Last week was half-term, which gave me a little extra mental space for creativity (even though I was still working, boo hiss). I was looking in a box of stuff I don’t use much for some rubber gloves and happened upon these dungarees that I bought years ago for a Halloween costume.


I’ve also been mourning not discovering this awesome pinafore before it sold out.

While desperately searching the interwebs for a site where it was still in stock, I happened upon a tutorial to make a lookalike.

I got the Mario dungarees cheap on eBay so I didn’t mind running the risk of ruining them with ham-fisted customisation attempts.

Here’s a before shot.

I decided to remove the front pocket as this would interfere with the cat face.

I also decided to dye them black. Since I was dyeing some clothes navy anyway (this is why I needed the rubber gloves), I tossed in the dungarees to give them an under-dye.

I made a hole in the front while removing a stud from the pocket, and I also noticed several other small holes in the dungarees while examining them, so I decided to do some patching before the second dyebath.

There’s a hole in  one of the back pockets that will be difficult to mend invisibly, so I think I will put a patch over that bit instead.

Denim clothing seems to be sewn using some kind of polyester thread- I’ve noticed when dyeing before that the thread doesn’t get dyed. So I’ve decided to make a new front pocket for my dungarees, on which I will either embroider or draw the cat face.

I also removed some of the original stitching on the bib and I will re-stitch in black, again so the stitching doesn’t interfere with the cat face.

The next step was cutting out the new patch pocket and ears from denim scraps I had left over from my Day Dress. I interfaced the pocket and ear pieces for strength as the denim isn’t very stiff. I’ve been having issues getting the trapezium piece symmetrical. It’s a work in progress. The grainline also looks wonky. Oh dear. I mean, work in progress!

The next steps will be re-doing the stitching on the bib, stitching down the top of the new pocket and dyeing the fabric.

I’ve bought some fabric paint pens ready for drawing my cat face. I think I’m going to go in a slightly different direction to Lazy Oaf rather than doing a straight copy.

Not sure which face to choose now. Any thoughts?

I’ve spent quite a bit of time on this project here and there over the past couple of weeks and I’ve got to say I’ve really been enjoying it. Even though the patching was a little dull, I like the fact that I am trying to breathe new life into this garment, which was clearly loved by the previous owner. I felt like I was giving some respect to the woman (or, let’s be real here, child) in China who spent time piecing my clothing together.

If you want to follow my progress I’m using #cateralls on Instagram.