In the words of the legend that is Britney Spears; Oops, she did it again! That’s right, Tilly’s back with yet ANOTHER fab new sewing pattern – the Mila Dungarees.
Personally, I was very drawn to these as the trouser shape was more skinny fit, whereas the dungarees I’ve come across before have been a bit too wide-legged for me which has always caused me shoe-related problems. They’re not too bad in summer as you can wear them with sandals and Converse, but I am all for the boot (in any weather, to be honest) and they just don’t work well with them! I know, I know, I could hack one to make a skinny leg, but sometimes I just like having the work done for me.
This pattern is aimed at “Confident Beginners” and is a great follow-on if you’ve mastered the Cleo dungaree dress. A lot of the steps are very similar to the Cleo, such as how the bib, straps and pockets are constructed and placed, but it just takes it that step further by introducing you into the world of trouser-making rather than a dress/skirt. There’s nothing to fear with this though, to be honest. As always, Tilly has included some very well-explained instructions for each step as well as some photos for the potential tricky areas so as long as you take them one step at a time and relax, you’ll be absolutely fine!
Laying out the pattern on the fabric, I have to say, this pattern is pretty much spot on with the stated fabric requirements, which makes a refreshing change. All too often with sewing patterns, I find that they really over-state the amount of fabric you need to make a garment, but that certainly isn’t the case with this one. For this pattern, you need 2m of 150cm wide fabric or 2.8m of 115cm wide, so I think that is excellent value for money for a pair of well made, bespoke dungarees.
One tip I will give you when making these, because the fit is quite snug, is measure. measure, measure! PLEASE don’t kid yourself into thinking you can squeeze into a smaller size and definitely do not, I repeat, DO NOT just make the size that you are on the high street without measuring yourself first!!! If you have a look at the finished garment measurements, you will see that they’re meant to be a close fit so there’s very little room for fitting error. As well as taking the usual bust, waist and hip measurements, I would also recommend you check the circumference of the widest part of your thigh and calf before sewing each leg, or at least try them on before final stitching them up. There’s no point spending all that time and effort making something you can’t pull up!
This pattern is meant for woven fabrics, so you do have a wide range to choose from, however I agree with Tilly in that if you choose something with a bit of stretch, it will make them more comfortable with them being so snug. This doesn’t mean you can make them out of a knit fabric, however. It just means to choose something like a stretch denim or needlecord. I chose to make mine with one of our babycords. I’m not gonna lie, even though I love the Cleo, I wasn’t convinced before making these that dungas were for me so I tried to choose the most inconspicuous fabric I could to make my first pair, which was the black babycord with small pink flowers scattered over it. As with the Cleo straps, I interfaced the Mila straps with me using babycord to give them a bit more stability.
Just something for you to be aware of as well; the pattern states that you need 6 x 15mm buttons. I think this must be based on the assumption that you will be using the Prym No-Sew Dungaree Buckle kit which includes 2 buttons, as you actually need 8 buttons altogether; 2 for the bib and 3 for each button tab at the side.
My final tip for making these is to definitely make sure you try sitting down in them before finalising your buckle positions! I found you need a little bit more room for manoeuvre in these than the Cleo and we don’t want any unfortunate accidents, do we?!
All in all, if you’re ready to progress on from the Cleo yet still like the style of it, you can’t go wrong with the Mila dungarees and they are sure to be a wardrobe fave all year round!
Thank you for making it this far and I hope you found this review useful. If you have any questions about this pattern, please feel free to leave a comment below!