Category Archives: Jumpsuit

Jumpsuiting for joy

Spring has sprung in London! It may well be temporary as most British weather is, but it’s delightful while it lasts. I always find it so much easier to dress when the weather is nice, and to be freed from the annoyance of layers and tights.

We’re also a week into Me-Made May of course. I’m not doing it ‘officially’ this year but it’s always a nice excuse to take stock of my handmade wardrobe, make a conscious effort to get me-mades in rotation, and to share some daily outfits. I’m putting the odd one up on Instagram and might do another update here later in the month. Here’s a slice of last week’s outfits:

Me-made May week 1

Clockwise from top: Roberts dungarees, new jumpsuit (see below!), Adele dress and Maya hack dress. And urm, the same Clarks shoes every day – I need to buy more shoes. And no, I don’t give up the black in the spring…

Jumpsuit

Here’s a closer look at the new jumpsuit. It’s fair to say by this point that I’m jumpsuit crazy. I think I wear them more than both dresses and jeans by this point, which will probably get borne out in my #MMM photos. So comfy! So practical and cycle-friendly! So quick to get dressed! And they’re fast and fun to sew to boot.

B6312

I used Butterick 6312, grabbed during a Jaycotts pattern sale binge a couple weeks ago. It’s about as basic as a jumpsuit can get: very wide and unfitted, cropped to calf, side seam pockets, and to be worn with an optional belt. The pattern pieces look terrifyingly like a clown suit, but once it’s made up in a soft fabric and belted, it’s secret-pyjama dreams come true.

Jumpsuit

The fabric is an indian handblocked cotton that I bought from IndianStores on Etsy. You may recall I have an Alder dress in the blue colourway: it’s so supersoft and lovely both to work with and to wear. If you’re intro handblocked prints and khadi cottons you should definitely check out that store.

Jumpsuit

It took about 45 minutes to sew, especially since I dipped the back into a deep V and realised I could get it on and off without needing to add the centre back zip. The neckline is finished with self-bias and I French seamed the centre front-to-back seam to get a nice finish on the points of the Vs. After wearing it for a day I found the loose neckline slips around a bit, so I might go back and add a strap to the back neckline to keep it in place.

Jumpsuit

It’s described as very oversized so I cut a small graded to medium around the hip, but next time I’d consider cutting XS/S as it’s still too big around the shoulder. Not perfect in terms of fit, but fun and easy to wear on a sunny day.

Minimal cord jumpsuit

Cord jumpsuit

I’ve waxed on before about how much I love my Roberts dungarees and they’re a total wardrobe staple for me, so more jumpsuit type things have always been in my sewing plans. I’ve made another set of overalls since, but they were a wearable toile and while they certainly are wearable I wanted to rework them with a few tweaks.

Cord jumpsuit

I used the same vintage pattern, McCall’s 9077, as a basis, but traced it out, removing nearly all of the design details and refining the fit a bit. The fit still isn’t perfect around the top; next time I’m going to pivot the straps inwards as they are too wide-set and like to slip off my shoulders.

Cord jumpsuit

I used a fine pin-dotted cotton corduroy from Miss Matatabi. I had 2m and it was only 41″ wide so I had to do some very creative cutting to make the long pieces fit onto my yardage. I added a back waist seam, one of the back legs is cut on the cross-grain, the crotch is pieced, and the upper back is pieced in about 4 pieces. Luckily none of that shows up in real life or photos, though I quite enjoyed pointing it out to my colleagues.

Cord jumpsuit

I wanted bigger pockets but this was literally all the yardage I had left, so they are tiny useless pockets that fit nothing.

Cord jumpsuit

I didn’t feel like doing facings or binding (and had no fabric left) so all the edges are finished by simply turning and hemming, which worked surprisingly OK.

to sew board

On a tangent, I had a couple of comments on my post about swatching for spring that it’s interesting to have a peek into how I plan what I want to make, as well as the projects themselves. And to be honest I spend far more time on the planning/dreaming phase than the actual making, so it’s a nice thing to write about.

pinterest

Pinterest is obviously a great tool for collecting inspiration. I have boards for each type of garment (dresses, tops, bottoms, jumpsuits) along with some more general boards with ideas for outfits and wardrobe planning. Recently I also started a To sew list to extract all the things from the various boards that I want to make imminently. Generally I’ll only add stuff to my to-sew list board when I have a good idea of the fabric and pattern I want to use. My first make using this system was actually my Melilot blouse, which was based on this pin, and this is the second!

jumpsuits

Up next, I want to make a floatier culotte-leg jumpsuit based on this pin, and I have some perfect chambray-coloured linen mix in my stash. It’s really nice to have a list of things I want to make that I know are going to work in my wardrobe, so when I sit down to sew I know I’m going to get something useful and highly wearable at the end.

The 80s called, again

Vintage jumpsuit

I promised it wouldn’t be long before I sewed vintage again. On a different tack completely to my ’60s dress, here’s a 1980s romper.
M9077

The pattern is McCall’s 9077 from 1984, a year older than me. My Roberts dungarees are amongst my most loved and worn garments and I was definitely seeking to replicate their comfort and wearbility here. I love all 3 views of this pattern and reckon I’ll be sewing up the shorts and dress version before too long as well.

Vintage jumpsuit

Vintage jumpsuit

I made these up as wearable toile, doing a bit of fit adjustment along the way. The pattern came in a single size, small, but it’s quite oversized and I had to take it in along the torso sides. The bit of stretch in this lightweight denim (a Woolcrest Textiles bargain – my current #1 fabric shop) makes them super comfortable. To finish the edges, the back and straps are self-lined and the front has a facing.
Vintage jumpsuit

One of my favourite features are the huge patch pockets, which wrap around the side seam. Such a neat detail which look cool but are very easy to sew.

Vintage jumpsuit

Something did go a bit wrong while sewing the placket. Those things are just a mystery to me, I swear I just seemed to end up with flaps and angles all up in the wrong places and just couldn’t make it do what the instructions said. I fudged it and wound up with an okay result, but the buttons do not sit correctly at the exact centre front. I can live with it.



I’ll definitely use this pattern again, if only just to have another crack at sewing the placket correctly! I’ve been collecting jumpsuit inspiration and have dreams of a really minimal version in a drapey viscose, like this, or one in linen with a tie belt like this.

McCalls 6923 summer playsuit

Floral romper

You can tell it’s getting warmer here – I have summer sewing on my mind! I’ve been hankering after some more shorts and culottes because I find them much easier to wear than skirts. After yet another failed attempt at the Tania culottes (this pattern just looks horrible on me, I have accepted it now) I cast my net a bit further and found this cute thing.

Floral romper

It’s McCalls 6923, a sweet romper and babydoll dress with skirt and culotte variations. Like usual, looking past the horrible envelope fabric options was required (though I like the idea of a lace-overlay bodice version) but from the line drawings I could see that this would be a handy little pattern to have. My main issue with the Tanias is that there is just too much fabric in there, but these have just enough fullness to create a skirt effect without being a ridiculous full circle on each leg.

Floral romper

I made the culotte version up in a fabric from my stash, a light drapey viscose print bought from Fabricland in Brighton. I knew I wanted to play with the direction of the floral stripes, and even though I barely had enough fabric I managed to make a nice placement across the bodice, sleeves and shorts. This fabric was really nice to work with and feels lovely and cool to wear. I spritzed it with spray starch before cutting and sewing the hems for a bit of extra stability: this stuff is my new sewing BFF, it really helps to give floaty fabrics a bit more body and crispness where needed as well as preventing any shifting around.

Floral romper

It’s a quick and easy sew, though I didn’t really follow the instructions as I have my own weird methods for doing linings and zips by now. The fit is alright, but I’m going to make some improvements for next time. It’s too wide across the shoulders and upper back, and my sway lower back is doing its usual weird things to the waistline. For a casual summer romper I can deal with it though. There is a (pink!) CB zip in there, no close up as I did a really bad job with it. I’m going to take it out and re-do it. My only beef with rompers is that you really need a zip as you can’t pull the crotch over your head, ha ha.

Floral romper

Did you notice this boo-boo yet? – due to a silly cutting mistake, I had to piece the bodice to make it longer. Luckily I had an off-cut of just the right size and pattern position to fit in quite seamlessly. How often does that happen?!

Floral romper
Floral romper

The (original-length) bodice is lined in a very lightweight stretch mesh, because I wanted to add barely any warmth/bulk but to get the nice clean neckline edge that a lining creates. Again, I spray-starched the mesh to make it easier to work with. I bought a bunch of this mesh from Rolls n Rems in white and navy as it’s a handy lining to have around for summer frocks.

romper

I can tell this playsuit is a winner because it got thrown into rotation as soon as it was off the sewing machine. In a stroke of good timing, I went to pick up my rather matchy-matchy shiny new bike from Nissa today, and gave the playsuit a road-test in the process. It performed admirably, staying happily in place for my little test spin to Clerkenwell and back home. Now to sew an army more rompers to take me through summer!

PS If I tempted you by the Zippy Top pattern, there is 40% off See Kate Sew’s shop until Saturday with the code SUMMER.