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Gemma’s Leo Dungarees

I have to start by thanking Laura for the pattern suggestion for this month’s make. When I received this beautiful double gauze, I was adamant that I wanted to make something Spring-like despite it still being so cold (snow in March anyone?!) but I was struggling to decide what would be a good pattern pairing. 

Double gauze is such an interesting fabric, the texture and weight lends itself to being good for so many garments, and this watermelon print is so fun, I wanted to make something that was equally cool! I was after something that would be comfy/casual, that embodied the fun of the print and would be an everyday type of garment. I didn’t want to go down the dress route as due to the weather I’m just not reaching for dresses as much, and so (not much surprise here!) I decided to try a jumpsuit.

Going through my pattern inspiration I had a couple of patterns in mind, the only thing I was concerned about was whether the fabric would stretch out, as can happen with double gauze. However Laura suggested a new-to-me pattern that would be perfect: The Leo Dungarees by By Hand London. Designed specifically for light/floaty fabrics such as double gauze, viscose, cotton or linen blends, they are an oversized, simple overall that tie at the shoulders and are elasticated at the ankle – the ultimate in comfort! It was exactly what I had in mind, and as I haven’t used a pattern from this company before I was looking forward to trying something new!

I have to admit, there was a little uncertainty once I set to work. This was truly a ‘trust the process’ kind of make, as I threw caution to the wind and went straight in with my fabric (as I often do, such a bad habit!) This pattern is only available as a PDF, and looking at the size charts I was between size bands and didn’t know which one to go with, as the finished measurement for the hips had roughly 10cm+ of ease and looked very oversized! I did wonder if I should have sized down, and this is when making a toile would have made sense as it is very roomy, but I decided to try with my exact measurement, which put me in the UK 20. Spoiler – yep, should have sized down!

On sticking together the pdf my next round of head scratching began – the leg pattern pieces were the same length as my entire body! I know I usually have to shorten the legs on most patterns, but this was quite amusing and left me pondering – was this going to work, as I still had a bib to attach?! So I threw caution to the wind and just went with it, hoping that it would all come together once sewn…..

I have to admit, construction was a lot simpler that I thought it would be, and quick too. The main sewing is making the legs – I did add inseam pockets as the pattern doesn’t actually have them and well, you know I always have to have pockets! Bib and straps next, then you attach them to the trousers, with the sides bias bound, and that’s it: one pair of super comfy dungarees ready to go after just one afternoons worth of sewing!

Luckily I think ‘trusting the process’ worked, as I like them a lot more than I thought I would! I did have to take a lot of the length off the legs (about 10cm), and yes, they are VERY baggy, but I think the elastic at the ankles really pulls it in. I was slightly concerned with how low the crotch would be, but because of the shoulder ties you can really adjust them to a comfortable length. It was nice to have something simple to work on, and I think it is the perfect pattern match for this fabric, as they are so fun! I feel I will really love these once the weather gets warm again – on a hot day I think I will be happy past me made these!