness and are perfect for a day being Ella’s human at the park. One must be ready for all kinds of adventures when hanging with their puppy!

  20. Charlie says:

    How frustrating! But nothing feels better than salvaging an almost failure. Well done!

  21. Jennifer says:

    Could you sew down the straps to the correct length? Or, when I make overalls I think I reverse the button/button hole from you. The buttonhole is on the bib and the button is on the strap. This allows me to move the button along the strap to the correct length as the wearer, in the case of my daughter, grows. It’s not so useful if what you want is the look of the nice brass hardware.

  22. Fadanista says:

    The pinafore is so much more convenient than dungarees that are pants based! Thanks for the posting, as I’ve been tempted to make one of these and now I might. I like your “topstitching” as my Bernina 530 refuses to use thicker topstitching cotton and I have to use my 1960s Elna Lotus which is a bit of faffing about. This is an easier solution and uses those stitches we pay for but never use!

  23. Magic Cochin says:

    What a practical pinafore! I’d wear that in my studio. I like the fancy stitching… I’m completely ignorant that such things are possible as my ‘new to me ) most up to date machine is a 1970’s Singer Starlet.
    C x

  24. Bunny says:

    This is an adorable and very flattering casual outfit. I love the colors on you. I have had the same nasty experience with Prym rivets, one on a beautiful leather band on a faux fur vest. That was the end of them for me! I now get my rivets from Tailor Taylor.

    FWIW, this type of zipper application is a slot zipper. Lapped zippers have one seam overlapping the other which is topstitched and lays underneath the overlap. Either way, you did a great job on you zip. Love your blog.

  25. Margo says:

    How frustrating! I am always scared to put the snaps on my garments. Great save!

  26. Great save. I like this kind of make when you have to find a way out of disaster. It makes you think more creatively which is never a bad thing. The Embroidered hem is superb, love it.

  27. Heather says:

    Great dress and interesting necklace – I’m intrigued to know if you made it?

  28. UtaC says:

    Nice dress. Great Job

  29. This turned out super cute!

  30. amcclure2014 says:

    Looks good despite your problems! Were those fasteners a faulty batch or is that how they usually are? I’m in London for 3 days at the Bernina Sewing School and will have the Tuesday morning free – is TMOS there at that time and is there any point in going then to Walthamstowe market? I’ll be travelling down on the Sunday but I know not much will be open then. I went to Maculloch and Wallis a couple of weeks ago – you’re right (I checked your link on 10 best UK fabric shops) it’s a real Aladdin’s cave! The only other time I’ll have free is around 4.30 onwards. Any suggestions of how best to spend my limited time very welcome! Thank you Anne

  31. Glad you got there in the end. I hate giving up on something, I try and plod on finding creative ways to get stuff right (apart from that darn cross-stitch, obviously!!) Jo x

  32. ebonyh says:

    What a save! These are super adorable on you. Also love you necklace. Did ya make that too?

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