When By Hand London released the Holly Jumpsuit I was rather smitten by the wide legged, cowl neck version and every one I saw in the blogisphere convinced me it was a pattern I needed to sew this summer.
While I agree a jumpsuit can leave you feeling rather vulnerable when you need to visit the loo, I figured that I would probably only wear it during the summer months and it wouldn't be any worse than going to the bathroom in a bikini! Totally normal for summer right?
I decided that my first version needed to be beach/weekend wear, so went with the top of version 1 and the shorts from version 2 - lengthened to me more age appropriate for me. I added 2" to the length of the pattern shorts.
The real scary thing was the pant - cause I so haven't got my head around what part of the pant pattern needs to be adjusted when it doesn't fit properly/comfortably, arrrrgh! The girls at By Hand London held a sew-along not long after the pattern was released. I didn't sew along exactly but I was paying attention when they covered 'full and flat butt adjustments'. This is an interesting one, because while I don't have the outward curve of a 'young' butt I have really wide hips.
I made a 1/2" flat butt adjustment, and then added 1/8" to the side seam at the high hip. The fit seemed to be good but the crotch felt a bit low, although I wasn't really sure where it should be! So after wearing my muslin around for a little bit I thought I needed to remove 1/4" horizontally, which I did across both the front and back pattern pieces at the high hip.
Is it weird to say 'look at my butt'?!? Maybe the more appropriate thing to say is 'look how well the pant falls over my backside', lol! I'm pretty happy with the final fit, although I now realise that the back crotch could do with some more depth - I can feel it tighten when I bend over.
The flat butt adjustment also fixed the side seam which was leaning toward the front instead of staying perpendicular to the floor. I still haven't got my head around the engineering of it all, but it worked for me and that is the main thing :-)
I chose this really dreamy rayon from my stash that I picked up at the Arthur Toye closing down sale earlier in the year - the drape is ideal. I wasn't going for perfect pattern matching, but I did attempt to look at the pattern placement on the fabric before cutting. As it turned out the pattern matching across the back three pieces was pretty bloody fantastic!
The fabric was kinda transparent, especially if I stood in the sunlight, it almost became completely sheer - and given I'm planning on wearing this to the beach I opted to line the whole jumpsuit with a really light weight acetate I had in the cupboard. As you can see from this picture you can almost see through the lining as well. Together they provide just the right amount of modesty while remaining light weight.
I constructed both the shell and the lining, then attached them across the neckline of the front piece, understitching on the inside. The back and the armholes are encased in the bias binding, with the short lining is hemmed 1" shorter than the shell.
I interlined the back pieces with some poly/cotton scraps to give it a bit more structure.
Overall, I am pretty happy with my first Holly playsuit. I've already got a second one in the pipeline - this one will be the long pant version, staying true to version 1 of the pattern.
More photos on my Flickr -->