Thursday, 9 July 2020

Maple Linen Blanca Flight Suit

How many jumpsuits does one woman need in her wardrobe? If you're me the answer is an awful lot! I was just beginning to think I might have stated my desire to have any more jumpsuits on rotation when Closet Case Patterns released the Blanca Flight Suit. I love the contemporary cut of this and all the little details which Closet Case Patterns do so well. Whilst I love the full on workwear vibe in the denim I felt like the second view with the short sleeve, tie belt and cropped leg I might get a little bit more wear out of. Heather models a sample made up in a linen which I loved the soft, chic yet relaxed vibe of so I hunted down some linen for my own.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Closet Case Patterns Blanca Flight Suit in Maple Vintage Finish Linen from The Fabric Store

This is the Vintage Finish Linen in Maple from The Fabric Store. Their vintage finish range is fairly new and is about the same mid-weight as their regular linen line but has a slightly worn in look and lovely soft hand. I loved working with it and am loving wearing it even more! All the colours in the range are right up my street so I'm going to be ordering a lot more of it. Maple is the perfect word to describe this colour; warm, rich and soft all at the same time. In some lights it looks like a dusky pink, in others more of a brown. It somehow feels like a neutral to me.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Closet Case Patterns Blanca Flight Suit in Maple Vintage Finish Linen from The Fabric Store

Blanca is quite an involved project and I tried to approach it slowly and with care; spending 2-3 hours on it over the course of about 4 days. I think slowing down and paying attention to the details really shows in the final garment. During lockdown I've re-found a care and attention to detail in my sewing which I think being so busy for the last couple of years caused me to neglect. The extra time has really given me space to dream creatively, think about the small details and invest time into fit and finish. I've been pausing to read through all those bits of the instructions I usually skip over, eager to dive right into the sewing and have picked up some great hints, tips and ideas along the way.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Closet Case Patterns Blanca Flight Suit in Maple Vintage Finish Linen from The Fabric Store

Closet Case patterns are ideal for this as their instructions are thorough and packed with useful information, particularly in the pages before the sewing instructions actually start! I always find putting together their garments a please as there is no confusion despite various fiddly aspects and I learn something along the way. The instructions are clear, the techniques spot on and everything comes together just as it should with all the notches e.t.c matching up.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Closet Case Patterns Blanca Flight Suit in Maple Vintage Finish Linen from The Fabric Store

As this is such a 'full body' garment you are potentially going to be dealing with a few fit issues, particularly the length through the body which you definitely don't want to end up too short or long. The instructions recommend making a basic muslin first and I would advise doing this too despite being a bad sewist and skipping it myself! I figured I could always tweak the length for my petite frame when attaching the bodice to the trousers but actually you assemble the front and back in their entirety before sewing up the side seams so you can't try it on to test the length until it is almost finished! However, this order of construction does mean that it is really easy to tweak the fit around the body if you want it slightly slimmer or looser fitting around the waist or hips. I'm pretty sure this is intentional and I love it.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Closet Case Patterns Blanca Flight Suit in Maple Vintage Finish Linen from The Fabric Store

Thankfully mine turned out fine length-wise thanks to the exceedingly thorough list of finished garment measurements in the instructions. I was initially planning on taking a bit of length out the bodice and possibly the rise too given that I'm 5ft 3" but I compared the finished front and back length measurements to that of my Zadie Jumpsuit and the Zadie was a fair amount longer (despite me shortening that pattern). So I decided to err on the side of caution and sew it up with the length as is. It is spot on. I do find I am lifting the trousers up a little when I tie the belt around the waist (if that makes sense) causing the slightly blouson effect of the bodice. But actually you need this extra bit of length in order to get in and out. So be warned not to shorten the length of your zip or you might have trouble!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Closet Case Patterns Blanca Flight Suit in Maple Vintage Finish Linen from The Fabric Store

I cut the size 6 at the bust & waist and the 8 at the hip which is standard for me for Closet Case Patterns. I'm glad I went up in the hip as this has turned out slightly slimmer through this area than I expected. But I do adore the slim cut of this. It feels chic and modern as opposed to particularly utilitarian. Particularly made up in this soft linen. When it came to hemming I took an inch off the length of the trousers. The cropped leg wasn't looking so cropped on my short pins! The sleeves I hemmed at the intended length but I like wearing them rolled up a couple of times as pictured. The rear patch pockets are possibly a touch too high and large for my shape, something I found with the Closet Case Ginger Jeans too. It doesn't overly bother me though and would be easy enough to tweak second time around.

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Closet Case Patterns Blanca Flight Suit in Maple Vintage Finish Linen from The Fabric Store

I love a bit of contrast top-stitching but wanted to keep this quite clean and contemporary so opted for a regular sew-all thread in another earthy colour. I love how it has turned out. I've found shopping for fabric and haberdashery online fine while the shops were closed here in the UK but the only thing I found difficult was matching up colours of zips and buttons. I was over the moon when this one arrived from Jaycotts and the tape was an almost exact colour match! I like the brass teeth and pull against this colour too. (FYI The Fabric Store are now selling a selection of invisible zips with a zip matching service online). While we are on the subject of zips I'm really pleased with my zip insertion which was a new method for me. A little bit nerve-racking with all that visible topstitching and metal teeth to avoid!

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Closet Case Patterns Blanca Flight Suit in Maple Vintage Finish Linen from The Fabric Store

One of my favourite details is how the top of the front patch pockets form the belt loops. So clever. My machine generally does really great buttonholes (although I had a disaster with a keyhole buttonhole on a pair of jeans the other day - there were nearly tears!). However I've always had trouble with the automatic bar tack function. I can never get the length just right and it almost always ends up tangled up or wonky. I thought it might do better on this linen rather than a pair of denim jeans but had to resort to using a tight and narrow zig zag stitch and attempting to make them all the same length! it gives the same effect anyhow. Any tips for bar tacks?

Diary of a Chain Stitcher: Closet Case Patterns Blanca Flight Suit in Maple Vintage Finish Linen from The Fabric Store

I must apologise for the slightly wrinkly photos as this has already been worn a couple of times. It has already become one of my favourite things to reach for in the morning. If I ever get back to work this is going to be so good for it in this gorgeous warm neutral colour. It is comfortable enough to crawl around the floor in during a costume fitting and is ever so practical with all those pockets. Yet it also feels smart and put together enough to walk into a meeting straight afterwards. Ed said I look like Jane Goodall in Tanzania with the chimpanzees which I'm taking as a HUGE compliment. Blanca, it's love.

8 comments:

  1. This is so, so gorgeous! The colour is perfect.

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    1. Thanks Anna, I'm really delighted with how it turned out

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  2. Looking at this I don't understand my scepticism towards jumpsuits. It looks fantastic!

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    1. What a compliment! I'm a huge jumpsuit fan and this is definitely one of my all time favourites

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  3. I always enjoy the closeups of your construction. The stitching is so perfect, it makes me strive harder to make mine look the same. Everything you make is so beautifully sewn and perfect for you. The jumpsuit is no exception. It's lovely.

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    1. Ah thanks what a lovely comment! I try to include as much detail as possible as seeing those things on other blogs helped me so much when I started out. It is all just practice! I've done an awful lot of topstitching now haha!

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  4. I had trouble with bartacks on my machine (a Juki) until I realized there was a different presser foot I was supposed to be using for bartacks. Your machine might be different, or you might already be using the right presser foot, but that's my tip!

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    1. Yeah I used the buttonhole foot which it said in the manual was what you needed for barracks (so you can set the length, like you would for a buttonhole) but no luck. I think the multiple layers of fabric is a struggle for it. Thanks!

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I love hearing from readers of my blog so please feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you thought about this post/make! Any hints or tips to improve my sewing are always much appreciated too!