My name is Jen and you can find me on Instagram as @the_stitcher_and_gatherer. I am thrilled to be blogging at Maaidesign today. I made the pattern-of-the-moment, the Zadie Jumpsuit by Paper Theory Patterns, an Indie company based in London. Tara is a professional pattern cutter by trade and it shows with the design of the jumpsuit. It looks seriously amazing on everyone! I tried on my lovely friend Helen's version and fell in love with it. The jumpsuit has a wrap front with ties, side pockets and short or long sleeves.
I chose to make my version using Maaike’s beautiful black pinstripe linen. It is medium weight with great drape and a really subtle pinstripe. I really love the look and feel of linen, but despite owning *quite* a few pieces, I have rarely sewn with it! Sewing this jumpsuit was a real joy, so there will definitely be more linen garments in my future! Although this black linen has, not surprisingly, all been snapped up, Maaike still has the orange colour-way and an amazing white and blue stripe, among other lovely linens.
Linen is a really cool fabric. It is a natural fibre made from the cellulose in the stem of the flax plant. It is actually one of the oldest recorded cultivated plants. Its cultivation requires far less water than plants like cotton, few, if any, pesticides and every part of the plant can be used. Linen is also biodegradable and recyclable, so scores really well environmentally.
Flax fibres are really strong so they stand up to abrasion, meaning Linen doesn’t pill or break easily. And because linen absorbs moisture much better than other fibres, it won’t feel damp and sweaty. There are so many great reasons to sew with Linen, and if you haven’t already done so then I highly recommend you do!
On to my jumpsuit! Having tried on the Zadie, I knew I could get away with sizing down. There is a LARGE amount of ease in the pattern, as it is supposed to be a relaxed fit. I made the size 10 when I really measure between a 12 and 14. I made no alterations…I know right…it’s an awesome pattern! I did do a toile first, because I wanted to check the sewing methods before I cut into my beautiful linen! Yep, I get totally scared that I will ruin beautiful fabric!
I took my trusty 1960’s Elna Lotus travel machine on holiday to lovely Warrnambool with me. So in between manta-ray, seal, koala, emu and kangaroo spotting I sewed up my toile. The machine sews like a dream. In fact I loved the experience so much that I ended up sewing up my black linen Zadie on my Lotus too! The hum she makes is joyful #sewingnerd!!!
I really love this jumpsuit. I know I will wear it for years to come. I chose the short sleeve version, so I can either wear it layered in winter or just as it is on a summers day or for evening wear.
As you can see the lovely black pinstripe linen makes it quite a versatile piece. I feel quite classy when I wear it with heels for an evening out - not a normal feeling for me! As a mum of loads you can usually find me kicking around in jeans and sneakers. But even wearing the jumpsuit with my connies and roll neck makes me feel much more put together than normal. Yes!
I decided to run the stripes in the trouser/pants and the belt vertically, and the bodice and pocket horizontally for added interest!
I cut the back bodice piece on the fold to eliminate pattern matching there. Ha! But actually the linen was a dream to sew with, not shifty at all, so pattern matching across seams really wasn’t too hard. I have these awesome matching seams and pinstripes across the jumpsuit crotch, but sadly no one will get the see that. Unless of course I start randomly practicing my karate kicks in the street…BE WARNED!
I did struggle a little with the bias bound neckline, the instructions have you put it all on in one go. Bias binding is one of those sewing techniques that I cannot get behind. I love the look of it, but I can’t seem to ever get it neat enough to appease my burgeoning perfectionist streak! I managed it by hand basting first. I mean, don’t look too closely, it is far from perfect but it is at least the same on both sides! I must be a glutton for punishment, as I then decided I HAD to bind the sleeves too, instead of the recommended hemming. These went on much more smoothly, thanks to finding a cute little lotus foot, and the lesson I learned from the neckline, te he!
All in all, a highly satisfactory sew - with a winning fabric, pattern, machine, and high-kicking sewist team!! Thanks for having me here Maaike. I am happy to report I will be back further down the track to report on what I make with the most beautiful drapey tencil twill fabric….!