Yay to getting back into the sewing swing of things! Today I am excited to share with you my latest creation, my gingham color-block jumpsuit! The design of this jumpsuit came to me in parts which I’ll talk more about below, but the completion of this look marks a special occasion. After 5 months in quarantine, including my third trimester and most of my fourth (or all of it if it continues this way) I FINALLY felt inspired to design and make something original again. I had made a few baby clothes and a few tie-dye items using commercial patterns, but I really wanted to exercise my brain muscles and design and pattern-make something for myself again, which I did for this jumpsuit. And it came out PERFECTLY, so maybe that time away from sewing was what I needed after all?
Gingham Color-Block Jumpsuit
As I said above, the design for this gingham color-block jumpsuit came to me in parts. I bought the pink gingham ages ago at Joann fabrics because I thought the linen quality was fun, and I almost never wear pink. But then… the pink started to get to me. Everyone was using this fabric or other similar linens to make shirred, billowing sleeve dresses like this one, and I wanted it to be something different. But then again, it’s linen and summer, so I really needed to use the fabric to make something that made sense, you know?
Fast forward to when I wore my absolute favorite jumpsuit on my instagram, and received an onslaught of texts asking where I got it from, because the shape is perfection! Well, truthfully I bought it on sale while I was 7 months pregnant, anticipating what a great find it would be for when I was breastfeeding and lounging around at home. Whereas the inspiration item was knit, I thought I could make a similar piece with my gingham linen. Since I had to put a further Stefanie spin on the design, I bought the cream gingham linen as well in order to make it color-blocked. I didn’t realize when I drew it up what a feat matching this gingham up was going to be…
When I started this project I was 6 weeks postpartum, but I used my pre-pregnancy slopers to make the pattern for this design. That, obviously, was a silly decision, that just ended up causing me multiple rounds of pattern changes. Even though my weight is only up 10 pounds, the lumps and bumps are still there, meaning that I had to add lots of extra space into the front waist, rear and hips in order to make sure this jumpsuit was comfortable.
The sleeve caused me more anxiety. Originally, I had designed a lantern/balloon sleeve hybrid with tucks that threw fullness into the seam line. Pattern making it was exactly the mental challenge I needed. However, there is a reason simple is sometimes better. This sleeve was UGLY on, and immediately I scrapped the tucks for a good old gather and the result came out much better!
Cutting & Sewing
Every. Single. Piece. had to be laid out and cut meticulously. That means no folding the fabric and cutting two at once. That means fabric wastage. In order to get the center front, center back, and waistline gingham patterns to match up (when they were on the grain) I had to be super diligent about how I laid out and cut each piece. In the end, there are still some issues on the pant with the print not matching up exactly, but I’m not exactly a couturier ok? Or maybe I am… it certainly felt like it!
Sewing this linen is very easy, but I designed this jumpsuit to have decorative top stitching similar to flat-felled seams. I DIE over decorative topstitching. However, topstitching on wrinkly linen on fitted curved seams was not the smartest decision. As you know, linen shows every single wrinkle or pull, and getting those bust seams perfect and then adding topstitching to them, maybe drew more attention to problems than I wanted. Next time I would use a more substantial fabric like a canvas or denim if I chose to do topstitching, or omit them from a linen piece like this. Oh well, learning every day, amiright?
Other than the topstitching and matching up the gingham print, there are a few other details that I love about this jumpsuit. I love the large (2″) elasticated pant hem, which is slightly shortened to show a bit of ankle and look great with sneakers or heels. An exposed gold zipper adds a little extra glam, and I love the belt which I also topstitched and interfaced, to give it a little weight and structure when it hangs. I ended up shortening the sleeves from my original drawing to make it better for summer, and I like that they can be worn above and below the elbow for more breathability and comfort. I did NOT make the sleeves elasticated because I hate when things are too tight around my arms… but maybe that is just me!
Well, I’ll leave that to you then! What do you think? While I like most of my makes, there are some that I like more than others, and that usually comes down to how much time I spent getting the details right. In this case, the time spent was well worth it, because this isn’t just a blog show-piece, this is something I can see myself wearing around the house for zoom calls, breastfeeding on an airplane (maybe in 2021) or wearing wine tasting, it’s truly a versatile piece that doesn’t come up short on style. What do you think, would you wear or make this jumpsuit?