Completed: A Jumpsuit, of sorts

3 Sep

A couple of months ago, I was asked by the ladies at By Hand London if I’d like to test their new Holly Jumpsuit. I’m always a sucker for these gorgeous patterns, but then they went and threw in an offer of testing-fabric from Grey’s Fabric to really seal the deal. Consider me sold, name signed in blood and all (forreal, though, I’ll do anything for love free fabric).

Holly/Tania Mash-up

I finished with good time, sent my testing notes in, and took some photos (I could pretend my hair grew like that overnight, but in reality, these photos are just that old. Haha!). And then I waited. And waited. Right before the pattern was to be released, there was a design snafu that meant the pattern had to be reworked, which set things back by… well, a lot. Fortunately, the kinks have been worked out and the pattern is now officially for sale! Which means I can finally show you mine! Yay!

Holly/Tania Mash-up
Holly/Tania Mash-up

You may have noticed by now that my jumpsuit* looks nothing like the pattern – and you would be right. That’s because at this point, no part of my jumpsuit is actually part of the pattern! Whoops!

Holly/Tania Mash-up

However, it is still technically a jumpsuit (right? The two-separate-holes-for-each-leg dictate that… right?), so there’s that.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

There’s a method to this madness, I promise. As a pattern tester, I always make my first version (usually a muslin), exactly as drafted and written by the pattern. After I have taken my (usually very unflattering)photos and made my fitting adjustments, I will transfer those adjustments to the pattern and make it up in my fashion fabric (if not a second muslin entirely). I started out with the shorts and Variation 2 bodice, which was surprisingly a pretty good fit straight out of the envelope. The butt of the shorts was a little tight (it is my understanding that this ended up being a grading error that has since been amended), and I needed to shorten the straps – but overall, things were looking good. It wasn’t until I had made this up in my beautiful rayon challis – i.e., the good stuff – that I realized the entire ensemble just made me look like a giant toddler. Especially when combined with this fabric – while beautiful, it’s pretty juvenile looking. Eep!

After some chatting with the BHL ladies, we ultimately decided that it would be a shame to sew something I’d never wear (and I know I occasionally wear some out-there ensembles, but again, looking like a giant toddler is NOT one of them) , so I was given the green light to swap out the bottoms for another pattern. Specifically, I chose the Tania Culottes because FUCK YES I DID.

After that, things went haywire in the design department and my tested version of the bodice ended up getting scrapped and redesigned. Which means my tested Holly jumpsuit is now basically anything BUT Holly! Oh well! I tried!

Holly/Tania Mash-up
Holly/Tania Mash-up

Anyway, let’s talk about the construction of this jumpsuit. To combine the bodice with the Tania culottes, I added a 2″ wide straight waistband (interfaced on one layer, and faced with self-fabric on the inside) that connects the bodice to the skirt. Ideally, I would have shortened the bodice and raised the rise of the culottes, as I think the waistband sits a little low, but that’s life. The Tanias are sewn as normal, just without a waistband.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

All edges were finished with my serger and I used my rolled hem foot to make the prettiest little baby hem.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

The end result is a sweet little flouncy tank dress that has an amazing twirl factor – and thanks to the culottes, is less likely to fly up and flash any innocent bystanders.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

As I previously mentioned, my beautiful rayon challis came courtesy of Grey’s Fabric, specifically to be used to test this pattern. I just love the smooth silhouette and fluid drape that comes with rayon challis – not to mention, it’s ridiculously comfortable to wear in the heat. Rayon loves to wrinkle like crazy and this fabric is no exception, but at least the busy print and voluminous skirt hide most of that.

Holly/Tania Mash-up

Anyway, despite my design changes+unexpected pattern snafu changing things to the point that my tested pattern ended up being something completely different, I am happy with said end result – not to mention, it’s absolutely something I would wear (and have worn! Lots!). Again – if you plan on buying this pattern, please keep in mind that absolutely nothing about my version matches what is included in the final pattern – although it would be pretty easy to Frankenpattern this one with a couple indies.

What do you think of the Holly Jumpsuit? Are you Team Jumpsuit – craving dangly earrings, sparkly eyeshadow, and a Studio 54 vibe (I mean, ugh, that new Variation 2 bodice is KILLER, ain’t it?)? Or do you feel like an overgrown toddler who would prefer to stick with dresses and two pieces, thank you very much?

* I think the leg-shorts mean this thing is actually a romper or a playsuit, not a jumpsuit. However, the thought of saying that I’m wearing a playsuit makes me feel, again, like an overgrown toddler, so fuck that. I’m calling it a jumpsuit, as that sounds a lot more grown-up. My blog, my sewing, my rules πŸ˜›

In other news-
1. The new class schedule is up at The Fabric Studio! Lots of fun classes coming up – including an Open Sewing Lab hosted by yours truly! Those of y’all in Nashville can come hang out in the studio to sew and drink tea with other crafty peeps πŸ™‚ I’ll be on hand to answer questions and assist as needed. This is a great alternative to a structured class since you can work on whatever you want, come whenever is convenient for you, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than a private lesson πŸ™‚ Check out the classes page to sign up (my class is at the bottom). I am REALLY excited for this; I love sewing with company! Yay!

2. Don’t forget that the Casual Sweet Clothes giveaway ends on Friday! If you haven’t already entered, here’s your hint πŸ™‚


56 Responses to “Completed: A Jumpsuit, of sorts”

  1. tialys September 3, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    I think I would call this a ‘culotte dress’ which sounds much more grown up and French to boot. Although culottes in french actually means knickers – or panties as you call them over there. What a complicated world we live in.
    It looks great by the way and not at all toddler like with that fitted bodice.

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

      I feel like every word is a synonym for panty somewhere in the world πŸ˜› I do like culotte dress, though! It does sound fancy!

  2. Jenny Rushmore September 3, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    Secret shorts, love it! You look all sleek and fancy and yet BICYCLE-READY. Perf.
    I too made my now not-Holly Holly jumpsuit, but like yours, folks can hack it if they really want to πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

      GOD, I KNOW, YOURS TURNED OUT SO HOTT. Makes me almost wish I had sewn the pants version (although I don’t think mine would have been nearly as swanky !)(although we’d totally be rockin’ the J together amirite)

  3. Katie Emma September 3, 2014 at 8:42 am #

    I want to make the ‘playsuit’ version – the buttonup front and shorts – but I think the fabric choice will have to be key to make sure I don’t look like a child. Glad that you were able to change the pattern into something you wear!

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

      I think the fabric choice is key to keeping it more of a mature look. Mine is just a little too juvie, when combined with this particular pattern πŸ™‚

  4. lisa g September 3, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    so you just combined jumpsuits AND culottes and made it look cool. love the combo, it works surprisingly well!

  5. Breenah A September 3, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    I love how it looks like a dress, but you don’t have to worry about flashing anybody!

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      Surprise shorts-dress! Makes it easier to justify that RIDICULOUSLY short length, yeah? πŸ™‚

  6. sarah grey September 3, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    Looking good, girl! Love that print on you. And zee rayon, she flows so niiiiiiiiice!

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm #

      The swishiest of them all! πŸ˜€

  7. sallie September 3, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    I’m all for jumpsuits/playsuits/onepiece ensembles! I love your frankenpatterning and the saga of the Holly-jumpsuit-that-is-no-longer-a-Holly. Totally great evolution! Plus, this totally looks like a cute little sundress but with the added bonus of secret shorts! Bike riding ahoy!

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

      It is SO good for bike riding! Might show a little more leg than I want, but as long as we ain’t flying up the front, we cool πŸ˜›

  8. alligatortoe September 3, 2014 at 9:44 am #

    I am not so much a jumpsuit fan, but I have to admit the romper/playsuit version looks pretty dang cute and summery! Too bad summer is almost over 😦
    Love your culottes version – it really looks just like a dress, a more practical dress – super cute!! πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:13 pm #

      I wish summer was almost over here! It probably won’t start getting really cold until November… so I have tons of time πŸ˜› haha!

  9. Katie Lynn September 3, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    My stance on jumpsuits is that we should burn them all with fire. What you’re wearing is definitely NOT a jumpsuit. I might categorize it as a romper, but it honestly looks like a dress.

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:15 pm #

      Yeah, it’s like a secret romper-dress. I’m not a huge fan of jumpsuits, but every now and then I see someone looking totally goddess and babely-like and I’m all jealous and covet one πŸ™‚

  10. runningcuzican September 3, 2014 at 10:42 am #

    I am meh about the pattern. Their version on their site doesn’t look inciting at all. I like jumpsuits that look more like fashion coveralls.

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:17 pm #

      See, I can’t do the overalls. Reminds me too much of my ~fashionable days in the early 90s where I wore them with one shoulder strap loose, and Disney characters embroidered so they looked like they were coming out of the front pocket.

  11. SeeKatSew September 3, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    I like the pants version of the jumpsuit, I love how it looks on others but would never wear one myself. Going to the bathroom seems too much of an ordeal to make it worth it for me.

    • Emma September 3, 2014 at 3:03 pm #

      I am so with you on that one. I can just imagine trying to hover over a cafΓ© toilet, top naked, covered in goose bumps and trying to pee while keeping the jumpsuit from touching the floor. WAAAYY too complicated! Yep, it’s one sewing project that ain’t gonna happen for me πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

      Can’t speak for the pants version (i had the same thoughts myself, tbh), but this particular version’s super flouncy legs make for VERY easy bathroom breaks if you catch my drift πŸ˜‰ lol

  12. maddie September 3, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    Now, if only you’d make a light blue bra to wear underneath! #totallykidding

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

      Girl don’t you be planting ideas in my head πŸ˜‰

  13. Lori September 3, 2014 at 11:59 am #

    I am not a jumpsuit fan, probably my age, would look like I am trying too hard to be younger! I do like the look of your culottes with the bodice. In the end,the important thing is to get something you will wear.

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:20 pm #

      LORI, I’m not trying to convince you of something you don’t want to do, but omggg are you kidding me you would look fabulous in that pants version! (holy run on sentence!)

  14. Deborah September 3, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    I used to wear jumpsuits/to peers but not since age 30. They just do not work for a mature woman’s body. However, I may make jumpsuits for my granddaughters who are 4 years old. πŸ™‚

  15. Melissa September 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm #

    Your mods are awesome! I love the culottes, I think I might have to frankenstein a pattern or two for those windy days in the city. Also, love to see that more jumpsuit/romper patterns being put out. This is one of those garments that is soooooo hard to buy off the rack.

  16. Jo September 3, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    So cute! And omg what?? You finished a bias hem with your rolled hem foot? Does not compute!! I’ve had success on the straight grain but had nothing but nightmares with the bias! What’s your secret I MUST know!

    Well done working this to your taste. I never see myself in a jump suit but am bracing myself for the onslaught in my news feed lol!

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

      Haha I have no idea! I do like this rolled hem foot better than others I’ve used, maybe the foot is my secret πŸ™‚

  17. green231 September 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Hilarious, especially since I recently sewed my toddler an adorable play suit :). Love your combo.

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:24 pm #

      Ha! I bet she looks better than I did πŸ™‚

  18. Miss J September 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    Breaking news.
    Culottes can be georgeous.
    See above for the proof.
    Well done, fantastic fabric.

  19. kaloskraft September 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm #

    I am so not a jumpsuit person! I mean, do you have to take the entire top off to pee? Like those leotards I had to wear in ballet when I actually was a toddler? But if the jumpsuit looks like a dress…I could be into that.

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:29 pm #

      If the legs of the jumpsuit dress are wide enough, you can, ahem, finagle a pee that doesn’t involve pulling off the top πŸ˜› Don’t judge me!

  20. mahlicadesigns September 3, 2014 at 5:04 pm #

    Your hacks turned out great. When I saw the finished version on their site the other day I thought it looked weird, something about the high waist and crotch area. Im going to pass on this trend.

  21. missjoiedevivre September 3, 2014 at 8:39 pm #

    Holly or notHolly, your creation is fab! Pretty, swishy, and well fitting. I love it!

  22. Michelle September 3, 2014 at 8:40 pm #

    I love your rolled hem on this one! I have a rolled hem foot, but haven’t used it for garment making. Can you do a post sometime with tips for using the rolled hem foot?

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

      I don’t know if I have any specific tips! A big part of the reason why my rolled hem looks so nice is because of the foot itself (I know that sounds weird, but this freaking foot that I bought for my Bernina is AMAZING. It does the prettiest rolled hems. It also cost $40. Obviously it was worth it haha). The only other thing I can tell you – once you get to a seam intersection, lower the needle, pull the fabric out of the foot, and stitch over the bulk without rolling it into the foot. Once you get past the bulk, you can use the foot again (if that makes sense). I’ve found that trying to shove a bunch of seam shit into the foot is what makes things wonk up.

  23. thenerdyseamstress September 3, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    Your jumpsuit is probably one of my favorites. Yours and so busy lizzy’s, you both altered the pattern. I don’t know about this pattern because jumpsuits never really interests me. It would be a pain to go to the restroom. I didn’t even realize that you used the culottes, but I love it!

    • LLADYBIRD September 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

      I hear ya on the bathroom problems! At the risk of sounding redundant, the culottes make for really easy bathroom breaks, haha! And, yeah, Lizzy’s turned out fab! Her and Jenny are really making me consider that no-pants-on-a-jumpsuit thing.

  24. Sandra (Sewist-Stitch) September 4, 2014 at 3:46 am #

    I am totally gonna make the Holly jumpsuit. I wore the playsuit about 20 years ago and it was fun, but now age means that would just be wrong. I do like the Tania hack, as well as Sew Busy Lizzy’s hack with a skirt, but I am so glad they changed the top to a slight cowl, much more elegant (less child like). Yep, this pattern is totally on my wish list.

  25. ekabby111 September 4, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    I need some culottes in my life.

    • LLADYBIRD September 6, 2014 at 11:22 am #

      Everybody needs culottes in their life πŸ˜€

  26. Kelly September 4, 2014 at 2:42 pm #

    I looooveeee this! It’s gorgeous, such a great hack! I’m not entirely convinced by Holly, I think the wide legs on the jumpsuit (I’m also not convinced by them) just don’t really do it for me. I’m just trying to figure out which other pattern this original top pattern is like so that I can frankenpattern my own culotte dress!

    • LLADYBIRD September 6, 2014 at 11:23 am #

      I don’t know if I’m supposed to publicly talk about it (no one else is, so it’s making me paranoid haha). Email me and I’ll tell ya πŸ˜‰

      • Kelly September 6, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

        Thanks Lauren, will do!

  27. Jodie September 5, 2014 at 5:06 am #

    Looooove that fabric! I’m not a big jumpsuit fan…little bit too much thunder thigh going on if you know what I mean, so loving the culottes! I’m bummed that the bodice has been changed, because I really like the one you have sewn up! Might be pushing the love limits here but could I get a hint as to the other indie pattern with the similar bodice πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

    • LLADYBIRD September 6, 2014 at 11:23 am #

      Email me and I’ll dish πŸ˜‰

  28. Lisette September 5, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    How cute! I really appreciate your transparency about your process. Not only was it helpful, I found it really interesting to read about, and I’m usually a skimmer lol. Also, in the jargon of the industry, it would be a culotte-dress πŸ™‚

    • LLADYBIRD September 6, 2014 at 11:24 am #

      Culotte-dress it is! I like the way that sounds πŸ™‚

  29. Elizabeth September 5, 2014 at 2:45 pm #

    I love this! I wish I lived in Nashville so I could hang out and sew with other people. I actually did stop by to see the Fabric Studio today but I’m leaving pretty soon so I won’t be around for classes. Bummer…

    • LLADYBIRD September 6, 2014 at 11:23 am #

      Aw! Well, come back and sew with me sometime! πŸ™‚

  30. sewcookgardenrepeat September 8, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    Your jumpsuit looks cute but there is no way in HELL that I would wear a jumpsuit. Just not flattering on this booty.

  31. jumliana September 10, 2014 at 1:22 pm #

    I looove your idea. I discovered Tania culottes this very week, and I just loved what you did.
    it would work perfect with the climate here!


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