30 March 2022

Erin Dungarees Sewalong: Preparing Your Pattern & Fitting

Tilly and the Buttons - Erin Dungarees Sewalong: Preparing Your Pattern & Fitting

Making the Erin dungarees and looking for a few tips on fitting? Welcome to the next step of the Erin dungarees sewalong, supported by Janome. Erin is our latest Tilly and the Buttons sewing pattern and it's an extra special one because it's our first sewing pattern to be printed up to a size UK 34! 

Are you following the Erin sewalong? By this point, you'll have been introduced to Erin and will have gathered your supplies and seen our dreamy sewing inspiration boards. Now it's time to get ready to start your project and make any fitting tweaks. 

Erin is designed to be loose-fitting, with a lowline waist and crotch, and adjustable straps which allow for a flexible fit - so hopefully any changes you want to make will be minimal - yay!

In this part of the Erin sewalong we'll cover:
  • Choosing your size 
  • Lengthening or shortening pattern pieces 
  • How to combine pattern sizes 
  • How to make common trouser fitting adjustments 

Erin dungarees sewing pattern in mustard needlecord

Choosing your size 

Erin is the first TATB printed pattern to include all 15 sizes in our range. The updated sizing merges our former UK 6-24 and UK 16-34 size patterns to make one pattern in sizes UK 6-34 (US 2-30 / EUR 34-62 / AUS 6-34) that is available in both print and PDF formats. 

Sizes 1-6 (UK 6-16) and 7-15 (UK 18-34) have been drafted, fitted and graded separately to create a better fit. For this reason, you may notice the proportions change in the measurements chart and the shaping is slightly different on the pattern pieces – sizes 7-15 include room for a larger bust (10cm/4in difference between high bust and full bust, as opposed to 5cm/2in difference on sizes 1-6) and a bit more room at the waist.

Erin Dungarees Sewalong: Preparing Your Pattern & Fitting
Erin dungarees size guide and measurements chart

To find your size, measure your bust, waist and hips, by which we mean:
- fullest part of your bust
- waist where you bend at the side
- fullest part of your hips and bum
Make sure you're holding the tape measure parallel to the floor all the way around.

Circle your nearest measurements on the measurements chart in the pattern instructions. If all fall into one size cut that one… But it's totally normal to fall into different sizes - you can create a bespoke shape for you by “grading” between sizes, which we will come onto in a minute.

Bear in mind the style of the pattern is loose-fitting, so grading isn't always essential. Take a look at the finished measurements chart above to understand how Erin will fit when it's finished. 

Erin dungarees - lengthening or shortening the bodice

Lengthening or shortening

To learn how to lengthen or shorten pattern pieces, we've got this tutorial to help you.

If you know you have a long or short torso, you can lengthen or shorten the bibs (front centre bib, front side bibs, back bib). You can tack (baste) the bib to the legs at the waistline before sewing to check you're happy with the bib length, bearing in mind the waistline and crotch are designed to hang low.

The straps are adjustable, but if you know you are particularly tall, short or broad around the upper torso and shoulder area, you can lengthen or shorten the straps too. 

If you have longer or shorter legs, lengthen or shorten the front leg and back leg on the pattern pieces. We haven’t included the finished leg length on the measurements chart as the crotch is low and where it sits will depend on how you tie straps – it varies widely, so they are very adjustable! - but we can tell you that our patterns are drafted for a 5’5’’ – 5’6’’ (165cm - 170cm) height. If you’re particularly taller or shorter than this, if you know your legs are on the longer or shorter side, or if you always need to buy longer or shorter jeans, for example, then it might be worth adjusting the pattern in advance. If in doubt, err on side of cutting them longer, you can always take them up at the hemming stage. Do the same adjustments on the front and back legs.

We've also included 'lengthen and shorten lines here' on the hip area of legs if you know you need to lengthen or shorten the rise. Bear in mind they are designed to hang quite low, so there's quite a bit of leeway here.

Erin dungarees - combining sizes

Combining Sizes

To find out how to combine pattern sizes, read our dedicated tutorial.

If you want to grade between different bust and waist sizes, start from your bust size around the armhole notch on the bib and finish at your waist size on the waist seam (or bottom of the bib piece). Make the same changes to all of the bib pattern pieces - front centre bib, front side bibs and back bib. In the example above, I've graded from a size 6 at the bust to a size 8 at the waist, via size 7 at the top corner of the side seam.

Grading between waist and hip sizes - Erin dungarees sewalong - fitting the trousers

You can also grade between waist and hip sizes on the legs. In the example above, I've graded between a size 8 waist and a size 6 hip. You'd start with your waist measurement at the top of the front leg and back leg, redrawing the crotch seam and side seam to join your hip measurement - technically this should be at the hip notch level, but to create a smoother transition I've joined them a little lower. Make the same changes to the back leg as you made on the front leg.

Two things to bear in mind here... 

Firstly, as the legs have no zip or button opening, you need to be able to get your hips in through the waist opening, so if you're grading between a smaller waist and a larger hip, check your hips will fit through the finished waist measurements. There is always a bit of wiggle room, and there will be even more if your fabric has some stretch in it, but as a general guide, we wouldn’t recommend grading down to a waist size that is more than two sizes smaller than your hip size.

Secondly, make sure you use the same size waistlines on the bib and legs so they fit together when sewn.

Erin Dungarees Sewalong: Preparing Your Pattern & Fitting

Trouser fitting 

The trousers are easy-fitting so you won’t need to make the same amount of changes as, say, making a pair of jeans or fitted trousers. But if you know you need a lot of trouser changes, check out the most common trouser fitting adjustments we've come across.

Don't forget, you can adjust the rise with how you tie the straps!

Share what you're making

We absolutely looove seeing all your Tilly and the Buttons makes, and we're especially excited to see your Erin dungarees throughout this sewalong and beyond. So let us know you're joining in by using #SewingErin when you share your posts on social media. Don't forget we love project planning and in-progress shots too!

If you haven't done so already, grab your copy of our Erin dungarees sewing pattern and meet us in the next blog post when we'll start cutting out our fabric... Exciting!