Sunday, 20 January 2019

Ikat Tofo Summer Jumpsuit

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Summer Jumpsuit Tofo in Cotton Ikat from The Fabric Store

I'm currently exploring Southern Africa! But I have been sewing like a mad woman for the last few weeks and have prepped and scheduled a number of blog posts to share my handmade holiday wardrobe with you. When planning my sewing I kept being drawn to Half Moon Atelier patterns and three of them made it onto my list! Practical and easy to wear, yet modern and with well thought out designs. A big tick in my book. This is their summer jumpsuit Tofo and it is possibly my favourite item in my suitcase.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Summer Jumpsuit Tofo in Cotton Ikat from The Fabric Store

The fabric I've used is a really lovely cotton ikat from The Fabric Store. Unfortunately it is not on the website anymore as I believe I snapped up the last of it when I ordered it a few months ago. I was browsing for something for this pattern and this just jumped out at me as the perfect match. And that it has proved to be. It is a fine and breathable weight. The lovely crisp cotton hand so holds the shape of the romper well but it still has some softness to it so that the relaxed fit of the bodice doesn't turn out too boxy. I can tell this is going to be a really useful addition to my suitcase and will be getting a lot of wear in the heat of Southern Africa over the next few weeks. I really love the subtlety of the stripes in this particularly Ikat and the yarn dyed weave. The rich indigo colour is beautiful too.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Summer Jumpsuit Tofo in Cotton Ikat from The Fabric Store

It looks like an easy to throw on simple garment but whilst it most certainly is easy to throw on and wear it actually has a lot of little details which make it really practical and also fun to sew. Once I had the pattern cut out and began assembling all the little bits and pieces I wondered if I had made the wrong choice in picking a print as a solid might have made more of the design features. But now it is finished I couldn't be happier and don't think you loose the details too much in the print.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Summer Jumpsuit Tofo in Cotton Ikat from The Fabric Store

I was a little pushed for time sewing everything I wanted for my handmade wardrobe so almost omitted a few of the design elements but I'm glad I persisted and included everything as all of the features work well together. In particular I nearly left off the belt and belt loops as I figured they wouldn't show up much with a busy print but they really make the garment. That added detail around the hip elevates it from being a simple elasticated style.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Summer Jumpsuit Tofo in Cotton Ikat from The Fabric Store

I also deliberated over whether I really wanted the straps but they are in fact detachable! They have buttons on each end (I used some wooden ones from my stash which I think compliment the ikat) and fasten into buttonholes in the neckline facing/elastic casing. The criss-cross back is really cute so I'm glad I have the option, despite the fact that I don't really need them because it fits so well. The straps are shaped with an angled point at the end to line up neatly across the back band which is a lovely touch that shows you how well this design has been thought out. It would have been easy to just do long rectangle straps with square ends but the designer has taken real care with he details.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Summer Jumpsuit Tofo in Cotton Ikat from The Fabric Store

One thing which would be easy to miss is this little beauty has pockets! And nice generous ones too. I chose to french seam my pocket bags to finish them rather than overlock as I did through the rest of the suit. Double stitching the seam provides extra strength and I like the clean finish. This is a technique I picked up from Closet Case Patterns instructions and is now my go to method for finishing pocket bags with a straight lower edge like this.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Summer Jumpsuit Tofo in Cotton Ikat from The Fabric Store

I made view B with the slimmer upper band and cut the size 4. I was concerned that the pattern pieces for the shorts looked quite small but that is because they have quite a low rise and I couldn't have asked for a better fit. Of course a lot of the fit is in the elastic as the top back of the bodice has a wide piece of elastic in it to pull it tight over the bust and there is a narrow piece of elastic around the waist too. The guideline elastic lengths for my size were spot on to be comfortable yet secure. I'm really pleased with how clean the inside finish turned out with the elastic casings and under stitched top edge.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Summer Jumpsuit Tofo in Cotton Ikat from The Fabric Store

If you are tall or long in the body I would consider lengthening the rise of the shorts a little as they are just about right on me for the waist of this to sit on my low hip. I've got so used to wearing high waisted clothes lately that it feels a little odd to wear something on the hip like this! But I'm really enjoying it. It is really comfortable and the loose fit created using gathering and pleats will help me keep cool.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Summer Jumpsuit Tofo in Cotton Ikat from The Fabric Store

One thing I will say if you are making a Half Moon Atelier pattern is to pay close attention to the seam allowances throughout construction. Different elements use different sizes (from 1 to 2.5cm) which works but despite it being clearly noted in the instructions what to use where, it would be easy to go wrong. There is a really helpful page on sizing adjustments specific to this pattern towards the start of the instructions which is worth reading too, even if you tend to skim pattern instructions nowadays like me!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Half Moon Atelier Summer Jumpsuit Tofo in Cotton Ikat from The Fabric Store

Overall this is a wonderful comfortable design for hot climates (or for lounging around the house) that feels really stylish because it is packed with thoughtful and interesting design details. I only wish I had made this further in advance of my holiday so I would have discovered how much I loved it in time to make a second! I know Meghann from Half Moon has some new designs set to be released soon and I can't wait to see what is coming next from her.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Midnight Blue Velvet Fiona Sundress

My first finished garment of 2019 is a really special one. This is my first take on the Fiona Sundress from Closet Case Patterns which was released back in the summer and for which I was the muse! I am kind of ashamed of how long it has taken me to get around to making this. I felt some self imposed pressure to make a really spectacular one and the hunt for the perfect fabric got a bit intense. In the end I decided to go with my gut choice for a plain and something I would get a lot of wear out of rather than a super 'frosting' version. There's nothing to stop me making multiple versions of course!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Midnight Blue Velvet Fiona Sun Dress

I know this pattern is technically a sundress but a particularly busy period of work meant summer was drawing to a close by the time I got to fabric shopping. So I resolved to make a winter appropriate version which I could be layered with long sleeve tees and turtlenecks. I have been really taken with the velvet trend this season and came across the dress below in Monsoon when out shopping for work one day. It reminded me of the Fiona and I adored the embroidered velvet fabric. (They also have some really gorgeous gingham dresses with a similar cut which I will 100% be drawing inspiration from come the summer). Sadly, what felt like a nationwide hunt for similar fabric turned up no results. I briefly toyed with the idea of embroidering my own before admitting that it would probably be 2020 before I finished that.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Midnight Blue Velvet Fiona Sun Dress

The hunt for a good colour of plain velvet began and I started to think about a rich emerald green or wine red rather than the plain navy which felt a little boring. Then I spotted this midnight blue in Fabrix on Goldhawk Road and my mind was made up. The rich tones of the fabric don't come out so well in photos but trust me this is the most wonderful deep blue with a gorgeous sheen. I decided if it felt too plain when finished I could always embroider some small gold motifs on it after the fact. In the end it feels super chic in the solid colour combined with the silver snaps and I'm reluctant to tamper with it any further.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Midnight Blue Velvet Fiona Sun Dress

The velvet is 100% cotton which I wanted as it has more of a structure than the silk or poly kind which I thought this dress would benefit from. It is softer than an upholstery velvet though and has quite a short pile; more like a velveteen. A shorter pile means you have to worry slightly less about crushing it as you sew or press but you still need to be careful. As I bought the last of the roll I ended up with about three quarters of a metre left over. I usually hate waste but this was a blessing in disguise as it meant I could cover my ironing board with the excess and press the velvet against itself to protect the pile. I tried as much as possible to press only the wrong side of the fabric and when I needed to press the right side I used an organza press cloth to avoid getting shiny marks.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Midnight Blue Velvet Fiona Sun Dress

I'm slightly biased I know but in my opinion Heather Lou really knocked it out of the park designing this pattern! It combines so many of my favourite things, a quite fitted, feminine yet practical style (practical if you don't make it in velvet that is!) and a classic design with interesting details and a modern twist. My favourite feature is the low back with cross over straps. It will be hard to resist just making this variation in future but I really want to try out the straight straps too.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Midnight Blue Velvet Fiona Sun Dress

In terms of construction it ticks a lot of my sewing boxes too. As I've come to expect with Closet Case Patterns designs the way the pattern is put together has clearly been given serious thought and the instructions are packed with well-considered and interesting techniques. I often learn something new. With this dress I particularly like the clean finish given by the neckline band and front placket. It involves quite a few pattern pieces which is exactly the kind of sewing I really enjoy! In saying that I don't want to put off advancing beginner seamstresses as nothing in the construction is overly complicated. The biggest challenge would probably be the fit.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Midnight Blue Velvet Fiona Sun Dress

I cut the size 8 which is pretty much bang on my measurements and the usual size I cut with CCP. When I first tried it on I felt it was a little roomy all over, particularly in the bust but this could be easily rectified by tweaking the fit along those princess seams. For this version I didn't do any extra fitting but retained the ease for layering which is working out great for layering over warmer sweaters like this. I'd like to make a closer fitting version for summer as I think it has a wonderful flattering feminine shape to it. I don't think I'd size down a whole size but rather use this as a guide to tweak how much seam allowance I take here and there. Lengthwise the bodice sits quite well on me once I had taken an inch or so off the straps. I appreciated that the way the bodice is constructed allows to opportunity to fiddle with the strap length and placement. In terms of length of the skirt I wasn't sure whether I wanted the above or below knee length so cut it below the knee so I could shorten as I pleased. Keeping it at this length felt right with the elegance of the velvet.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Midnight Blue Velvet Fiona Sun Dress

In general I'd avoid patterns with lots of seams when working with velvet as it can be so tricky to handle without damaging. The Fiona Sundress has a lot of seams! But this velvet has a reasonable short pile as I said and gave me very few problems. The biggest issue I had was with how messy it was to work with! It shed little blue pieces all over the place and picks up fluff from everywhere. As I was using velvet I did tweak a couple of things to make my fabric choice work. I avoided topstitching as this just doesn't look great on velvet. The stitches sink in and you end up with weird grooves in the fabric where the pile ends up smushed down. The instructions do involve quite a lot of topstitching (which I can't wait to do on my next version as it is one of my favourite sewing things!) but I finished my bands and hem slipstitching by hand instead. I also omitted the pockets as these are topstitched onto the skirt and I thought the velvet would look better with a clean line.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Midnight Blue Velvet Fiona Sun Dress

I initially planned to make my own covered buttons out of the velvet like the inspiration dress. I thought this would look really classy and turn the dress into more of an evening wear garment. If I embroidered it I was thinking I could do little gold motifs on the buttons too. I had the dress sewn and only buttons and buttonholes to do before Christmas and I had the afternoon of New Year's Eve earmarked to finish it so I could wear it to dinner and drinks at a friend's that night; ring out 2018 wearing one of my highlights of the year! However, nothing ever goes to plan does it. I sat down to make my covered buttons, which is something I usually quite enjoy doing, but it soon became apparent that the velvet was just too thick to work on the 11mm buttons I had to use.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Midnight Blue Velvet Fiona Sun Dress

I ransacked my stash for alternative buttons and came across enough silver snaps to use instead. I liked how they looked when placed along the dress so went for it. Disaster. The bottom part of the snaps all went in fine but after installing two of the top parts I couldn't get the top one in. I'm not sure if it was because there is a bit more bulk at that top corner with all the intersecting seams or what. After ruining two snaps I still had just enough but then realised that some of the snaps were a little smaller than the others! I had to give up and wait until the following week to finish it off when I could buy more snaps. I was really disappointed not to be able to wear the dress on New Year's Eve as planned but it taught me yet another lesson in setting myself unreasonable deadlines and rushing!

I'm actually really happy I ended up with the snaps. I love how the silver looks against the midnight blue and think they give the velvet a slightly more casual vibe which means I'll be able to get more wear out of it! With this striped turtleneck it feels like something I could wear every day but with a plain black top underneath, or maybe even a sparkly one and some heels I'm all ready for a special night out. I'm still quite taken with the wide belt on the Monsoon dress and have some fabric left over so might whip myself one up if I can find a suitable buckle. I think it would be a great addition to the fitted shape of this dress.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Midnight Blue Velvet Fiona Sun Dress

High on my sewing list when I return from travelling is a denim shorter version for layering through spring and then wearing on its own for summer. I'm excited to include all the pockets and topstitching on this one. Then a long column version, probably in linen for the summer.

Monday, 31 December 2018

December Indie Pattern Update!



I hope you've had a wonderful festive season with your loved ones and are looking forward to the new year! I'm kicking it off with a bit of a change and am sorry to say that this is going to be the last Indie Pattern Update I will be writing. The indie sewing community has developed at an astonishing rate over the years I have been writing these posts...which is of course something to be celebrated! But it has left me struggling to keep up with all the news alongside an increasingly hectic work schedule and personal life and I've been finding myself with less and less time to sew and blog. As I'm travelling in January and February I won't be able to post an update so I've unfortunately decided that that is a good time to finish up. I'll definitely miss writing these and the interaction with you guys about the new designs but I will be sharing some of my favourite new releases in my Instagram Stories from time to time if you'd like to follow me there. If you're still itching for your fix of sewing pattern news The Fold Line post a great monthly round up and video on their blog and Helen (from Helen's Closet and the Love to Sew podcast) writes her fantastic Wednesday Weekly posts which include new pattern releases. Luckily there have been a plethora of stunning new releases this month so I can go out with a bang!


New Patterns


  • Schnittchen released four new quick and simple patterns throughout December, each one on an advent Sunday as a festive treat for us! The Kiki Shirt was the first; a blouse with a ruffle feature around the front yoke. Second was the Lenja Coat, an unlined a-line short coat with wide lapels and diagonal seaming into which pockets are inserted. Third was the Sina Caftan Dress which features a centre front box pleat and short kimono sleeves with optional add on dramatic bishops sleeves. The Smilla Wrap Blouse was the final design and features a belt which threads through the inside of the top. I love the elegant shape of the collar and v-neckline.
  • Wendy Ward from MIY Collection released the Rutland Collection E-Book. If you spotted this one before Christmas you might have made up some of these designs already as all five accessory designs included make great unisex gifts. Using no more than 0.6m of fabric each, the collection features an infinity scarf, snood, wrist warmers, a headband and waist warmer.
  • I don't know how I missed these two last month but I did; Patrons les BG released two brilliant new menswear designs including a junior version of their Le Décontracté sweatshirt and hoodie pattern. The other design is L'Irrésistible; a classic blouson bomber jacket and certainly one I'll be eyeing up next time I want to sew for the men in my life.
  • Amongst the new free pattern downloads from Mood Fabrics this month were the Bixa Sweatshirt, Calla Coat, Cassia Skirt, Daisy Top, Douglas Pants, Darmera JumpsuitEurya Dress, Ercilla Suit, Erica Skirt and Poinsettia Dress which is a real cracker of a New Year's Eve dress sewn up in ponte knit and adorned with shimmering fringe! Their new Calypso Jacket can be sewn up in coat length or a shorter jacket length with ribbed hem. They also released the Hydrus Cosplay to celebrate the release of the latest Fantastic Beasts film.
  • Issue 5 of Lisa Comfort Magazine was released and with it two new patterns from Sew Over It.  The Ivy Skirt is an asymmetrical design with faux wrap at the front and the Annie Blouse is a loose fitting style for lightweight fabrics and features a gathered scoop neckline using shirring elastic.
  • Style Arc's first December release was the Brice Jumpsuit. I love this one. Designed for knits (and I'm imagining something with a little structure would be great) it has clean lines, a v-neck and tie belt. It can be made sleeved or sleeveless and also includes pattern pieces for a fitted skirt. They also released the Portia Top and Ellen Shorts which can be bought in a discounted bundle to make a great outfit. Portia is a button through cami and Ellen has an elasticated paper-bag waist with patch pockets which extend to create belt loops.
  • Maternity Sewing released the Knit Infinity Dress, which can be worn pregnant or not pregnant! The straps can be tied multiple ways and will accommodate A-F cups and the pattern also includes a separate bandeau to make for extra skin coverage.
  • Both the new Adrienne Blouse and Joan Trousers from Friday Pattern Company are designed for knit fabrics but on first glance I thought both were definitely woven. Hidden comfort for the win! Adrienne has beautiful billowing sleeves and Joan features wide legs and pockets. Print versions of both styles coming soon.
  • If you don't know what to do with your knit fabric scraps Paper Theory have come up with a great solutions with their new Stevie Knickers! The pattern is free to download when you sign up to their newsletter and their is a full tutorial on their blog to guide you through every step of sewing them up.
  • The latest addition to the Now & Then Patterns line from Til The Sun Goes Down is the All Seasons Dress & Skirt. The slim skirt with long inverted pleats is inspired by the 1930s along with the a buttoning bodice with collar. I love the angle of armholes on the sleeveless option and all the little triangular design details.
  • New to download from Atacac is the /-Sweater. Their designs continue to fascinate me with their clever pattern cutting and this one is no exception. It is a asymmetrical style and the body is cut in just one piece. There is no charge to download Atacac designs but you can make a donation.
  • Gertie released the next design in her Charm Patterns line. The Jane Set is inspired by jumpsuits of the 1950s and includes tonnes of options! You can make a jumpsuit, playsuit with optional sarong front or separate pants, shorts and bustier.
  • The new patterns released with this month's edition of Seamwork Magazine were Rachel and Channing. The Rachel button up shirt has a spread collar and shaping created with bust darts and a centre back tuck which releases at the waist. The Channing trousers feature a mid rise, tapered leg and beautiful front pleats into the waistband.
  • The new Lola Linen Trench from Fabrics Store has a beautifully elegant silhouette with back vent, flat felled seams and deep welt pockets. I love the details and cut of this!
  • The last PDF pattern release of the year from Sew Over It is the Thea Dress. I love the casual elegance of this jersey style and how easy it is to wear. It has a cocoon shape, dropped shoulder and narrow sleeve and can be sewn in two lengths.
  • New from Hot Patterns is the HP1243 Wong-Singh-Jones Jaipur Blouse & Tunic. This pull on style is packed with lovely details and would be effortlessly glamorous in a printed silk. It features a v-neck and open collar plus sleeves with a keyhole opening and optional cuff-link or buttoning closure.
  • Straight Stitch Designs released the Eastlake Top which is a knit style with deep v-neck finished with a facing. The pattern offers multiple style options with two sleeve lengths, two cuffs, two lengths and the option to sew the back plain or with a gathered yoke.
  • I love the new Hilary Top from Tessuti. It features a pleated peplum and a boat neck gathered at the shoulders along with beautiful peasant style sleeves. If I get time I'll be making one of these up for my holiday!
  • Orageuse released a new collection of four beautiful detailed designs! The Épicéa Blouse has a cross over back with cut out and a long belt which ties around the hips. The Cèdre Blouson is a crisp, modern take on a classic bomber jacket with vertical pleats and a high collar. The Laurier Top has a wide v-neckline with geometric contrasting yoke. My favourite of the bunch, the Acacia Jumpsuit & Trousers, has a bib style bodice created by clever pleating and the wide leg trousers can be piped down the side seam or around the waist.
  • Sew House Seven created a new pattern for Simplicity. 8790 is a hooded top & dress pattern featuring two styles of hood, the choice of raglan or dropped sleeve and optional waist tie and pockets. A great casual yet interesting basic which would be gorgeous made up in french terry.
  • Delphine & Morissette launched the Clara Blouse. With a loose fit and voluminous sleeves gathering into cuffs, this has a high ruffled collar and a button and loop fastening over the shoulder which I adore!
  • The last pattern of 2018 from Itch to Stitch is the Busan Top. This comfortable knit style features statement sleeves created by exaggerated narrow shoulders, volume from the shoulder pleats and elongated cuffs,
  • Next in the line of children patterns from Style Arc is the Summer Swimsuit and Top. The pattern includes three styles for boys and girls, all with long sleeves for protection from the sun.
  • The latest pattern from the Thrifty Stitcher, released on The Sewing Quarter earlier this month, is the Dawson Coatigan. This is a really clever, slightly tailored cocoon style. Easy to wear the interesting pockets provide detail and I love the shape of the collar created with little darts around the neck.
  • Pipe Dream Patterns released the Peggy Pinafore which can be sewn up as a pinafore, dress or skirt. It features an exposed centre front zip, a fitted bodice and deep pleats around the waist give the skirt a bold shape.
  • Wardrobe by Me released the Unisex PJ Pants pattern. A simple pair of pyjama bottoms with both elastic and a pull in string in the waistband casing. If you spotted this release before christmas these would have made a wonderful gift. 
  • The Yvonna Yoga Pants are new from Gina Ree Designs. I love the gathered waistband detail on these which elevates them above being a boring regular pair of sweatpants.
  • New from DG Patterns is the Nora Dress; a fitted faux wrap dress with a petal shape skirt, the hemline of which is emphasised with a frill. This design is suited to medium weight knits and has a modest depth of neckline compared to a lot of wrap dresses and long fitted sleeves.
  • The Feel Free Raglan Shirt is the latest release from Sewera Fashion. This is one of those easy to wear basics with a unique subtle design twist which I love. In this instance the sleeves gather into the raglan shoulder seam.
  • The latest addition to the House Morrighan line of lingerie patterns is the Clover Boybrief. They feature a contoured waistband and enclosed gusset and can be sewn either with fabric bands or elastic to finish.
  • Pattern Union released the Sobi Belt. This is an obi-style belt which wraps and ties around the waist and can be made reversible. It would look great worn over a lot of their other designs.
  • Digital Pattern Library released the Asymmetric Culottes which I absolutely adore. They have the vibe of the Japanese Pattern cutting books but look a lot more simple to construct. They have a super wide leg and wrap across the front to tie towards the side seam.


Pattern updates and expansions




Sew-alongs, Tutorials and Online Courses




Upcoming!


  • The Hemming's third pattern release will be trousers featuring a wide leg, deep hem and pleats into the waistband. Coming very soon! 
  • The Maria Denmark 408 pattern is coming at the end of January! If you can't wait until then for this new design for knits it will be available in Danish with Sysiden on January 3rd.
  • Scroop Patterns are currently testing their next pattern which will be for a pair of wide legged trousers. They are 1930s inspired but with a modern fit and construction.
  • The Annie Top is soon to be released by ZigZag Designs. From a sneaky peek on Instagram it looks like it features a boat neck and the option to make sleeved or sleeveless, plus it is reversible!


Other Exciting News!



Here's a final dose of indie sewing inspiration to get your new year sewing plans off to a good start. All that's left to do now is to wish you all a very happy 2019!




  • Rumana's leopard print version of the Eloise Dress made me see the pattern in a whole new light. It may be making an appearance on my spring sewing list!
  • Alice from Cloth Spot makes some seriously amazing things and this leopard faux fur coat is no exception. I also really enjoyed the blog post and her thoughts on dressing bravely.
  • Lauren made a completely incredible coat using the Quart Coat pattern and some stunning Alexander McQueen wool which has skulls subtly woven into it. 
  • I liked everything from the new Papercut Patterns collection but was probably least interested in the Pinnacle Top. Karyn has totally changed my mind with her gorgeous version. I love the texture of that fabric!
  • I haven't got time to make even half the things on my wish list before heading off on holiday in a couple of weeks but at the top of the queue is a Sierra Jumpsuit, especially after seeing this beauty from Sophie.

Friday, 7 December 2018

Denim McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

The story of this project begins with a utility style jumpsuit I spotted on the high street when I was shopping for a show a couple of months back. It is quite unusual nowadays for a RTW garment to catch my eye in the way this did but I just knew it was the kind of clothing I would wear day in, day out. I did consider buying it but when I tried it on didn't love the fit and there were a couple of things I wanted to change about it; namely the lack of hip pockets (my hands felt like they had nowhere to go!) and the elasticated waist which I never find very comfortable in a woven garment. If I didn't sew I might have bought it anyway but luckily I do and I knew I could make myself a version I loved even more!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

I spent quite a lot of time looking for a similar pattern and put out a poll on Instagram for ideas before settling on McCalls 7330. Jasika Nicole actually posted a very similar hack of this pattern a couple of weeks back. Thanks for the advice if you put forward a suggestion! Since then a few more patterns along a similar line have popped up if you are looking for one; the Jean-Paul Coverall from Ready to Sew, Intrepid Boilersuit from Alice & Co and the upcoming Len Coveralls from Sugardale. The fabric I've used is this Soft Indigo Stretch Denim from Fabric Godmother. It is the perfect mid weight for this style and is wonderfully soft which works better than a crisp stiff denim would for that gathered bodice. The little bit of stretch combined with that soft finish makes it so comfortable to wear too! I actually picked this fabric in person at one of the Fabric Godmother Open Days, I was drawn to the rich indigo blue colour. The colour has maintained it's intensity when washed and didn't stain my hands at all while I was working with it which sometimes denim in colours this deep can do!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

I say this is McCalls 7330 but I've actually made quite a lot of changes to the pattern to get it to look more like the inspiration. One of the bigger changes was giving it a wider leg. I used the leg pattern pieces of the Persephone Pants as a guide to the shape. I pinned my McCalls pattern pieces in place on the fabric then laid the Persephones on top, aligning the grainline, the innermost point of the crotch and the top corner of the side seam. The crotch shapes were completely different which was quite interesting, although I didn't expect them to be the same because the two styles have a very different fit. I drew with chalk around the Persephone Pants pieces straight on to my fabric to give me my new cutting line. Before cutting I measured the length of the side seam and inside leg to check the back and front still matched.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

Looking at the pattern pieces for the bodice I noticed that the waistband actually sits below the natural waist on the high hip. I wanted the waist to be at my narrowest point so shortened the bodice by 1 1/4" at the lengthen/shorten line. To compensate for that and make sure the jumpsuit wasn't too short in the body I lengthened the rise of the trouser pieces by the same amount at the lengthen/shorten line. It turns out that I probably didn't need to lengthen the rise as the crotch feels quite low. I actually wish I'd remembered the fact that I usually have to take some length out of the body of big 4 patterns as I am quite short in this area. I did this on my denim McCalls 6696 shirtdress and that fits like a dream and this feels like I have too much space in the shoulder because the waistband wants to rides up. I think I should have shortened the bodice by another inch. When I can muster up enough patience I will probably unpick my lovely topstitched waistband to do that!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

The inspiration jumpsuit didn't have a yoke but I really liked this feature on the pattern and the fact that it added another opportunity for topstitching (my favourite!) so kept it in. I loved the pocket detail on the inspiration garment so decided to add the little topstitched tucks to my breast pockets. I added an extra 4cm of width to my pocket pieces when I cut them so I could use 2cm for each tuck. I made and stitched down the tucks before doing anything else with the pocket pieces. I also wanted to add pocket flaps so I cut 4 rectangles at the same width as the pocket pieces (without the extra for the tucks) and at 5cm deep plus seam allowance.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

I cut a tie belt for the waist but did without belt loops so I could wear it without too. The belt is simply two long rectangles of fabric stitched together, turned through and topstitched. It is 130cm long and 5cm wide plus seam allowance. I opted not to interface the tie belt as I wanted the ends to stay nice and soft and hang naturally.

Quite a lot of jumpsuits in this coverall style have a loose fit around the waist and one of the reasons I went with this pattern over the others was the inclusion of a waistband giving more shape. I think I've said before that gathering is probably my least favourite sewing technique so I wasn't delighted to see that not only is the bodice gathered into the waistband but the trousers are too. I was tempted to take this out by turning it into darts but as the inspiration garment had a gathered effect created by the elasticated waist I stuck with it. If I'd been making it in a stiffer or heavier denim it would have been a bulky disaster but this soft stuff gathers really well. In hindsight the best solution would have been darts rather than gathering in the trouser and possibly the front bodice but keeping the gathering in the back. I'd like those trousers to fit more closely around the hips, more like the style of the Persephone pants actually so perhaps I should have used the whole pattern piece from those and the bodice and pockets from this rather than just the leg shape below the hip!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

For reference I cut the size S when the envelope recommended a M, the small is actually a good 2-3" below my measurements and is still fairly roomy. I find the amount of ease included in the big 4 patterns pretty exasperating, particularly when it bears no resemblance to the sample shown on the pattern envelope in terms of fit. I tend to always go down a size if not two and will check the finished garment measurements carefully or measure the pattern pieces to determine the appropriate fit.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

The shape of the collar is quite round, emphasised by a fairly wide neckline for this kind of collar with stand and the front corners are quite square. I'm quite enjoying this though and I like that rather than buttoning right up to the collar there is a slight v-neck. It adds a feminine touch. The stretch in the denim does make it a little more difficult to get crisp pointed corners as it is easy to stretch things out of shape with aggressive use of a point turner! Some of mine are a little more rounded than I would like. But the denim more than makes up for this with the way it moulds and shapes so beautifully with steam and holds a nice clean edge too.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

Assembling the fly felt super easy although it was a little nerve wracking stitching around the fly in such a contrasting topstitch thread! I realised afterwards that what made it feel so easy is that this pattern doesn't include a fly shield which is a bit odd. The back of the zip is completely exposed which I thick could be a little uncomfortable but it is not a close fitting style and has been fine so far. I chose to use a metal jeans zip as I thought this would look most professional against the denim but the pattern suggests a regular trouser zip so perhaps that is why there is no shield. I'm really pleased with my finishing all the way down the centre front; from the fly to the waistband overlap which closes with a hook and bar to the buttoning plackets on the bodice.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

I took inspiration for my topstitching from the white on navy detailing on the workwear which is so on trend at the moment. I used Col. 01 Gutermann rPet recycled sew-all thread for topstitching, it is slightly off white as the white white felt too harsh against the indigo. I wanted contrast but wanted to feel like it belonged too. I didn't use the thicker topstitching thread as I was worried it would all get a bit too cartoon like, I prefer a subtler effect! I spent quite a lot of time deliberating where to topstitch and then which side of the seam. In a couple of places I actually topstitched both sides of the seam which I love the look of; I did the underarm, bodice side seam and inside leg but felt it was a little much down the trouser side seam too. I originally topstitched the pocket flaps on but this looked a little odd so I redid it so you can't see the stitching. I topstitched at 1/4" away from the seam which is further away than I would usually do. I think it makes it stand out more as an intentional design feature.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

The wooden buttons are from my stash but I believe I originally got them in John Lewis on little cards. I was planning on using bigger buttons like the RTW inspiration but those buttons looked a bit odd on the slim plackets of the McCalls pattern. I love the combination of natural wood and denim and the pop of contrast from the white button holes too.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

The inspiration jumpsuit had a cropped leg which I really loved but I've already got quite a few pairs of cropped trousers in my wardrobe and with the cold weather around the corner I decided a full length on these would probably be more practical. The length of the trousers was surprisingly on the short side when I first tried them on and I had already added about an inch when cutting as I spotted that the Persephone pieces where shorter. The pattern calls for a hem 1" deep which I would have rather done as I like a deep hem with topstitching on these styles but to get the full length I wanted I had to resort to overlocking the raw edge and turning up just half and inch. I'd love them to be even longer so I could pair the jumpsuit with wedge heels and big hoop earrings for a real seventies vibe!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: McCalls 7330 Jumpsuit in Indigo Denim from Fabric Godmother

Head to toe denim feels like quite a style statement but I'm in love with the look and finish of this. It is so close to the perfect jumpsuit I had in my head and I'm slightly kicking myself for skipping a muslin because I was so keen to wear it. My issues with the bodice length and amount of gathering could have been easily remedied had I done so. Let that be a lesson to us all! Thanks Josie at Fabric Godmother for making my solving my jumpsuit dilemma and making this a reality!