Thursday, 9 June 2016

Jump(suit) for my love

For quite a long time, I thought that jumpsuits were the most hideously unflattering thing that one could put on one's body. I mocked them and everyone who wore one, because why? Why would you? When you could be wearing literally anything else? The wearer of the jumpsuit was a person simply unfathomable to me.

The first seeds of doubt were sewn in my mind several years ago, when I was going through a phase I like to call my Try On All the Ugliest Shit in the Shop Because That Will Be Funny period. I recommend it as a game, it's great fun. On one such occasion I was in (I think) Warehouse and I saw a dark denim-look jumpsuit with a little white flower print, skinny legs, a round neck and elbow-length sleeves. I thought it was one of the funniest things I'd ever seen. I took it to the changing room and tried it on, and I was... surprised. While it wasn't something I could have bought - it sported the shoulder/boob/underarm problem which is the bane of my high street shopping experience - it also didn't look anywhere near as bad as I'd imagined. Below the problem area I actually really liked it. "Huh," I said, as I put it back on the rail.

My first jumpsuit purchase came a little later, and I currently own two, both basically evening wear. When I started sewing I had in my head that I could potentially make myself a couple more, particularly for wearing in summer during the day, but I didn't do anything about it until last month when my boyfriend bought me some fabric specifically to make into a jumpsuit because he a) wins at being a boyfriend and b) is a particular fan of the ones I already own. The fabric he bought me was about 50% more expensive than I usually pay, so I was terrified about using it on an untested pattern and messing it up.

As you can see, I did not mess it up.

(Incidentally, I am aware that all these photos are slightly crotchy. That's not the jumpsuit's fault; it's getting stuck to what's underneath. I was taking a bunch of photos at once and decided not to take my tights off before putting the jumpsuit on. I do not recommend this approach.)

This is the Closet Case Files Sallie pattern. I hadn't made any CCF patterns before (I bought the Clare but the weather stopped being cold enough to warrant it as soon as I bought fabric for it), so I had no idea about their drafting or fit or anything. I did a search for photos, but most of the versions I could find were on very thin women which didn't give me much of an idea about how it would sit on my body. I panicked about it for a few days, then bit the bullet and just cut into the damn fabric.

This fabric is an Art Gallery cotton jersey we got from Ray Stitch. I hadn't been to Ray Stitch before because I had no idea where it was, but we accidentally stumbled across it on a Sunday afternoon wander round Islington. It's definitely more expensive than I'm used to but it was also very clear that the fabrics were quality, and I will definitely be going back when I want a treat or fabric for a special occasion. My boyfriend was impressed to be treated like an actual customer rather than a non-sentient pile of beardy reluctance (basically unheard of in fabric shops and haberdasheries, sadly), so I felt a little less guilty than I otherwise would have about the amount he was spending on me. This fabric is well worth the money, by the way; it's the best jersey I've ever worked with by quite some way and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to go back to cheaper knits. I LOVED working with this stuff. Apart from a bit of rolling at the edges, it didn't do anything I didn't want it to do and it holds shape beautifully. It's quite possibly going to spark a revolution in my fabric-buying habits, actually. Post on this forthcoming once I work out exactly what that revolution is going to look like.

I cut a 14 in the top and an 18 in the trousers, then took a honking great dart out at the waist, which I think was the right call fit-wise. Besides the honking great dart, the only other change I made was to sew one end of the neck ties closed and give myself a slightly more difficult job turning them the right way out rather than slip stitching them closed at the end.

The top is lined with the self fabric, so it's a completely clean finish. As someone who is still crap at finishing, I appreciate this very deeply. I also appreciate that the legs were the perfect length straight out of the (figurative) packet, which never happens.

This is SO COMFORTABLE to wear. I'm sitting here in it now and I keep forgetting I've got anything on. It's completely non-restrictive and it's going to be the perfect thing to wear to dance events in the summer. In fact, I am possibly planning to throw out all my clothes and replace them with jumpsuits. Forty jumpsuits! Well, OK, maybe not. But four, at least.

And now, to demonstrate ease of movement and also because I gave this post a Pointer Sisters title and now it's stuck in my head, a dance party:

(There is a block of flats facing my garden with a continuous balcony all the way around. There's never anyone there when I take normal photos, but as soon as I start bouncing around these little faces start popping up like Whack-a-Moles. I'm not sure whether to take this personally.)

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