Sometimes you see something and you don’t even blink before whipping out your credit card and clicking ‘buy‘! When the Sallie pattern from Heather Lou at Closet Case Files dropped into my inbox, I didn’t blink – I bought. I’m not going to lie initially I was drawn to the tops, I love a kimono sleeve shape and it’s easy to fit on someone my size and I knew I could adapt the straps on the tank too (thicker ones needed I’m afraid!) The skirt shape was great, then there was the jumpsuit…I. Loved. It. On Heather Lou at any rate, on me?? Not so sure…
Anyway, construction was very easy, the instructions are great, the only fiddly bit was attaching the lining, but I did it diffently to the instructions! I sewed up the shoulder seams and side seams then reached in between the layers to pin the lining to the outer shell around the sleeves, I found it easier to do it in two halves – stitch shoulder to underarm, flip it over and do shoulder to underarm. But apart from me messing around from that it was easy peasy.
For the dress… I used a viscose jersey bought on EBay which wasn’t too expensive, it looks like a Jackson Pollock painting! I liked the colours so I thought I’d try it. It’s actually perfect for the dress, lightweight and swishy, bit of a pig to sew though as the edges curled a LOT when cut, but I fought and won! I cut a straight 20, which for me in a pattern is almost unheard of, I have to patterns about to make them fit but not in this case. The only alteration I made was to add 4cm in the length to the front bodice and lining along the bottom of the pattern piece from the centre to directly under the apex then curved it up to the side seam. I normally would do an inch to 2 inch FBA on most patterns so this addresses the issue of needing more room in the bodice otherwise the front would pull up (the back and front pieces are identical) it worked perfectly and I don’t feel the need to pull it down all the time. I stabilised the neckline with interfacing as there is minimal pulling and this worked fine. The skirt though is not same as the pattern – I didn’t have enough fabric!! So essentially it is a tube, straight up and down instead of being the gentle A line of the pattern, I had to stretch the bodice a little to stitch it to the skirt, but that’s the joy of knits! I overlocked the seams to keep it all neat…and wore it immediately. It is so comfortable and very nice to wear, I’m going to make a shorter version that I can wear to work because I think it would work just as well.
For the jumpsuit…
Well, what can I say, the jumpsuit was calling to me… No! I said, I’m a woman of a certain age and a certain size! I can’t wear a jumpsuit!! Rebellious streak said, just bloody do it, so I did! The fabric is some I had in my stash, I bought it on a trip to Goldhawk Road, it’s heavier than the jersey for the dress but I thought that would work better with trousers. Hmmm… trousers, I think the last pair of trousers I made was in the nineties, which co-incidentally is probably the last time I wore a jumpsuit. I was a little worried about fitting particularly as I knew was attaching them to a top. So armed with my favourite pair of pyjama bottoms (yes, really) and my trouser block I laid out the pattern pieces to compare. I laid my block over the top and from that I could see the 20 was a great fit width wise across the hip but I was going to need more length in the crotch, this wasn’t a surprise as I’m 5’10, I cut along the lines drawn on the pattern pieces for lengthening and added 4cm. My block was also wider than the pattern piece at the crotch point so I added 2cm there too. Having worn my dress and made no alteration to the overall length (back and front) it sat just on my waist, I was a bit worried that there might not be enough length when attached to the trousers so I added another 2cm (on top of the bust adjustment) my hunch was right, the fit is great, but would have been a little short in the body had I not done it. To stabilise the neckline on this I used clear elastic, I was very conscious that to get the jumpsuit on I would have to get my booty through that neck hole, so some serious elastic was required!! It works fine though, I was a bit worried trying it on for the first time!!
So can a woman slowly sliding towards her 50th birthday who is not a size 10 rock a jumpsuit?
I think I’ll let you decide that one…but I’m still going to wear it!