Little Girl’s Denim (and Pink!) Dungarees

Hi everyone! I’m Beth from After Dark Sewing. This is my first challenge and I’m pleased to say that I completed it just in the nick of time! This was a great challenge for me because I’ve never sewn with denim before. Wow, have I been missing out! It was lovely to sew with; albeit a little stretchy in places.

So – ‘Denim Never Dies.’ I imagine the name was borne from the fact that denim never goes out of fashion, but I took another approach to the ‘never dies’ part of the name in that I used recycled denim.

I started with these:

And ended up with this:

The most amazing thing about these dungarees is that I made them up as I went along. I have a pattern for age 2 dungarees but I needed age 5. So, I had to use my noodle this time round. I didn’t even bother looking for another ready-made pattern, which in hindsight was rather odd.

I decorated the front bodice pocket and back trouser pockets with some hand embroidery. There’s a Hello Kitty face on the bodice, and the trousers have her signature bow and initials. I used a simple chain stitch and satin stitch for her eyes and nose. Her face isn’t perfect – it should be more squashed than circular – but I’m pretty darn proud of it! And I am aware that the K is a bit wonky; I should have taken more time over it to be honest.

I used a hot pink thread instead of a blue that would have been more forgiving for wonky stitching for two reasons: 1) I thought  I would incorporate some pink for the bonus challenge (hence also the pink linings), and 2) it makes it that bit more unique!

I had a moment of sheer genius-ness when I thought I could use the belt loops on the jeans to create the loops for the straps to go through. I love how that part turned out. The straps slip through the loops, fold over and fasten with a purple heart button. The buttons don’t match, but hey-ho, I was using what I already have.

Once the bodice was complete, I started on the trousers. This was a risky move because I wasn’t sure if I could get a matching denim… but I was getting excited! But luckily I found a pair that is quite a good colour match.

I literally chopped off the legs and kept them as they were – I just cut curves into the crotch to make that, and unpicked some of the seam on each side to fit the pockets in. The jeans were bootcut so rather flared on a five-year-old, so I narrowed one of the seams on each leg; but I kept the thick seam and the hems!

My daughter loves the front pockets as they are apparently bigger than normal ones! I cut them (and also the lining for the bodice front pocket) in a Hello Kitty fabric I had lying around. I love that I could make an item of clothing so uniquely tailored to my daughter’s taste!

The lining for the front pockets, back pockets and bodice is a pink spotty “fabric” that was a duvet cover. So this really is an upcycled garment!

All that was left to do once I’d got the trousers stitched right(ish) was to attach it to the bodice. I’m pretty impressed with my seam matching considering the denim is stretchy!

I slipstitched the bodice lining in place to cover the messy seam – and I was done! Phew!!

All in all, I’m pretty happy with the end result. They’re certainly not perfect but considering I made them up from scratch I don’t think they’re too bad. The shape of the trousers isn’t quite right – for some reason the sides where the front pockets are pulls in slightly. And I would add some kind of fastening to the side of the bodice if I was to make some again. Oh, and the back pockets are disappointing. But I guess there are a lot of positives – I love the bodice; the straps; the back section is pretty neat; and the personalised Hello Kitty design is fun! They did take a lot of work so my daughter had better wear them A LOT now!!

Check out the post on my blog (After Dark Sewing) for more construction details 🙂

Beth x

15 thoughts on “Little Girl’s Denim (and Pink!) Dungarees

  1. I do love it so much when garments can be upcycled, especially denim. You really did some very cute intricate work with the embroidery and matching pockets. She’s at the age when she appreciates all of your hard work, but in my experience when they reach 12-13, it’s a whole different story, Enjoy it while you can! 😉


    • I’ve got a fair amount of denim left over, too 🙂 Thanks – it’s all in the details 🙂 Haha you’re right… I will make the most of it now!


    • Thank you 🙂 Haha I am seriously impressed with myself! I don’t know what came over me! But it really wasn’t as hard as you may think. I do have some sleep to catch up on now, though, after spending several late evenings sewing!

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    • Thanks! She does love them. I’m not sure if that’s because I drilled it into her that I’d spent a lot of time and effort on them so she WILL like them, though….!!


    • Thank you, Jana. You’re right – although they’re not the same shade of purple they do look nice. Haha she wasn’t sure at first because the trousers were too flared but I cut them down more which pleased her! You’re so kind, thank you 🙂

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