How to make dungarees

Updated February 21, 2017

Dungarees, more commonly known as jeans, are a sturdy style of trouser made from denim. Dungarees were originally created as a work garment, worn over other clothing to protect it from dirt and wear. Dungarees also include overalls, which are jeans with an attached bib and suspenders. Some people, such as carpenters, tradesmen and farmers, still wear this style of dungarees as work wear, without the extra pair of trousers underneath. They are also popular, from time to time, as comfortable everyday clothing, and have long been used as children's playwear.

Fold your existing pair of trousers in half, so that you have what looks like only one leg, then lay the trousers over a double layer of your dungarees fabric. Trace around the outside of the trousers, then add a half-inch to all sides for seam allowances. Cut along the outside lines.

Take one of your new pant leg pieces and lay it over a double layer of fabric, then use it to cut two more pant leg pieces.

Measure across the front of your chest and down to your waistband from that point. Use these measurements to draw a square on a single layer of your fabric. Add a half-inch seam allowances to all sides, and cut the square from the fabric. This will be the front of the dungarees.

Measure the distance from your chest to the back of your waistband, going over your shoulder. Draw a rectangle on a double layer of your fabric that is this length plus 1 inch, and 3 inches wide. Cut 2 of these rectangles for the shoulder straps.

Lay two of the pant leg pieces together, right sides together, and pin the straight outer edges together. Stitch these together 1/2 inch away from the edges and press the seam allowances open. Do the same for the other two pant leg pieces.

Lay the two pant legs together, matching up the curved center back and centre front seams. Stitch these seams together, a half-inch away from the edges, and press the seam allowances open.

Line up the inseam edges of the pant legs and stitch them together, going over the seams at the center back and front. Turn under the hem of each leg a half-inch and stitch them in place.

Take the square piece of fabric and fold the top and side edges under a half-inch. Stitch the edges in place, then add buttonholes to the top corners. Line up the bottom edge of the square with the front of the waistband edge of the trousers, right sides together. Stitch the square to the waist, a half-inch away from the edges. Fold the rest of the waist edge down a half-inch and stitch it in place.

Take the shoulder straps and fold under one short and both long edges a half-inch, stitching the edges in place. Stitch the remaining raw edges to the back of the waistband, going over the waistband stitching. Add one button to the finished edge of each shoulder strap.

Things You'll Need

  • Denim
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Fabric pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Old trousers
  • 2 buttons
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About the Author

A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.