Last year, Daughter No 1 was looking for a jumpsuit. She’d seen something online that she fancied, but not quite as it was, so could I make something more along the lines of what she was after. Of course, I said yes, and started looking. I eventually found a pattern that I thought would fit the bill, just needed a few adjustments…. the magic pattern was McCalls 7539. Unfortunately, it looks like it’s no longer available. You might have to trawl Ebay or Etsy for a copy. It’s a handy pattern with two options for the jumpsuit and two dresses as well. I started with toiling the pattern as is, making the size 10.
Eventually in October last year she was able to come home and try on the toile. We had issues!!! I had a list of adjustments to make, just in fitting, nevermind the style lines that would have to change. Here’s what was on my list:
- shorten the bodice by 2cm
- move the sleeve head/armhole in 1cm
- narrow the shoulders by 1cm
- do a forward shoulder adjustment
- lengthen the sleeves to make a fold-back cuff – 3cm
- eliminate the patch pockets on the front trouser and make hip yoke pockets instead
- eliminate the patch pockets on the back trouser altogether
- eliminate the belt
- make a waistband/yoke from the upper part of the trousers, 4cm deep
- change the zippered back to a button opening front
- angle the centre back seam to create better shaping in the back
- shorten the trouser legs by 12cm
- make the hem of the trousers suitable for turning up when required, make a deep hem
- taper the trousers to the hem approx 2-3cm each side seam
Just a bit of work then… It also meant that, in a lot of areas, I actually ended up making the size 6-8. Needless to say I wasn’t exactly quick off the mark with the adjustments. I toiled and fitted two other garments that weekend, and this one took the back seat for a while. This was because the other two toiles included a pair of 80s trousers that looked like they were going to be very interesting when they were finished, and I was dead keen to get on with them! Unfortunately, I still haven’t got photos of those… Eventually I made the adjustments in the paper pattern to the fitting issues, made the pockets, adjusted the legs and left the front open for the next toile, which was finally done and fitted this year in around July/August. A few more tweaks were required.
We decided on a 3cm buttonstand that suited the little buttons found in the stash. These came off one of the other half’s shirts! We had a little head scratching time trying to decide whether the waistband should stop at the button placket, or run right through. In the end we decided it should go through. The button placket is made of an extension to the centre front of 1.5cm, and a folded facing of 3cm with a little extra to fold under to create a neat inside finish. It was then topstitched and edgestitched.
The pants were tapered towards the hem a little more and she decided the length could be longer than originally agreed, the plan is to wear the jumpsuit mostly with boots, and they’ll probably be turned up a lot too! Another toile ensued which was pronounced good, so now it was finally time to cut the fabric out! eeek!
The fabric was bought from the Knitting and Stitching Show at Ally Pally in October 2018. We both bought corduroy from Bombay Fabrics’ stall, her choice being a steel grey (with a slight green tone). Luckily matching thread was easier to find than I’d expected, because we no longer have any sewing shops nearby, and I found the perfect buttons in my stash!
The actual sewing of the jumpsuit was uncomplicated and it all went together fairly quickly. For the most part I followed the given instructions, except where my new pattern deviated! I made the bodice part up, then the trouser part and then sewed them together at the waist. Some areas of bulk needed encouragement to get them to sit flatter, but I needed to be careful not to flatten the pile of the corduroy. Overall, I am really happy with how they’ve turned out, and I know Daughter No 1 is too! Now I’m just waiting for her to ask for another pair – possibly in denim…