I have long lusted after the Zadie Jumpsuit pattern by Paper Theory having seen so many on Instagram in all sorts of fabrics, and every single one looked great. I was in my mid-forties when I purchased my first jumpsuit and was amazed at how comfortable it was and yet still looks stylish. That seemed like a win win situation and I made a note to add more jumpsuits to my wardrobe.
Attending the workshop cut down my own fitting and fiddling time a huge amount. I was guided by Serefina Taylor (FinaMakes) to make a couple of small adjustments to the pattern before making the toile based on my measurements, and the fit was pretty good. She then pinned out some excess at the back of the shoulder and sleeve, and after making the corresponding paper pattern adjustments, I was pretty much good to go.
I refined the trouser fit a little afterwards which helped raise the low crotch and sized down in the trousers preferring a little less fabric here, as well as shortening the sleeves. You can see my entire fitting process here with photos of my toiles, and further considerations after sewing it having noticed the inseams were twisting forwards.
I had some beautiful Japanese fabric from Japan Crafts that my sister had gifted me for my birthday 2.5 years ago, waiting for the right project. It is stunning fabric with metallic gold and I wanted to do it justice.
I had 3m rather than the 3.2m specified in the pattern but knowing I had shortened the length of the trousers and sleeves, I thought it would fit OK. It was actually a lot tighter to fit all the pieces on than I anticipated and I was considering leaving it at the short sleeved version, but after some jiggling I just about managed it.
I'm not a huge fan of stay stitching as I do wonder whether I am distorting the fabric in the process, so instead of stay stitching the neckline, I applied Prym forming tape interfacing, after reading a blog post by Sew Dainty, who had done this on hers. I already had this in my stash but hadn't used it yet and found a useful video by Lauren Guthrie about how to use it.
It is a strip of lightweight interfacing with a chain stitch sewn closer to one edge to prevent it stretching. This particular tape is 12 mm wide and the binding that will be sewn over it will be 10 mm wide. I didn't want the tape to show and so I trimmed off a few millimetres from the edge away from the chain stitch.
I did this for the two front and two back neckline pieces.
Below is the trimmed section against the original tape. After trimming, the chain stitch ended up more in the middle of the strip, but if you're not trimming it the chain stitched edge should sit closer to the raw edge of the fabric.
The pattern instructions guide you to stay stitch after assembling the bodice, but I didn't want to risk any stretching and so I did this right at the start. I had a little bit of bunching around the tight curve of the bodice, but the tape is very lightweight so this wasn't an issue.
When sewing up the toile at the fitting workshop, Fina advised sewing the pleats on the trousers, then pinning the bodice to the trousers pinning the bodice pleats to match. I thought this was a great idea to make sure it all lined up. It's not perfect but likely much better than otherwise.
I sewed a French seam for the base of the pocket, taking a few more mm in the second pass to ensure it was enclosed since the 1cm seam allowance was a bit tight.
I reinforced the pocket openings with interfacing, knowing they’d be used a lot. I had 3 different types of lightweight interfacing and fused a small strip of each to some scrap fabric to see which I preferred the handle and weight of. I ended up using the Vlieseline H180, a lightweight non-woven fusible interfacing as it changed the feel of the fabric the least.
I cut 4 strips, 2cm shorter than the length of the pocket opening and 1cm wide. I didn't want the interfacing in the seam allowance hence cutting it shorter. I fused them 1cm from the edge of the fabric on the pocket pieces and front pieces, where the opening would be.
I did a narrow zigzag stitch to reinforce the upper edge of the opening. It wasn't my neatest sewing here, but it will do the trick.
When attaching the bodice to the trousers, I initially pinned the edges of the fabric together at the free ends (where the wrap section is). I then remembered that bias binding will be attached to this edge running smoothly from the bodice to the trousers. It therefore meant that the seam lines on the bodice and trouser need to meet, not the raw edges. I therefore measured the 1cm seam allowance and pinned it here instead. The notches would match up here to help, but it was more important to me that the edge was smooth than the notches match, since they were slightly off for me.
I reinforced the waist seam where the belt hole is with a couple of extra rows of stitching.
I was lucky enough to have been gifted a bias tape maker by a local sewing teacher which really helped with the wrap section, plus it is just a joy to watch it work its magic.
After a couple of dodgy starts at the crotch, I started the sewing a couple of inches further up, finishing both ends at the crotch with hand stitching. It wasn't the neatest round the back but on the front it was a much better result than I had achieved with the machine.
I followed the advice of Fiona Parker of Diary of a Chainstitcher to open up the binding and sew to the wrong side, before folding it over the front to topstitch.
This felt much more controlled and it didn't matter whether I had caught the binding on the reverse. I trimmed the seam allowance before folding it over.
To topstitch the binding an even distance from the edge, I tried the edge stitch foot but the fabric was less secure under the foot so a little harder to control. I switched to the normal foot and the straight stitch plate. I also stuck a bit of washi tape to the foot which really helped me line up the fabric.
The most challenging part of this project was trying to attach it smoothly to the bodice curve close to the belt. Part of this may have been due to the fact that I had attached the belt too high up (see below) so there was additional bulk.
Once I'd finished attaching the binding, I realised I'd sewn the belt too high. When attaching it, I had matched the pointed raw end to the waist seam and did not take into account that it would be folded back on an angle, which made it about 1cm above the waist seam.
This wouldn't matter so much on the left side of the bodice as it would be hidden under the wrap, but I could see it sat too high on the right piece and so decided to unpick both and redo them. To make sure I positioned the belt correctly this time, I did the topstitching first and then folded the raw edge under the binding before sewing that.
Knowing how tricky this was the first time round, I went really slow by just turning the hand wheel and adjusting after each stitch if needed. Since I only unpicked this small section I sewed the front and back of the binding in one go. There was a small section of binding I didn't catch on the back which I then secured with a fell stitch. I was really pleased how this turned out considering all the trauma this area had been through.
With this being a special garment, I wanted the insides to look nice and with having to pretty much undress to go to the toilet, I knew I’d be seeing the insides a reasonable amount. I ended up using 3 different types as I encountered a couple of issues as I went along.
Starting with the bodice, I decided to go with Hong Kong binding, having loved the look of this on my Sienna Maker Jacket. I also considered using normal double folded binding, but I liked that the line of stitching didn’t show on the HK binding.
I didn’t really find anything within my stash that I thought would match, so I went with the same fabric using the last bit of scraps I had. This is a photo of the centre back seam.
I did the same on the shoulder, armhole and bodice right side seams.
After doing the side seam, I found it a bit bulky in the underarm area and I was struggling to press it flat so I switched to overlocking on the left side and sleeve seams.
I then used some leftover Liberty lawn on the leg and waist seams. Since these seams would be bound together, it wouldn't look so odd with both floral designs adjacent to each other as opposed to a single seam allowance. I made sure I didn't extend the binding into the seams and hem area to reduce bulk. However, I forgot that this would make for an odd gap where the vertical trouser seams met the waist seam as it would be pressed upwards.
I knew the waist seam could be bulky but with the belt going round it, I didn't think it would be an issue.
I was umming and ahhing about whether to use HK binding on the crotch and got some good advice on The Fold Line Facebook group. I was wondering whether it would create too much bulk, but the crotch is low and loose so I went with it. When it came to meeting the other binding continuing from the neckline, I folded the raw edge of the HK binding underneath at the end.
I had done the HK binding so it pressed to the left on the crotch just as a random decision, but later on realised it was better to press it to the right to encourage the overlap of the wrap in the right direction.
When I came to hemming the trousers, I realised I'd miscalculated where to finish my HK binding down the trouser side seams so it would be within the hem. I knew the hem allowance was 4cm so I doubled this knowing it would be folded up by this amount, so stopped my binding 8cm from the raw edge. I had forgotten that it is turned under 1cm, so I should only have stopped it 7cm short.
I tried using the 'invisible' method as seen on a Kylie and the Machine Instagram post to attach my label. It was a bit fiddly but worked really well. I used a fine Prym Aqua Trick Marker to highlight the fold lines on the inside to make it easier to see where to sew. I just used fabric glue as seen in the video without the pin.
This is a pattern that will definitely get made up again. I have seen many other versions in different fabrics, drapey viscose and velvet, both of which I would love to try with a full length trouser for a more formal look. It is a bit inconvenient going to the toilet, and I need to figure out a way of avoiding the belt dragging on the floor or ending up in the toilet bowl, but these are things I am more than willing to put up with.
What I love
The fabric / pattern combo. I was destined to love whatever garment was made from this fabric.
I love the design of this pattern and can see multiple versions in my future. It is so comfortable to wear and yet looks stylish and put together.
The wrap front looks great without me feeling exposed.
The belt is a nice feature that makes fitting around the waist easy with no fiddly zips or buttons.
Things I'd change next time
I would check the balance of the trousers to see whether this was causing twisting of the inseams (see my fitting post).
I would plan all my seam finishes in advance for a more cohesive look on the inside, binding the hems as well.
I have no affiliations, I'm just a keen buyer and user. A UK supplier may be linked, please try to source items from your favourite independent stores.