Monday, 27 May 2013

Jumpsuit - Part 1

Back at the end of 2012 I tried on this jumpsuit in Ted Baker:

Being 5'' 2', and Ted Baker thinking women are all 6'', it drowned me.  So I got out my pen and tape measure and drew a little sketch before handing back the garment with its £120 price tag. 

At the start of this year I began to contemplate how I could make a similar outfit myself.  Unfortunately, the jumpsuit patterns I could find by the leading manufacturers did not match the look I was after.  Most of them had a low elasticated waist rather than the high fitted waist I wanted to create.

So I went about it by taking a wide leg trouser pattern and a pencil skirt pattern from April 2012 Burda.  I placed the skirt pattern underneath the trouser one and heightened the waist on the trousers.  

I then used the pattern to make up a trial pair of pants.  Alterations were made which I marked with a running stitch.  I then unpicked the pants and transferred the running stitch markers onto my paper pattern. 
125 Trousers
118 Skirt

The pattern paper I am using is by Burda.  As you will see below, it is not very resilient to pins or needles; in fact it rips very easily.  Also pencil marks do not show up well.  I have recently ordered some Swedish Tissue Paper, since seeing it used on The Great British Sewing Bee, from Gloriarty at When it arrives I think I will transfer my patten onto it so that it can be used again. 

Front with marked alterations
Back with marked alterations

Back patten piece

Front pattern piece
I then used the altered pattern to make the pants using a navy lightweight fabric.  I opted to add a lining which ends at the knee.  

I am giving the jumpsuit a smart casual feel by using an emerald satin on the top half.  When I made my Duchess dress in June 2012 (McCall's M6508) I cut the bodice on folded fabric so that I had 2 of each piece which were mirror images of each other.  I used one set to make the Duchess dress and made the other bodice up at a later date.  I am using the spare bodice as the top half of this jumpsuit.  It is the same as the image below, except that it does not have the ruffle:

I am up to the stage where I attach top and bottom halves.  Maybe time to get sewing again...


  1. Hi - just to point you to an e-bay shop who sells Unbranded Swedish Tracing Paper that is 1.5 metres wide and more useful for dressmaking than the narrow strips others sell. It's also cheaper at £2.20 a meter. Search for "Sewable Swedish Tracing Paper" the seller is cdevon. Love how you adapted patterns to get what you wanted!
    Karen (

  2. Thanks so much for the heads up, I'll definitely check the ebay seller out!