I made an outfit almost exclusively for one or two days wear. A bit of a waste? Well… Hopefully not! I’ve seen people making Christmas and Birthday dresses on Instagram for ages now, and I never really saw the appeal. Sure, I might wear something recently made on the day, but it wouldn’t have been made specifically with that purpose in mind. So why did I do it? I had just over a metre of sparkly sequin fabric leftover from a 1920s dress I made for a friend a few years ago. And every time I looked in the special fabrics box for other things, this sparkly sequin fabric said “Hi!”. And I love a bit of sparkle.
So I hatched a plan – use the sequin fabric for the top part of something, and go plain on the rest. I cannot see myself wearing a fully sequined getup anywhere! I just don’t lead that sort of lifestyle. I had in my mind a jumpsuit, and the Zadie fit the bill rather nicely. I wouldn’t need to try to hem or face edges, and the leg part of the jumpsuit is nice a wide, so a flowy fabric would work perfectly. I took a leap of faith and ordered 2m of black crepe from Croft Mill Fabrics and stashed the lot until I had the time to think about working with sequins again.
Of course, when not planning things out properly, something is always going to go awry. The leftover sequin fabric was’t nice and neat, and the pieces for the Zadie top are big, especially the crossover front. I just couldn’t get the front, back and sleeves onto the remaining shape of the sequins, so the back had to go. Now that’s not necessarily a bad thing, from the back you’ll still see sequinned sleeves, and it might be more comfortable to wear as a plain fabric.
But that meant I needed space on the 2m of 150 wide crepe for two lengthened (by 10cm), wide trouser legs, one (the front) with a crossover extension. And the pocket bag, tie belt and bias strips, and the bodice back. It just didn’t all fit on, so I decided to forgo self bias for shop-bought black satin bias, and to echo that, and bring in a bit of texture contrast, to cut the pocket bags from some leftover black crepe-backed satin. A bit of tuxedo vibe, if you like. To line the sequin front bodice pieces I dived back into the special fabrics box and found another leftover piece of fabric, this time a lightweight piece of dark grey satin that worked perfectly under the sequin fabric. The sleeves are unlined and would be finished with black bias instead of being hemmed.
With everything cutout and marked up, I then proceeded to have endless fun flicking sequins around the sewing room. They had to be removed from the dart area on the bodice front (FBA) and in all the seam allowances. To be fair, I tried not flicking the sqwuins too far, I needed to keep some for reinstating along the seam edges to fill the gaps. However, two weeks later, I’m still finding the little sparkly buggers under and behind things, and nestled in the pile of the carpet.
I used a narrow zigzag to sew the seams of the sequin fabric as the mesh has some stretch, then the seam allowances were zigzagged together and pressed – carefully- to the back. I herringbone stitched the seam allowance onto the back bodice so it wouldn’t be flapping around. The grey satin lining was attached to the front sequin pieces after the darts were sewn and the two treated as one. The sequins did end up making the pleats on the waistline a bit bulky, but I really couldn’t have removed any of them.
I overlocked the crepe trouser pieces and satin pocket bags before starting to sew, and French seamed the bottom seam of the pockets. As always, the Zadie goes together really easily, it’s just choice of fabric that might take time… I took this project a little slower than normal, I had no intention of trying to use a seam ripper on a mesh seam! I used just under 2 rolls of black satin biasbinding, I like the definitive edge it gives to the front, and the sleeve edges. On trying the jumpsuit on to check the hem length, however, I realised it was the right length as it was! Damn, should have lengthened the legs by 12cm! But that would have given me other issues with getting the pieces on the fabric. Anyway, it wasn’t a disaster, I just used the bias binding as hem facing, sewing it on the bottom edge with 5mm seam and turning it in to make the proper hem. It’s worked ok, and the length is now right.
And now I have a very sparkly outfit, fit for Christmas, birthdays, New Year and just about any wedding (evenings only) we might get invited to for the next few years!! I’m glad I only needed to buy the crepe and bias binding, and that the sequined fabric now has a use, rather than sitting in the stash.