I find myself jealous of babies more often than I’d care to admit. Sure there are the obvious reasons, like lots of sleep and no worries or cares and being constantly told how gorgeous you are- but this time it was because of dungarees.
Towards the end of last year dungarees were coming back on our radar, along with some other 90’s crap- seeing those stretchy tattoo chokers again made me shudder.
I had a serious ‘Clarissa Explains it All’ style crush and remember one of my favourite childhood outfits being purple short dungarees, over tights with some flowery DMs.
I started dreaming about a perfect pair of black dungarees, to wear with a black and white breton and black brogues for a Patti Smith kind of style. I have played about with a few pairs and still can’t find a pair to realise my dream fully (yes, of course I have thought about making some Pauline Alice Turia, just like Karen from Did you Make that).
Babies however, they get non-stop dungaree action, in all kinds of fabrics and styles and often paired with a nice stripy baby grow underneath- those lucky little things, showing off my dream outfit in miniature.
When my gorgeous friend let me know she was expecting a wee boy, I knew he’d be getting a pair of dungarees.
Now there are plenty of a amazing patterns for little girls, a couple which I’ve sewn up for my nieces– however I think there are fewer for little boys, that grab in the same way.
Oliver and S do a couple of nice boys patterns, but more for toddlers then newborn lads.
I found this pattern for the Little Birds Romper on Etsy by Puperita . I am becoming more and more keen on PDF patterns instead of paper patterns; I find the pdf stick and cutting much less hassle then the tracing faff with paper patterns. With paper patterns I am always so concerned about preserving the pattern for use again or in different sizes, whilst with a pdf pattern, I know that in the worst case scenario, I just have to print and stick again. I also love how etsy can provide and easy online selling platform for loads of digital designs to print at home.
When making clothes for little people I always tend to go a size up. As the light blighters grow so fast, I feel better knowing that their parents can make then wear it with the sleeves rolled up, whilst it’s too big, right until they can’t do the buttons up anymore over chunky baby thighs. I chose to make these dungarees for 6months, though as the pattern says, for babies it can be better to measure their length, than go by the month measurements.
Now you know that I love doing kids clothes, as it means you can go totally overboard on the prints. This baby’s Papa, is a big comic book fan, in particular Batman, which meant I got to spend a lot of time looking at some pretty awesome fabrics, but decided upon this one.
Holy Smokes Bat-Baby-Dad!
The fabric is covered in Batman not only being a badass, but also some amazing text, ben-day dots and city graphics too.
(I can totally see Ben Affleck spouting a line like that, in the forthcoming Batman V. Superman, I don’t have high hopes for that one, as discussed at length with the baby Daddy)
Although I could have gone for the Batman design all over, I decided instead to do the main body in chambray and then the highlights in the Batman fabric. Part of what attracted me to this pattern was that it had a lining, the chambray I had was a little rough, so wanted to make sure I had a soft cotton to go against the little man’s legs. I needed only a Fat Quarter of the batman fabric and still could be quite picky with my pattern placement.
The pattern came together really easily with just two mirror pieces for the front and two mirror pieces for the back, plus pockets, leg cuffs and lining.
The pockets were fully lined, which I liked and look-y here, at this ‘like a boss’ top-stitching going on.
The construction is simple and comes together quickly. One of my only gripes is that the inside leg seams are exposed, when I make the pattern again, I will have a think and construct differently, so they are not. I finished mine with zigzag- pinking shear combo and worry a little that it could have the potential to be a little itchy, until it’s been through the wash a few times.
Another small, but understandable gripe is about the legs. Although 6months is the smallest size available on the pattern, I would argue that a leg opening for nappy changing could be appreciated for the 6, 12 and 18 month- maybe as an alternative or pdf add on? However, I will certainly be making these for the older kids in my life too or thinking about adding a popper opening on the inner leg myself.
When it comes to adding buttons to garments, I rarely worry about buying anything new, as I have an extensive button tin. The majority of my stash was inherited from my grandmother, in a rusty old biscuit tin, with a few new additions, mostly gifts, since. If you have a sewer in your life, buttons make great stocking fillers FYI, hint hint hint.
However keeping a stash like this means every time I need more than two buttons, I have the pour the whole lot out on the carpet and sift through to find matching ones. There is part of me that dreams about one day organising them all into beautiful colour coded groups, but then I thought “No. Get a grip. Don’t be a button sorting loony.”
When choosing buttons for this gift, I was sorely temped by this bewt…(If this button ever makes it onto something I make you…you know you’re my favourite.)
I chose some simple grey buttons in the end, to go with the Batman fabric. The front pocket, back pockets and leg cuffs were all in the contrasting Batman fabric. The lining fabric is an organic cotton I had left over in my stash…
Holy comic book pattern placement Batman! I managed to get two gratuitous Batmans in and two Bat signals too.
I hope these set up the little guy, for a future of standoffishness towards sidekicks and fighting crime.