Sunday, 21 August 2011

WLA Dungarees

As soon as I returned from my holiday, I had 5 days to hem the skirt of my Victorian dress and make a pair of Womens Land Army (WLA) dungarees. After a bit of panic, I did it!

Ok, so they're not completely authentic, but they were the best I could within the time frame I had. Original ones had the trousers and bib as one piece, whereas mine are two pieces joined, although the belt hides this.

For the trousers, I used the same pattern as I did for my 1940s trousers. The only difference being that I left out the front darts and the waistband, and I left a gap on both side seams for the fastening. To these I added a placket (to which a button is sewn) at both the side fastenings - otherwise I would end up bearing all! - and two front patch pockets which measured about 7"x5".

The bib pattern I made myself - the bottom of it was as wide as the trouser waist and then tapered to about 11" at my WLA jumper collar. Even when I had made it (and sewn it to the trouser waist) it needed some taking in at the sides to stop it being so flappy.

The straps were made as tubes (around 30" long) with a finished width of 1.5". After looking trough some WLA photos, some of the dungarees the girls were wearing looked as if their straps were sewn straight onto the trouser waistband (which is what I did) rather than having the trousers finishing half way up the back (if that makes sense?!). Buttons were sewn to the other ends of the straps and buttonholes sewn to the bib, with an extra piece of fabric for re-inforcement. I then hemmed the trousers, taking them up 1".

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