Hello, my lovely readers, I’m very thrilled to show you my border print jumpsuit.
Technically, I sewed it before the Zadie Jumpsuit but I could only reveal it to you now. This border print jumpsuit is my first contribution for the Minerva Maker Blog and it went online today.
This gorgeous border print viscose jersey was sent to me free from Minerva Crafts, in exchange for a blog post. So head over to the Minerva blog and read all about the fabric, the pattern I used, the sewing process, and more photos.
Only if you’ve been living on a desert island for the last six months you are not aware of the sewing storm the Zadie Jumpsuit from Paper Theory Pattern has caused. On Instagram alone, there are at this moment about 1700 posts with the #zadiejumpsuit!
When I first saw the pattern, I was intrigued by it but at that time I was sewing another jumpsuit for the Minerva Crafts Blogger network. (This post will come online on July 10!) So the need to sew a Zadie Jumpsuit got a little diffused.
Then the ‘Sew Together for Summer 2019‘ challenge opened and guess what was the focus? A jumpsuit of course! This brought the idea of sewing the Zadie back to live. But the thing that really got me started was the message I received from Gerda, @three_eight_cake to sew together a Zadie Jumpsuit with some other Belgian sewists (Melissa, @floating_sewist, and Kirstin, @smallbobbins). We even talked about meeting and shooting some pictures together with our Zadies. Unfortunately, it was a bit difficult to find a date. But I sewed a Zadie Jumpsuit and I am super thrilled with it!
The Zady Jumpsuit pattern
Why is this such a good pattern? First of all, no need for buttons or a zip! The jumpsuit wraps around the body and fastens with a tie at the waist. Secondly, it has a relaxed fit. These two features make it an uncomplicated sew.
Due to the relaxing fit and based on the finished garment measurements, I cut out size 16 and didn’t grade between sizes.
The pattern is drafted for the height of 170 cm and I’m 180 cm so I had at least to lengthen the bodice. I did so with 2 cm at the provided line on the pattern piece and I took 1 cm extra seam allowance at the hem of the bodice.
To check if the crotch depth was long enough I pinned together (half) the pattern and tried it on. I raised my arms and the tissue paper tore a bit at the crotch. The message was clear: I also had to lengthen the crotch line with 2 cm.
At last, I lengthened the legs with 10 cm because I want to be able to wear this jumpsuit in the colder seasons.
One of my sewing goals for 2019 is to shop my fabric stash. So I browsed through my collection and found this eggplant crèpe that I bought last September at ‘The Fabric Sales‘. I remember now that I bought it with a jumpsuit in mind.
I only had 2,50 m of this fabric and with all the lengthening I had to do there wasn’t enough fabric for the pockets. So I used a remnant of the silk of the Kingfisher Top for the pocket facings. And even these remnant pieces weren’t big enough so I had to divide the pocket pattern into 3 pieces.
The sewing process
Paper Theory Patterns itself announces the sewing of the Zadie Jumpsuit as a quick and an easy sew and they are right. The instructions are concise and clear. I followed the work sequence except for one step! I always immediately staystitch all the curved and slanted seams. In the instructions, it happens after already having manipulated the bodice a few times.
After sewing the bodice and the trousers part separately I pinned it to form the jumpsuit and the fit was spot on. This asked for a happy dance!
To attach the binding I used a zillion pins and this also worked perfectly.
It’s a cliché but I am JUMPING of joy for my Zadie Jumpsuit! Everything is great about it: the design, the feel, the fit, the comfort when you wear it, the compliments people give you, the sewing… In short, a sewing project that only gives you happiness!
Will I sew more Zadies? I am really tempted but my sewing queue is SEW long so I think it is not going to happen in the foreseeable future.
Are there still people who haven’t made a Zadie Jumpsuit? If you are hesitating I can strongly commend to go for it!
Can you believe it? This is my 100th blog post! I never would have thought that I would reach this milestone when I pushed that publish button for the first time in December 2016.
Although it wasn’t intentional, it is kind of fun that this 100th post is part of a blog tour which is a first for me. So reviewing the Madrid Dress from Coffee and Thread is the birthday party for my 100th blog post.
The Madrid Dress pattern
The Madrid dress is a Bohemian inspired faux wrap dress or tunic with a tiered skirt. It offers three length options and three sleeve variations and comes in sizes 2-20. It is designed for woven fabrics with drape.
I particularly love the faux wrap bodice of the design and I went for the maxi dress with straight sleeves, not the flared ones.
For the maxi dress, there are 5 pattern pieces and two facing pattern pieces. The pattern is available in A0 format so I let it print by Paternsy.
Based on the finished garment measurements I cut out size 18 and didn’t grade between sizes. Being a tall girl I lengthened the bodice with 3,5 cm. There’s a line on the front and back pattern piece to indicate the best place to lengthen (or shorten) your pattern. But don’t forget you have to lengthen the front facing too, for which there is no line indicated. You can draw it yourself by putting it on the front piece.
To be absolutely sure the maxi dress was a maxi dress I lengthened every tier with 1 cm.
I bought this special African Wax fabric at Goldhawk Road in April 2017. Last year I tried to make a maxi skirt out of it but this went wrong completely. So I’m glad I could recuperate this fabric for the bodice and I had enough left for the tiers. Because, boy you need a lot of fabric for these.
The sewing process
Sewing the Madrid Dress is not difficult. The instructions are concise and clear. Every step is illustrated with crisp designs. I never had to scratch my head to figure out how to go on.
After sewing the bodice I tried it on and I was able to get it over my head although I accidentally closed both side seams. So I decided to omit the blind zipper.
One thing that takes time is the gathering and the sewing of the tiers. Like I said hereabove these tiers are magnum!! You stitch two rows of gathering stitches, one inside and one outside the seam allowances. I use a different colour in my bobbin when I stitch gathering stitches. This makes it easy to know which thread to pull to make the gathers, always the bobbin thread!
I’m SEW happy with my Madrid Dress! It’s the first time in my life that I have a dress with a tiered skirt. And I love it! I wore it already and the width and the fluidity of the skirt make it a dream to whirl. I’m convinced this dress is going to see a lot of wear this summer.
One thing though to be careful about is when you descend stairs to be aware that your husband isn’t close behind you because he already stepped twice on the third tier!!
If you are looking for a Bohemian inspired faux wrap dress or tunic with a tiered skirt go for the Madrid Dress from Coffee & Thread.
So thank you, Olga and Claudia, for taking me in on this blog tour.
During the tour, Olga offers 25% off on any of the
Coffee & Thread patterns with the code ‘madridtour’
Many many moons ago, somewhere in 2013, I pinned a picture of a skirt on Pinterest. I loved it so much that I made it the front picture of my ‘Skirts Board’. Also many moons ago, in March 2014, I bought two pieces of fabric to recreate this skirt. And then this project got buried in my sewing queue…. until two weeks ago.
Then Me-Made-May 2019 came along and I created three wardrobe capsules. With my third wardrobe capsule, I gave myself a bonus: “I could replace any of the selected garments with a freshly sewed garment.” And boom! Out came the idea of sewing this Mashup Skirt out of the depths of my sewing queue!
The Mashup Skirt pattern
Although the example skirt is an A-line I decided to make a flared skirt because I love flared skirts just a tiny bit more. I used one of my oldest flare skirtpatterns that I sewed already a zillion times!
The only adjustments I had to do to the pattern was to divide the front and back pattern piece in two to be able to get it out of the limited fabric I had. Only 0,5 m of each colour!!
I cut the pieces out the two fabrics to achieve an even coloured left and right side.
A scallop button placket
The one thing I had to draw myself—and alas drawing is not my strongest feature—was the scallop button placket. How did I do it? I drew a template of one scallop and used this to compose a string of scallops on tracing paper. I included an 0,75 cm (presser foot width) seam allowance. Then I had a scallop button placket pattern!
The Mashup Skirt fabric
Like I said hereabove I bought this midweight linen at the Stoff Schnäppchenmarkt in Cologne in March 2014! So this project definitely counts as a stash buster project! I bought two pieces of the same quality in two different colours. I think this helped with the success of this project. But what was I thinking when I bought only 0,5m of each colour!?!
For the button placket and waistband, I used a leftover from the curtain fabric of my Seamwork Brooklyn skirt. For the back of the button placket, I took some black lining. This reduced the thickness.
The Sewing Process
Sewing a flared skirt is rather easy. The new thing and the feature to focus on here is the scalloped button placket.
I cut out two plackets: one in fabric and one in black lining. I stitched them together using my presser foot as a guide.
Before turning the scallops I clipped and notched the curves. Then I placed the button placket between the two centre front seams. So you stitch through 4 layers of fabric. Here you experience the advantage of using lining for the back of the placket. At the inside, I graded the seams and pressed them open (two seams at each side).
The buttons have a vintage vibe but I bought them new at my local haberdashery shop. I sewed them on with my machine after stabilizing them with wonder tape at the placket.
Some sewing hickups
When you’re sewing not everything always goes as planned. Sometimes it’s the sewing gods that let you down. Sometimes you just make stupid mistakes. Both happened during sewing this rather simple skirt.
After perfectly putting in the new blind zipper it broke when I closed it for the first time!! This never happened to me before. The only thing you can do then is rip it out and put a new one in!
When I serged the hem the last scallop got to the wrong side. Totally my own fault! Not enough focus.
At first, I hemmed the skirt as narrow as I could. Remember the small pieces of fabric I had. Then, when I saw the pictures I found it a bit ridiculous to hem through half a scallop. So I cut off about 3 cm and rehemmed the skirt. This gave a much better look.
I’m SEW happy with my Mashup Skirt! I’m a little proud of myself f I or realising a design today that I had in my mind since 2014! And it came out just as I imagined. It’s been two weeks now since I finished the skirt and I already wore it a lot. It’s a pleasure wearing it and it’s suitable for many occasions.
Will I make another one? Maybe? I don’t know if I want a second or more Mashup Skirts in my wardrobe.
So at the end of May, it means that not only I did I finish my third wardrobe capsule but I finished my total wardrobe capsule experience. Below, you can read how it went.
Spoiler: I loved it!
My third capsule: ‘Everything goes’
The only parameter for the ‘Everything goes’ capsule was that it had to be me-made. The previous capsules contained also some rtw clothes, so this time I wanted it to be 100% me-made.
I gave myself a bonus: ‘If I would finish a new garment within these 10 days I could change with a previously selected one’.
I documented every outfit with a photo on Instagram. Click on the links of the days. Below you see my overview starting with day 1 in the left upper corner.
How did I feel about the-everything-goes-wardrobe capsule?
I must admit that when I selected these 10 garments that I was a bit skeptical that I would manage to make 10 different combinations. But I did! More, I am very pleased with the result. Of course, the new skirt— which I wore 3 times—gave me more combinable options than the Snowball high neck dress.
A second reason why it went so well is that 5 of the 10 garments were solids. That really expands the possible combinations.
Again there were a lot! I think it had been a year since I wore the Seafarer top and the Julia Sweater. So all these pairings were new and I renewed my love for both tops. I will definitely grab them more out of my closet in the future.
Me-Made-May 2019 Wrap
I told you already I so loved my approach to Me-Made-May this year. Not only did I wear at least one me-made garment each day of May but these all belonged to one of the three wardrobe capsules I created. Creating wardrobe capsules was new for me and I followed the guidelines of the 10 x 10 style challenge. I recommend these if you thinking about creating one for yourself.
I’m particularly proud that I was able to dress fit for all the occasions of life for 30 days and I never changed outfits during the day. There were even 4 flights last month.
Another benefit is that I discovered several new combinations I could make with my garments.
I’m a happy sewist who has a fond memory of Me-Made-May 2019!
I documented every outfit with a photo on Instagram. Below you see a capture of my grid and I love the ‘Something Red’ vibe it radiates. My overview starts with Day 1 in the right-under corner.
How did I feel about the red wardrobe capsule?
First of all, I’m not particularly fond of the colour red. It’s not a colour that I gravitate to. So I’m rather proud of myself that I could make this work and enjoyed doing it. I managed to dress with something red 10 days in a row and my dressing was fit for all the occasions of my life. Teaching, dinner with friends, lazy day, school meeting… Even the chilly weather could be attacked by wearing red tights and my cardigan. By the way, this red cardigan is the winner of this capsule. I wore it 3 times!
There were several! The African Wax Brooklyn skirt paired with the colour blocked Seafarer top is absolutely a winner. I also enjoyed the pairing of the same skirt with the red striped Ali sweatshirt. I’m sure I will wear these combos again!
My third capsule: Everything goes!
For my third capsule, I wanted it to be 100% me-made. So I couldn’t work around one colour, although blue seems to be a little dominant. I call it the ‘Everything goes with everything’ capsule.
It’s the 12th of May today, which means that I finished my first 10 x 10 style challenge for Me-Made-May 2019. You remember that for this years Me-Made-May I levelled up my pledge a little. Instead of picking a random me-made garment every morning, I created three wardrobe capsules.
Below, you can read how it went and how my second wardrobe capsule looks.
Did I succeed in my first wardrobe capsule?
I did! I managed to dress 10 days in 10 outfits that were combinations of the 10 items I selected for my Green & Black capsule.
I documented my outfit every day with a photo on Instagram. This is a capture of my grid so Day 1 is in the right under corner.
How did I feel about it?
First of all, I am a little proud of myself that I made it and at the end of the ride I enjoyed it. There was some unusual chilly weather some days and that annoyed me a little. Without my pledge, I would have worn something else these days. Here the black V-neck pullover came to the rescue. I wore this and the black T-shirt for three days. So that makes them the winners of this capsule.
My striped Nanöo top was only combinable with the grey skirt so that makes it not a very good capsule member.
Although I’ve worn the greenish box pleat skirt a zillion times before, I’ve never combined it with black tops before. I’m sure I will wear this combo again.
This challenge also brought back my love for the grey Seamwork Brooklyn skirt made out of a curtain sample. The combo with the very old RTW rib cord turtleneck is also new and a winner.
My second capsule: Something red 💃🏻💃🏻
So it is time to compose my second capsule. I dug in my closet once more and although it is evident to select separates—as they are easier to mix and match—I selected three dresses. It turned out an eclectic selection again, but that is my wardrobe.
Ten garments with something red in it. This capsule is 90% Me-Made. I’m glad I could increase this percentage, the Black & Green capsule was 60%. For the third capsule, I’m going for 100%
It’s the beginning of May and traditionally that is the start of the sewing community festival month! Hurray! This year it’s the TENTH year that the sewing community celebrates the Me-Made-May challenge. Zoe, the founder and hostess, describes it as a way to improve your relationship with your handmade wardrobe. You can read all about it on her blog.
My Me-Made-May history
This is my fourth Me-Made-May that I actively participate in. MMMay16 is only documented on Instagram but you can read about my MMMay17 and MMMay 18 on the blog. To challenge myself I’ve tried to increase my pledge every year. However, last year I found that I’d reached my limit pledge-wise and it didn’t feel as much of a challenge anymore. I wear my me-made clothes every day, sometimes combined with some old RTW’s. I stopped buying clothes—besides underwear, tights, and socks—in May 2015. So that’s why I wanted to level up my pledge a little, make it more challenging.
My Me-Made-May 2019 pledge
I, Wis from www.whatisew.be and @wis_g, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’19. I endeavour to wear at least one me-made garment each day for the duration of May 2019.
I do not pick random garments each morning but I select garments out of the wardrobe capsules I create especially for this May 2019.
What is a wardrobe capsule?
I got this idea of creating three wardrobe capsules for Me-Made-May from Alex from Sewrendipity. Last year she created three wardrobe capsules to wear during May 2018.
So how does it work?
The Me-Made-May wardrobe capsule is based on the 10 x 10 style challenge from Lee Vosburgh from StyleBee. “The concept is essentially a mini capsule closet of 10 items that you work with for 10 days, creating new looks and styling your clothes in ways you might not otherwise try.”
The rules are simple:
Create 10 outfits with the 10 pieces you selected to wear the next 10 days. Just what I needed to take my Me-Made-May challenge to the next level. I’m going to create three consecutive capsules with outfits to wear between 2-11 May, 12-21 May, and 22-31 May.
My first capsule: Green & Black
So I dug into my closet and came out with 10 garments that could fill my ‘Green & Black’ capsule. I found it not so simple as there are several parameters that I had to think about:
the chilly weather that is predicted for the next 10 days
two short flights
several teaching days
a long weekend at our holiday house
Nine garments are green(ish)/black(ish). I allowed my jeans jacket in this capsule because I find jeans neutral and handy for travelling and for chilly days. The capsule is 60% Me-Made. I’m a bit disappointed by this number but I know that I lack in self-made tops. I will try to increase my Me-Made percentage in the next capsules!
On the first day of my Green & Black capsule, I wear my Nanöo top and Seamwork Brooklyn skirt. 100% Me-Made!
Woohoo! January is rolling like a high-speed train and February is already peeping over the horizon. So it’s high time for the last part of the #sewingtop5: Reflections and Goals!
2018 Sewing Reflections
Some things I learned about my sewing in 2018!
#1 The joy of basting
Basting does not slow down your sewing, but, it helps your sewing. I bast both by hand and by machine. Basting by hand gives you control over these difficult, sometimes curved, seams. I also baste my zippers when I’m using challenging fabric like pleather or if I want the print to match.
You can also baste with your sewing machine. Herefore I use a straight stitch with stitch length 5. This is very handy when you’re sewing with knit fabrics. I always machine baste neck bindings and sleeves. This way you can see the result and eventually, make some corrections. Afterwards, it’s easier to put these basted seams under your overlocker.
Once in a while, I baste the whole garment—even put in a zipper— with stitch length 5. Especially when I am a bit unsure about the fit. I make sure that then I have some extra seam allowance.
#2 The joy of hand sewing
It goes in fact hand in hand (!) with the joy of basting! Last year I often sewed some parts of the garments by hand. Usually the finish of the waistband. I find it easier than stitching in the ditch at the front side and trying to catch the seam at the back. It was Brooks Ann Camper on the ‘Love to Sew Podcast‘ who inspired me to do more hand sewing. She said: “It’s much easier and faster to unpick hand sewed stitches than machine sewed stitches!”
#3. The joy of making a muslin!
I made a muslin for my Vogue 9075 Jumpsuit. Being a tall girl I did want enough ease in my jumpsuit to be able to put my arms up when wearing it. Making a muslin is a bit more time consuming than basting but it so worthed when you preview fitting issues.
#4 The joy of prewashing your fabric!
Like I told you in my 2018 misses I did not have the routine to prewash all my fabrics. This led to the minor disaster that some of my me-made garments shrunk after being washed! So after that calamity, I prewashed all my fabrics!
#5 The joy of measuring!
I totally embrace the saying: ‘Measure twice, cut once‘! I do this now systematically. I measure all my pattern pieces and compare the results with my measurements. Sometimes I pin them already together to omit the seam allowances in my calculations. I find this very rewarding because I often use patterns intended for woven fabrics with knit fabrics and vice versa.
2018 Sewing Goals
Well, here I am going to be very brief. I only have one sewing goal for 2019. Actually, there are two!
#1 Finish all—ALL—my UFO’s and WIP’s!
I’m not going to list all the UFO’s and WIP’s I collected the last 4 years— yes, I know some of them are that old! At the beginning of 2019, I had 9 of them.
Today, 3 weeks into the new year, I’m happy to report I already finished three of these sewing projects. Including the boxers for my sons which I started in September 2016!
#2 Don’t create new WIP’s!
This is also a simple goal. In 2019, and for the rest of my sewing life (hmm!), I am going to try not to start a new sewing project when the one I’m busy with is not finished!
Do you think that’s too ambitious? We will see next year!
Next up in the ‘Sewing Top 5‘ are the 2018 misses & highlights!
M i s s e s
“Misses” is a very elastic concept! It could be some projects that totally went wrong, or that you didn’t wear. It’s also possible that you have sewed your garment ok but that when you wear it doesn’t feel like you. Or maybe you destroyed it by accident!
These are my 5 misses in random order.
#1 The Highland Wrap Dress by Allie Olson
This pattern checks a lot of my boxes: a sleeveless, maxi, V-neck wrap dress. Perfect for hot Summer days. So I started sewing it last June. In fact, if I had participated in the #sewtogetherforsummer, I would have chosen this pattern.
What went wrong? I think the type of fabric is wrong. This rayon gives the dress an airy and drapey feel but it made it very hard to sew it. But I kind of managed it until I got at one of the final stages: the arm facings. Here it went all kind of bumpy and I only finished one arm. And the bodice turned out too big.
What can I do about it? Unpick the already finished arm facing and redo it to make a crisp finish.
#2 The Kabuki Tee from Paper Theorie
It is really with pain in my heart that I put these two Kabuki Tees under my misses. I adore the pattern; I used two of well-loved fabrics; I like the challenge of sewing the angels; I like them on hangers and still, I’m not happy wearing these Kabuki Tees.
Why? I think the boxy shape of the pattern is not suitable for my body type? When I see other sewists wearing it—check #kabukitee on Instagram— and looking good in it, everyone is kind of thin.
What can I do about it? Maybe I could wear them so that they’ll grow on me? I do have some fabric left so maybe I could lengthen them with a border?
#3 The shrunk Mesa dress
This happens when you don’t prewash your fabric. There’s a risk that your garment will shrink in the laundry! As a result, this Mesa dress is at its shortest now! Luckily it’s a summer dress so it’s still wearable but I can’t pick up something from the floor.
What can I do about it? Maybe I could lengthen it with a strip of fabric.
Note to myself: Prewash all your fabrics!
#4 Maxi Brooklyn Skirt
I lengthened the pattern of the Seamwork Brooklyn Skirt—which I already made severaltimes to a maxi skirt. I thought I did it correctly by adding substantial length to the hem. I measured it accurately but apparently, I did something wrong. Anyway, what was I thinking because I know that you can’t lengthen a half-circle skirt in this way.
What can I do about it? I am going to reuse this fabric for a jumpsuit I am planning to sew this Summer.
#5 Creating (more) WIP’s
This was already one of my misses last year 🤦🏻♀️! I’m glad though I finished two of them. I reused the fabric of the sweater for my son and finished the Hudson pants for my daughter-in-law. Alas, I created some new ones. So this is going to be my goal for 2019: finish all (ALL!) my WIP’s and don’t create new ones.
H i g h l i g h t s
Life isn’t only about sewing! Or is it? So here are my non-sewing highlights of 2018. If you are a regular reader of this blog then you will notice that these highlights not so different than those of last year. Except for number 1 of course!
#1 The birth of our first grandson M.
This is THE highlight for us for 2018! The first part of the year there was the excitement of the anticipation and after his birth, he brought so much love and joy to our family. We all adore him and love him to pieces!
Of course, it’s super fun to sew all these cute little clothes for him!
#2 Podere Santa Pia
Staying at our holiday home—Podere Santa Pia—in the South of Tuscany, Italy keeps being the best thing of our life. It’s even better if we are there together with family and friends. To keep the memory alive we take a goodbye picture every time we are leaving this paradise: #ciaosantapia.
#3 Spending time with family and friends
2018 was an intense family year. There was the 85th birthday of my father, the 80th birthday of my mother, the 60th anniversary of my parents-in-law, the birth of two little babies, and two big family gatherings: one at my husband’s side of the family and one at my side of the family. And of course, the pizza nights with my crowd. These were all great days!
#4 Starting to walk
I am so not into sports. I have absolutely no talent for it but I wanted to improve my condition. So last September I started to walk with the ambition to walk every day. And I am succeeding. The last 4 months of 2018 I walked about 5000 steps each day. For me, that’s 100 % more than before! I love doing it and I do feel an improvement of my condition. Also, it’s nice to take these walks in the city and often my husband is accompanying me. Last year we had real luck with the warmest autumn since ever so that made these walks even more agreeable.
#5 Visiting musea
I can be totally flabbergasted by seeing a good art show. This year I had the pleasure to see two interesting art shows at the Museum De Pont in Tilburg. First, at the beginning of the year, there was the Jubilee show, Weerzien, which showed all their acquisitions. Later, in May, we visited the Sean Scully and Rineke Dijkstra show. Both shows gave me a lot of food for the soul!