Monday 4 November 2019

autumn sewing: why not have a black velvet jumpsuit

I think when I put a second version of the Deer & Doe Sirocco jumpsuit on my autumn plans, I was imagining a garment I might be able to wear on a day to day basis. I've seen several people on Instagram just wearing theirs to the shops and so forth and looking great doing it, but when looking for the right kind of fabric to copy the vibe I always come up short. The bright colours I'm normally drawn to would probably lift this pattern slightly too far out of the casual zone, and the muted burgundy/navy/olive tones I've liked on others just don't suit me. If there's no richness to a colour I just end up looking sallow and depressed.

I'm going to mull on that for a while and hopefully find a solution, but in the meantime I did this:

Black velvet jumpsuit!

This is not a replacement for the high quality black jersey jumpsuit I keep talking about; I will make that when I come across black jersey I'm really happy with. This one is fun and fancy and warm for going out in the autumn and I'm really pleased with it.

The fabric is from my favourite guy in Walthamstow (I think you can just assume this now unless I specify otherwise) and it's very narrow stripes of velvet on a sheer background. You can only tell there are sheer bits if you put your hand under it. I whacked the lightness up on these photos so you could see some of the pattern details, but couldn't get it light enough to show fabric texture. It's super stretchy and incredibly comfortable. I actually bought an extra metre and a half of this fabric to make an extra dress, which you will see next week.

You may recall that last time I made this, I had a bit of trouble working out what size to cut and how to fit it. After two versions I still wasn't sure. The black one is the only one I've worn and it sits much better on me now than when I first made it, so I went back to my original size picks. The only changes I made were to cut the front bodice pieces a centimetre higher, overlap them further across each other than specified, and lengthen and widen the lower legs slightly (they're still pretty narrow but not quite as close fitting around the ankle). I made sure to get fabric with the right amount of stretch this time, and it makes SO much difference. No popping stitches, no awkwardness, it just does what it's supposed to do.

The one thing I should have considered and didn't is that velvet pockets are stupid and pull themselves inside out whenever you try to use them. I should have made the pocket facing from a normal cotton jersey.

From the point of cutting this out to trying it on for the first time, I was at least 80% convinced it wasn't going to work. It was going to be too clingy, I needed to do more alterations to the bodice, what did I really think I was going to do with a velvet jumpsuit anyway. But I was wrong; the bodice is now a perfect fit, I'm not at all uncomfortable with the negative ease, and while I probably won't be wearing this to the shops I think it'll work really well for date nights, any dance things I decide to go to, and whatever last minute Christmas things might crop up. 

Next up: same fabric, different garment!

Deer and Doe Sirocco jumpsuit

Fabric: Black striped velvet from Walthamstow Market
Cost: £9
Pattern details: Pull-on knit jumpsuit or playsuit with mock wrap neckline, short sleeves, waistband and slash pockets
Size: Various, from 44 in the shoulders to 50 in the hips
Alterations: Bodice altered to wrap over further in front, legs lengthened by 2in and widened slightly
Would make again/would recommend: Yes/Yes