Washed Denim Jumpsuit

If you’ve been around for a while you might remember #sewtogtherforsummer2019 when our assignment was to make a jumpsuit. I went a bit mad that year and created a total of five jumpsuits but was still eclipsed by the awesome Jen Legg’s 11! One of my suits was a self-drafted boilersuit style which I made in a lovely caramel-coloured twill. At the time I promised myself that I would make another in denim. Well, it’s taken a while but here it is. 

This was one of my last makes of 2022 and it demonstrates how a couple of style tweaks and different fabrics can transform a pattern. For this version I added a bit more ease, in particular adding 1cm on each of the princess seams to effect an FBA; I made the legs longer and straighter and added cuffs to the sleeves. 

I made this last autumn as a Minerva Brand Ambassador Project. I’ve got hold of a piece of Minerva Core Range 200gsm Washed Cotton Denim Fabric in Mid Blue colour. This fabric has a very soft hand, and while it’s heavier than Chambray, it’s lighter than regular denim so you could use it to make a dress, trousers or shacket. As usual for this type of woven fabric, pre-washing is essential because …shrinkage is real! Get that out of the way before you start working on it. I have lost more than one newly made woven item to shrinking because I skipped the pre-washing stage.

The collar is a stand collar but with straight wings rather than angled. I also added deep cuffs highlighted with a simple mother-of-pearl button from my stash.

I included a waistband with large belt loops as I like to cinch the waist, I self-lined the inside of the waistband to encase all the raw edges of the top and trousers. I also added some simple patch pockets which meet at the waistline, the top and sides are encased in the seams again which helps everything pull together nicely. I found the most difficult part of this was getting the zip to line up evenly, from top to bottom and getting my facing even – one side was either uneven lengthwise or the overlap was different on either side. I used a chunky white zip as I wanted a feature but this meant that errors would probably stand out too. It took me a few goes before it was good enough ( note I didn’t say perfect).

The legs this time are full length and while I’ve worn them rolled up so far, they can also be worn straight. I like that they can be worn with heels with the hems rolled up or with flats if I wear them full length.

The story of this jumpsuit made me chuckle eventually. I recently discovered the blogger Noble and Daughter, who makes and blogs beautiful clothing. I found her blog about her self-drafted jumpsuit which she dreamed of turning into a pattern and releasing it. This is exactly the story of my jumpsuit down to the fact that a year after I made the first version of this, Closet Core released the Blanca Flightsuit. I thought my jumpsuit looked very similar, and I was a bit disappointed as I thought everyone would think it was a Blanca or that I had copied it. I’m sure theirs is better drafted but I was really pleased with mine until I saw it. Is the sewing world full of aspiring pattern makers who see their dream pattern released by someone else? Is it a bit like conversations middle-aged people have about music and films – you know “Have all the tunes/plotlines/clothing designs been used up?”

It took me 3 years to get over myself and have another go at my design and I’m really delighted with it.

Are you are self drafter. Do “your” designs always end up being produced by one of the “real” pattern companies?

Thanks for dropping by,

About Elaine Batiste

I'm a teacher, a lifelong learner, a traveller, a maker, an adventurer and a 'want to do more' kind of gal.

6 Responses

  1. For what it’s worth I think the rounded patch pockets give yours a very different look to the Blanca! Love the way you styled it with the belt.

    I remember seeing a McCalls pattern envelope photo that looked spookily familiar…I eventually found a photo of me wearing a seemingly identical dress – style, colour, drape- that I’d made from a Burda pattern. The pose was much the same too. That pattern obviously wasn’t something I’d drafted but the coincidence still felt odd. It must be much worse if it’s your own design. The success of the Blanca means you were on to something though!

    Liked by 1 person

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