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Heydays

A couple of years ago, I made myself corduroy dungarees from this Kwik Sew pattern. They were comfortable, warm, and seemed to nicely fill the dungaree shaped hole in my wardrobe. At the start of this year, I noticed lots of people online wearing dungarees made from duvet covers. They looked amazing, but I told myself that one pair of dungarees was quite enough. Then my friend got in touch with me, and told me that I needed to have the Heyday Dungaree pattern from Made by Jack’s Mum in my life. I was dubious, if I’m honest. How many dungarees does one person need? And did I really need to buy another pattern? I thought about it for quite a while, and kept looking at the Heydays on Instagram. The more I looked at them, the more I noticed the comfortable fit, the large number of pockets, and the multitude of different fabrics used to make them. Then, in a moment of weakness, I went on Etsy and bought the pattern.

Five pairs of dungarees later, I’m a Heyday convert! I absolutely love this pattern. It has a super comfy relaxed fit, meaning that you can wear a sweater underneath it and sit down without worrying about splitting any seams. The size range is good, covering sizes XXS to 5XL. The legs have a wide turn up at the bottom, there are five large pockets, and the straps are tied onto simple button loops. I measured in between a size M and L, and went for an L as I didn’t want them to feel restrictive. My first pair were sewn up in some denim chambray from Abakhan which had been sitting in my stash for a few years. It’s a beautifully soft fabric, but unfortunately it just wasn’t suited to this kind of garment. I noticed that it seemed a bit stretched when I was sewing it together, and it frayed very easily. After wearing the dungarees for half an hour or so, the seams started to show signs of wear and tear. I’ll be able to get some use out of them as long as I don’t have to crawl about on the floor or do anything too strenuous. I’m wearing them here with a llama print t-shirt that I sewed myself with some lovely thick cotton jersey from Pound Fabrics.

Because these dungarees weren’t the success I’d hoped they would be, I soon started thinking about my next pair. I hadn’t needed to adjust the first pair at all, even though they’re drafted to fit someone three inches shorter than me. However, if you’re over 5’8″ ish, I’d suggest you add a few inches to the leg to create decent turn ups. I have wee short legs, so didn’t feel I needed the extra. Lots of people online had been cutting up duvet covers to make their dungarees, and I managed to bag myself a particularly popular one from Asda. I really liked the colours and the bold flower pattern. The fabric was a bit thin, but they work very well for summer. I tried and failed to pattern match. I’ve teamed these ones with a homemade t-shirt in grey marled jersey, again from Pound Fabrics. I have wondered if anyone will ever stop me in the supermarket and tell me that my outfit looks very familiar, but it hasn’t happened yet.

After these two pairs I took a little break, convinced that there was no way I needed any more dungarees at all. Then I reminded myself how practical they were. The big deep pockets hold all the various treasures that my two year old gives me over the course of a day. I can pull the bib to one side and feed my baby and no one ever notices. And of course I couldn’t really wear the chambray pair, so I needed to replace them. So my third pair of Heydays became my all time favourites.

These ones were made in a purple polyester and cotton mix fabric described as “scrubs material”. The colour is vibrant, a kind of Cadbury’s chocolate bar shade. I got it from Croft Mill, although it’s sadly out of stock now. These dungarees quickly became my firm favourites. The fabric is soft and flexible enough to be really comfortable, but it’s also super durable. I wear them every single week and I love them. I’ve teamed them here with a homemade t-shirt in a hedgehog print jersey from Clarabelle Fabrics.

After this, social media was a bad influence. Someone posted about her latest make on the Made by Jack’s Mum Facebook group – blue tartan brushed cotton dungarees using an old duvet cover. As soon as I saw them, I remembered that I had a red tartan king size duvet cover loitering in my cupboard. I’d bought it from a charity shop for £3 (I think) with some vague ideas of what I wanted to do with it, and it had sat in a box ever since. I dug out the Heydays pattern, cut out the pieces, and the next night I spent 2 hours sewing and finished another outfit. King size duvet covers have a ridiculous amount of fabric, so I still have loads left. Turns out brushed cotton is so warm and snuggly when sewn into what is basically an adult sized sleepsuit!

After this, I told myself that I really didn’t need any more dungarees now. I had a variety of pairs in different colours and prints, and that was quite enough. However, I discovered the most gorgeous fabric on Flamingo Fabrics website. It’s a folk print of flowers in vibrant colours on a white background, and it’s cotton twill. I loved the fabric, it was really cheap, but it couldn’t be made into anything other than dungarees as it wasn’t drapey at all. So Heydays pair number five were born! These feel a little stiff, but the fabric has been softening with washing and wearing.

Of course the problem now is that almost all my dungarees are in printed fabrics, as are my t-shirts. So theoretically, I now have to buy some gorgeous jewel toned needlecords and deep blue denims, and make myself some more pairs in plain fabric. In fact, I already have a pair cut out in some brownish green cord! The designer has also just released a kids’ version of the pattern, and my toddler has requested red tartan dungarees to match mine. Yes, I may be slightly addicted…

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