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Sew Jumpsuit for all levels of ability
Jumpsuits do not show any sign of going out of fashion, and no wonder as they can be smart or casual or somewhere in between. They can take you anywhere and come into their own on holiday for day or evening. They are so comfortable!
The pattern I chose is Simplicity 8178 I chose it because it is suitable even for sewing newbies as it has minimal pieces and does not have any fastenings - so no zipper or buttonholes to worry about.
There is a choice between straight and flared legs, I chose the wider flared leg.
I chose a floral crepe fabric for the main garment and plain crepe for the jacket, both widely available.
This particular fabric is rather busy! More suited to holiday wear I feel. A chambray or a linen would be good fabric choices, the pattern also suggests sateen which would be lovely and Ponte Roma but if you choose this then make sure it is not too heavy and that it has a good drape.
Wash, dry and press your fabric before cutting out as a lot of fabrics shrink.
If ever you want to use a fabric such as wool for a coat or jacket then don't wash it, when I come to do my next coat blog I will show you how to shrink fabric without washing it.
If you are new to sewing then you may not understand the sizing. Pattern sizes are not the same as your commercial dress size, usually commercial garments are "vanity" sized and as you know the fit varies a lot from store to store.
So the first thing you need to do is to take your measurements and compare them to the measurements on the back of the pattern.
You may find that your top and bottom are different sizes but that doesn't matter as it is easy to cut out the top in one size and the bottom in another and merge the two sizes together at the waist.
Inside the pattern you will find a paper guide giving all the instructions needed to construct the garment and the cutting layouts. These are important so keep the instructions handy, I have clips attached to a wall in my sewing room where I put my instructions so that they are easy to refer to.
On the major pattern pieces you will find additional sizing information and the finished garment measurements. Use this together with the size guide printed on the back of the envelope to determine which size you need to cut out.
Ease can vary from garment to garment, for example a shift dress may have very little ease whereas a coat may have several inches. Some stretch garments may have negative ease, which means that the pattern pieces are smaller than your measurements.
If in any doubt whatsoever always cut out the larger size as it is easy to take a garment in if it is too big, but not so easy to out right if it is too small.
You wil see that each pattern piece has a Grainline. This is the direction which the pattern needs to sit on the fabric. If you fold the selvedge edge to edge and pin it together the the threads travelling up along the fabric are the straight grain. Measure each end of the Grainline arrow on the pattern piece and pin it in position with these two measurements exactly equal. I am measuring from the fold. If you don't do this then your pattern piece will be off-grain and will not sit straight, ever.
Some pattern pieces need to be cut on the bias as cutting diagonally across the grain is what gives then stretch. This is necessary when adding bands to a curved neckband for example
The direction of the grain is clearly marked on the pattern piece.
If you measure your legs and arms and you compare them to the pattern and find out that they are the wrong length it is better to alter the pattern now. To shorten sleeves or legs put a tuck in the pattern at the lines marked lengthen or shorten here if the pattern is too short then cut all along the lines and insert a piece of tissue paper to lengthen the pattern. Usually if you make length adjustments at the bottom of the pattern you will lose shaping and the garments edges will almost always turn out too wide, so it is definitely worth using the correct alteration process.
A tip. It is easy to miss a pattern piece out when cutting out, or you may need a small piece of your fabric to test a buttonhole on etc so I put all my scraps of tissue and fabric into a bin and only throw them away when the garment is finished and I am certain I no longer need them.
To make it easier to put the garment together you need to transfer every marking on the pattern onto the fabric.
Notches should be cut outwards never snip into the fabric seam lines in case you need to let the seam out.
My preferred method is good old Tailors Tacks. If you use a good quality Tacking thread the stitches will stay put until you remove them. Tacking thread is made from short fibres of cotton so it has a rough feel to it and it really does grip the fabric.
You may also wish to use Chalk to join the tailors Tacks or to mark the front and back of your fabric and for many more things. I like chalk as opposed to marker pens as it comes off easily, you need to be so very careful with Marker pens as even ones which disappear in the air or with water can easily become permanent on some fabrics, especially if you iron the marks. They do have their uses though. I think the sensible thing to do is to have a selection and try them out on a spare piece of fabric before deciding on the right one for your project.
This is what I meant by cutting notches outwards and not just snipping info the fabric at the little triangles.
My fabric frays badly so I don't want to risk any weak points fraying and coming apart during wear by snipping into the seam allowances.
The front edge of the jumpsuit top is cut on the bias and will stretch so it needs to be stabilized. To do this use Iron on seam tape interfacing ,I am also using it on the back neckline . This will stop the edges from stretching out of shape.
This is the seam tape in place. Clip it as necessary to make it fit the curve.
Stitch the shoulders together, tack the side seams and try it on for fit.
Then take the neckband and press it in half wrong sides together and pin and stitch it to the neckline, right sides together.
Press, then turn the band to the inside and top stitch in place
Do the same with the armholes
Matching up the centre front tacking or chalk marks tack ( baste) the lower edges together.
Make up the trousers, I omitted the pockets but that is personal choice. The instructions in the pattern are easy to follow so I doubt that you will have a problem.
Join the top to the pants and following the instructions make a casing for the elastic.
Make sure that the elastic is comfortable before you close the gap in the facing.
This is my finished suit. I made a narrow tie belt to cover the elastic waist. Do make sure that this garment is not over fitted as you will have problems getting in and out of it if you do!
I added a metal popper on the front for decency. Or you could use a normal press stud. Press stud fasteners
Before stitching the hem decide on which type of shoes you will wear it with. I decided that my wedge sandals and trainers are the same height so I hemmed mine to suit both, but if you want to wear heels with yours you may need to have the length a bit longer and for flip-flops maybe shorter.
I did make the jacket, but I doubt that I will wear the two garments together - it's rather busy I feel. For me anyway.
I made a navy dress and had a small piece of the fabric left to make a jacket with, but there was not quite enough fabric to cut every pattern piece out. I therefore cut the facing out in my floral fabric.
The front facings need to be interfaced. Choose your interfacing to suit your fabric weight but always choose a good quality
For my fabric I would choose a standard or soft medium weight iron on interfacing , but there are lots to choose from to give the front jacket some stability Iron on interfacings
Press it on rather than iron it on, by that I mean keep lifting your iron and don't slide it over the interfacing, and don't have your iron too hot or it will melt.
The only bit of the pattern which you may possibly need to think about what you are doing is constructing the integral facing and collar, but it's not difficult.
I found it easier to stitch the back section first then the sides rather than stitch the seam in one operation.
You now should have this.
Clip into the neckline seam to enable it to turn out correctly. Use a Pressing cloth to avoid marking your fabric, which is easily done if your iron is too hot for the fabric.
Pin the facing over the front jacket and pin and stitch in place. Cut out the triangle to make the notch in the front and clip all curves and corners.
Turn the facing to the inside and press the seams open - a Sleeve pressing roll makes this easier.
I tacked the facing down to hold it in place and gave it a good press with my pressing cloth.
Once you have got this far follow the pattern instructions and insert the sleeves and stitch the lower hem - it's easy I promise you!
This is my finished jacket which is really lovely. It could be worn with my jumpsuit but I like it with a plain have dress and it also dresses my jeans up.
I am planning on buying another length of navy fabric and making a new jacket to wear with my jumpsuit , with no contrast facings.
I am thoroughly delighted in his these garments have turned out. They are both so comfortable to wear and I know that they will integrate into my wardrobe nicely. The fabric hardly creases and if it does crease a little bit the pattern is so busy that any wrinkles will not be noticed
I really love this without the jacket - I feel a holiday coming on so I can wear it!
I do hope that you will make this lovely outfit, it is not at all difficult but if you do struggle then use the contact form on my own blog or send a message through Jaycotts and I will get back to you.
If you do not like this pattern then Simplicity 1355 is similar , very easy to sew and has different neckline options.
The other pattern New Look 6446 is more fitted, it has a close fit bodice and a centre back zip, this is the pattern I will be making up next.
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