Friday, September 23, 2016

Little boy dungarees

I was browsing a fabric website, Backstreet Bargains, tootling about their remnant section, when I saw some licensed Caterpillar fabric. This is Caterpillar as in the company that make diggers and tractors and the real life versions of things that Tonka make as toys. Widget is loving "Digg-ah's" at the moment so I popped it in my online basket. The remnant section also included some cordoroy, in both blue and grey. I added that too. There was free shipping for orders over $75 so I kept shopping, and picked up some elephant stretch linen and a contrast linen. Those I have earmarked for a Leralynn dress for me for the summer, but the rest of it. That's for my boys.

It took me a bit of searching but I found a pattern for overalls I really liked the look of. The Okey-dokey Overalls from Peek-A-Boo Patterns. I was looking for a classic look Overalls, with enough pockets that I could make a feature of them. These overalls looked great with a bib pocket, two bum pockets and two hip pockets. I was right the pattern is great. I have always loved dungarees on little kids. My boys have a number of dungarees in their wardrobe, at least Widget does. Sprog did, but it is hard to find good-looking dungarees in sizes above 2years. Now I have the solution.

I used the grey corduroy as the main fabric for the dungarees. Corduroy is a great fabric to wear, warm and comfy. It's quite thick to double-up so for pockets and lining I used the digger fabric. I still have enough to make short summer dungarees too. I started with Widget's, since the digger fabric was what inspired the dungaree choice.

The sewing was interrupted for both boys. Widgets because I sent my sewing machine to get serviced which took just over a week, then by illness. I was having trouble with the topstitching, the back was getting all loopy. It's not a big problem most of the time, but for the bib, the loopiness was very obvious and getting worse.

Since I made them long I put in a lining for a turn ups. These are not part of the pattern, but I just cut a rectangle to size and sewed the edge to create a loop. The loop was attached to the bottom of each leg, the remaining raw edge folded, ironed, and pinned into place before attaching by topstitching.

Widget was very pleased with my efforts. He has at times carried the little dungarees about and thrown them at me "Digga" to show he wanted to wear them. 

With these done it was time to move onto big brother Sprogs. While we were waiting for my sewing machine to come back from being serviced, Sprog and I went to buy some lining fabric for him. He chose Spiderman for his linings. He also chose some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fabric for his summer shorty dungarees to come. 

The first step was to carefully pick the placement before cutting the pockets. I tried in both cases to have a good image centred on the pocket. For the diggers it was the same image three times over, but for Spiderman there were different poses that I could select. 

For the hip pockets I just took whatever fabric was left around the holes made taking the bib and bum pockets. The instructions were very clear. These were my first attempt at hip pockets and they went pretty well.

After attaching the bib to the front piece progress was interrupted so I could whip up an Ewok costume, a Han Solo vest, and to focus on the R2D2 cake for Sprog's friend's birthday.

With that birthday party over and done with I returned to the dungarees.

I had to attach the straps to the back piece twice. The first time I didn't keep the pieces in place properly while I sewed, so only one side of the strap was attached. Some unpicking and a second try later I had the back piece I could attach to the trouser bottoms.

I had trouble finishing the seam on Widget's dungarees due to having so little space in the legs. I actually tacked the inner leg seam down by hand. To avoid this for Sprog's I worked backwards doing the inner seam first. My logic was that the inner seam is more important to be comfortable than the outer seam. I flat felled the inner seam then did the outer leg seams, attached the hardware and I was done.

It was late and well past my bedtime. Sprog was long asleep so I hung them on his wardrobe where he would hopefully see it when he woke and went to bed myself.

In the morning Sprog climbed in for a cuddle having completely missed the dungarees in his room. When we got up and went back to look, his face was a open-mouthed awesomeness. His trouser legs had a double turn up. He hasn't grown in the six months since his birthday so I figure he's overdue for a growth spurt and might need the extra leg length.  Once secure I also topstitched around again through the middle. This made a more secure turn up, it seems to make it take longer for the turn-up to fall down when there's a kind of pinch point to pivot about.

And the very happy recipient modelling the final product. He just happened to have the remnants of Spiderman face paint from preschool the previous day to match.

When little brother Widget saw them he wanted to get in on the action.