Monday, 13 June 2016

Plain Roberts jumpsuit adaption

Right I'm being super organised and writing this tutorial up straight away!

I printed out some super dinky quarter scale pattern pieces to show you how to make this. It is basically the Roberts jumpsuit minus any of the style lines, front pleats or pockets. For more pics see previous post here.


First off I am going to quickly show you how I blend between the sizes. My measurements put me roughly in a 3 on the top and a 4 for the bottom, which is what is cut out below (I only printed the 2 sizes I needed to use for this tutorial).


As you can see clearly from the back pieces these are not going to fit together, so on the trouser portion I blended from a 4 to a 3 marking from the side seam notch below the pocket to the notch at the top of this side seam. I cut this away as well as the size 4 markings on the top edge of the trousers.


 Now it all fits together nicely!


To do the same for the front I laid my pocket lining and facing on top of the front trouser leg aligning all the notches and pinned them all together.


 I then laid the altered back leg on top aliging the side seam notch and making sure the lengthen/shorten lines were running in line with one another and cut the same amount away on the front as I did on the back. You only really cut into the pocket facing at this point, but it's good to have it all pinned together to cut away the top edge of the trouser front in line with the size 3 markings (or what ever size you are blending to).


 In actual fact we do not need the pocket lining at all for this alteration, but it's handy to show you how I blended the whole thing if you are about to just make a normal Roberts jumpsuit anyway. The same method also works for the dungarees and dress.

Now to get rid of the seams...

The back is very straight forward as you just need to mark the 1.5cm seam allowance on the diagonal edges and overlap the pieces so these markings are aligned. Once done tape together for one long back piece!


 For the front you can remove the pocket lining, but leave the pocket facing pinned to the trouser leg (but on the reverse side).

You can't see it in the pictures that follow, but I laid the new long back piece down first and then overlaid it with the front trouser leg so that the side seam notches were again aligned and the lengthen/shorten lines were corresponding. I then positioned the front bodice in top with the shoulder seams and armholes matching and then taped all the pieces together once I was happy that the front and back were in line with on another. The front bodice has gained 2cm on the centre front. Not that you are physically adding width to the pattern piece, but you are no longer making a button placket are no longer overlapping the centre front. I found my bodice was a couple of millimetres short of reaching the centre front of the trousers so I just blended the line with a pencil and cut the excess away to neaten it out.

The centre front of the bodice is also shortened a touch because there was previous shaping across the dropped waist seam. It is not much and did not impact the fit in length on me, but it's something to note if you are concerned about the length in the body at all!


 So here you have two long jumpsuit pieces!


You can either leave the legs as they are or you can alter them to be wider as I did. Now I did use the Mercury leg as a reference with alteration, but this is long winded and you may only have the Roberts pattern, so we are going to do it this way instead.

First I removed 4.5cm from the leg length (you may want to do more or less depending on your height and leg length). I am about 5'5" with a 29" inside leg.


For the front leg I then added 3cm to the inside leg and 2cm to the outside. The outside is straight from the side seam hip notch down to the hem, whilst the inside leg is shaped in a bit following the original shaping.


On the back leg I extended the crotch curve by 1cm and added 5.5cm to both the inside and outside leg. Again the outside leg is straight from the hip notch to hem. The inside leg is shaped and needs to measure the same as the front leg. I have only marked the pattern piece below with seam allowance, but ideally you would need to mark the pattern piece minus the seam allowance to measure this accurately.


So now you have basic jumpsuit with wider legs. If you want palazzo legs then just bring the inside and outside leg seams straight down square with the hem. I may try this for my next one!


At this point you may want to trace around your new pattern pieces so that you can continue to use the jumpsuit in it's original form.

Remember these funky pockets? Well if you want to add some similar then below is a rough guide.


First of all mark the length of the pocket opening you would like with a notch either end (marked in red below). Also mark the seam allowance on this area.


The shape of your pocket opening (a curve in this instance) can then be contained within the notches marking the length and inside the seam allowance. I promise you I made a neater curve on my real pocket pattern!


Trace the pocket opening shape and notches on a new piece of paper and cut a pocket bag which follows the side of the jumpsuit and is the depth and width you would like. I have drawn a pocket bag with seam allowance included so make sure the top edge has at least 1.5-2cm above the pocket opening. you will need this for pocket construction later on.


Trace around the pocket bag you just created so that you now have two.


Next add a seam allowance to the pocket opening shape on both the jumpsuit and the pocket bag with the markings on (this is now your pocket lining).


Cut the shape away from both. The blank pocket bag is now the pocket facing.


Sewing it together - Pin and sew the pocket lining to the jumpsuit front with right sides together.


Trim and under stitch the seam allowance and turn back through to the wrong side of the garment.


Pin and sew the pocket facing to the pocket lining with right sides together. Finish the edge with either a zig zag or over lock stitch.


Baste the pocket to the side seam either side of the pocket opening and you have constructed your pockets! I mentioned in my last post that these have a tendency to pop back out, but topstitching the pocket bag to the trouser leg may look nice to prevent that.


That was a bit of a deviation because I am not done with the alterations yet!

I raised the front neck by approximately 3cm and lowered the back neck by about 5cm for a marginally different look.


If you are going to alter the neckline then just draft new facing pieces by tracing around the new neckline. The back neck facing is no longer cut on the fold due to the zip opening. I also cut my front neckline in two pieces because the centre seam acts as a nice guide when sewing the V-neck.


Construction wise because of the back zip and pockets I completed these areas first.

For the back I measured my zip (I used approximately 45cm/18") and marked the length on the back seam allowance. Mark 1.5cm away from the back neck edge down. I then sewed the centre back seam from the crotch to the mark indicating where the base of the zip would be. After that I basted and hand sewed my zip in place.

For the front I finished my pockets as above and then sewed the left and right front together up the centre front seam.

The rest was constructed pretty much as per the instructions. Just ignore any bits that are no longer relevant.

If you would like some tutorials for zip insertions then here are a couple of recommendations.

Here's a great exposed zipper tutorial from papercut patterns. It can be used on a plain panel or a seamed panel so is pretty handy.

Here's a tutorial for a centred zip from Megan Neilson. I did mine slightly different because I hand basted and then hand sewed the zip, but there are many ways to reach the end goal!


I hope that I have included everything you need to know to go forth and alter, but just give me a nudge if I have missed anything.

The only thing left is to add a sash belt which can be any length and width you please.

Ta ta xxx

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Wedding clothes

Ooh I'm blogging pretty regular at the moment! Wonder how long it will last!!!

Big wedding weekend this weekend, as it was the first wedding of an immediate family member I have been to. It was my sister in law getting married and it was a great excuse to get all dressed up.

I planned to make a dress for Maria and a tie for Evan pretty early on, but dithered about making my own outfit in true sewist style and waited until the day before the wedding to finally panic sew something. It was completely unnecessary as I have dresses I have worn to weddings and am happy to wear again and again. It is not my way to feel like I need something new for a wedding, but I guess I was feeling a bit restless and needed the challenge!


The jumpsuit I ended up wearing and loving is made from a blue sandwashed silk I bought from the man outside Sainsbury's in Walthamstow. It's a really great quality fabric and these photos are the day after the wedding (sans make-up) and the fabric has held up so well with virtually no creases.


It's a combination of my Roberts jumpsuit pattern with the Mercury view D leg. I have joined the leg and bodice to make one long pattern piece for front and back eliminating any style lines. I wanted to do this so that adding a sash belt would make more sense. It always seems a bit weird trying to belt the Roberts at the natural waist with the drop waist seam on show. I also raised the front neck by 5cm and dropped the back neck by 5cm, but I shall write a follow up post at some point with more of the mod details, as it's pretty straight forward and makes the pattern even more versatile!

Because I removed the seams and therefore the pockets, I added some funky side seam pockets. They do keep popping out though and I don't know if it's the fabric misbehaving or whether I should have bar tacked either side of the opening to keep them in place a bit better. I won't try it on this, but I'll have a play on the next one I make, because there will be another.


I did whip this up, but I took my time if you know what I mean. I can either sew fast and adequate or fast and nice. I think this is nice enough. Overlocked seams, which may offend some, but I felt this too thick for French seams (even though silk).

Look at my hand picked zip!


Oh yes, I should mention that I got rid of the front buttoning and added a back zip instead. Due to lack of time I raided my zip stash and came out with a heavy metal number. A bit too heavy to be truthful and it took a couple of goes tacking it in place to get it looking reasonable, but I just about got away with it.


Pics taken just before the wedding with make-up, but I'm staring really hard at the floor so you can't see!


I later decided on adding a flower because I was unhappy with my bow (for a wedding that is). I also loosened the sash slightly for a more forgiving fit.


The zip looks fine, but you can see it pull the fabric into a V at the very bottom.


 Anyway, I felt insanely comfortable and happy wearing this and highly recommend sandwashed silk for anything if you can find it at a reasonable price.

Because the weather was a bit unpredictable to say the least, I made a jacket as a precautionary cover up. I made the Deer and Doe Lupin jacket and am over the moon with it, but alas did not get to wear it as it was sooo humid.

Here is how it would have looked!


I was surprised that the arms are comfortable as I was half expecting them to feel too tight with my ample arms. It's a really sweet jacket though, but I kind of wish I had removed the fullness in the back or at least made the bottom band wider to open it out. I'm less keen on the poufy silhouette, although don't hate it. You can see the jumpsuit zip issue in this pic!





I have never sewn with a Deer and Doe bought pattern before even though I own the ondee and Melilot, but this was a joy. I love the little details in the design like the epaulettes and the pockets. Really really cute. It reminds me of a Topshop jacket I was coveting about 10 years ago, which was 1940's in style and made in navy linen and I love the style. It also kind of reminds me of military jackets from the same era.


The linen/cotton is a vintage French sheet which I printed and garment dyed, so I made the whole jacket up with white cotton thread and used vintage linen buttons before immersing it in a pale grey dye bath. It is patchy, but I think this adds a good depth to overall look. It also really highlights the irregularities in the weave of the fabric.


Here's the lining which is a leftover scrap of synthetic crepe.


 Such a shame I didn't get to wear the jacket, but the whole day was so wonderful and I felt really comfortable. It made me realise how uncomfortable I often feel when I dress for an occasion. Funny really isn't it?

As mentioned, I was not the only one wearing me-made yesterday.

I made this beeeeautiful dress for Maria. It's made from Nani Iro double gauze using the Merchant and Mills skipper dress pattern. It doesn't run quite as small as Maria, but I just made up the smallest size and am glad of the growing room. She did look totally adorable, although I have a completely biased opinion on that.



For Evan I simply made him a tie. It was made using a Lizzy House dinosaur fabric and the purl soho free pattern. I completely messed up the length attempting to do a bias seam on the back neck rather than a straight one. I was a complete idiot and lost a good 10cm or so, but it seems to have worked out for the best. I'm afraid this is as tidy as we could get him and he insisted on having his back pack on is person at all times. Even when walking down the isle scattering flower petals with my mother in law (head slap). Maria wouldn't even throw the petals, she was picking them all back up (double head slap). Kids are part of the entertainment I suppose! ;-)



Mega long post sorry. Don't forget more details on the jumpsuit modifications will follow at some point!