Finished: The Good Life Dungarees

Dungarees have been 'back' for a while now, but it took me a while to decide they were for me, and settle on a pattern I liked. I have made 3 Marilla Walker Roberts dungaree dresses which I wear all the time and was keen to try a 'true' pair of dungarees.

The Burnside Bibs by Sew House Seven - there are choices for length, bib shape and waist fastening - one has a side zip and darts to give a more fitted look. I made the full length option with square-shaped bib and side zip.

Reason for pattern choice
I was looking for a dungaree pattern that didn't look too juvenile and was a bit different. It also looked like the fit would be quite forgiving. I did baulk at the price - a hefty £19 (including P&P) for the paper pattern, bought from a UK retailer but the style wasn't like anything I had seen anywhere else. This is where indie companies can *sometimes* have the edge, when they make a pattern that's not a basic you can get anywhere.
Fabric & Notions
Poly twill from Remnant Kings, lined with stash quilting cotton

Pattern alterations or any design changes
I added an inch to the length but this really wasn't enough and I had to squeak in a tiny hem using bias tape as a facing. I really need to remember to add several inches to trousers make sure that I don't cut it too fine. I added back pockets but put them on wonky first and decided I didn't really like the look of them anyway, so off they came.
Image from here - an article about fashion lessons from The Good Life!
I had to take in some width in the legs. They looked cool but the width felt a bit 'costumey' for my tastes and I didn't want to not wear them because I felt self-conscious that I was looking super 1970s in them - and I love the 70s! Pre-leg-narrowing my husband told me that they looked like something Felicity Kendall would wear in the Good Life. Which wasn't meant to be (entirely) cheeky and she looks excellent, but did get across the point that they looked a bit of a step away from my usual look.
How was it to sew?
I have never used a Sew House Seven Pattern before and also haven't used a printed indie pattern for a long time. I thought the booklet was well written with a nice attention to getting a good finish - something that Big 4 patterns rarely take into account. Still though, £19!

Would you sew it again and do anything different next time?
I would sew it again and next time might try the cropped version which I also really like. It would look lovely in linen, one of the recommended fabrics. I like the fit of the version with the side zip and darts and would choose this option again as I'm really happy with the fit of these.
Would you recommend it to others?

Pattern - £19 (did I mention that?)
Fabric - £15
Zip & lining - Stash
Thread - £1.60

TOTAL - £35.60

I'm really pleased with these and feel like they fit well into my wardrobe. They're definitely not the cheapest thing I've made but worth it for a pattern I couldn't get elsewhere, which I think strikes a good balance between looks, fit and comfort.

K x


  1. Bloody hell, that's a bit steep for a pattern. Saying that though these really are lovely and the fit is superb. Well worth it, especially if you make them again. Thanks to the link re: The Good Life. Margo is one of my ultimate style icons. Xx

    1. I forgot to put in the post that despite the high price I cut straight into the pattern tissue at my size - I usually at least try and preserve the other sizes and fold them back. I think I felt that as I'd paid so much I'd just do whatever I wanted!

  2. Loved the trip down memory lane via your The Good Life link.

    I have this pattern {PDF} in my queue for spring sewing. Yours look really great!

    1. Oh great, good luck with them, I would like to try the cropped length too

  3. These are so cute! I've noticed there are a lot of jumpers and dungarees coming out (even for men it's the "thing" on the runways this year :)) but I'm not convinced they would suit me to be honest. I'm often tempted because it was the first garment I made for myself in 1972 and loved them! I think those dungarees were the thing that led me to love sewing so much.

    1. Thank you! It took a while for me to choose a pattern as the more traditional ones with chunky straps felt a bit juvenile, but the right pattern could be out there for you :)

  4. These look amazing, worth £19 I think! I would love to make a pair of dungarees but I am not sure I could pull them off :)

    1. I wasn't sure if I could either but there are so many different styles of dungarees around I'm sure you'd get one to suit you

  5. These are gorgeous and their perfect balance between Felicity Kendall and a modern aesthetic. Which I consider to be a win win!

  6. They look great Kerry, a really nice fit. Pleeeease wear them with a headscarf for the full Barbara look! x

    1. You're right, that would be the perfect way to style them!

  7. Very nice! I especially like the way the straps do up at the back. But £19!!!


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