Do you make gifts for your friends and family? I always try to make both my sisters something for their birthdays which means in August and September, I’m always doing some selfless sewing! (Or is it still selfish sewing because it saves me having to buy them other things? Now that’s a puzzler!)
For my big sister Catherine’s birthday, I made her a jumpsuit! We’d both been gushing over a gorgeous 70s inspired one in a store a few weeks prior but there was no chance of either of us buying it – the jumpsuit was taller than us! I knew this was the perfect opportunity to put my sewing skills into good use and make a jumpsuit suitable for a 5’2 human because there really aren’t many around!
I spent some time thinking over the style and design of the jumpsuit. Inspiration struck whilst I was at the Sewing Weekender in August as I got the Tilly and the Button’s Marigold jumpsuit as a freebie in my goodie bag! I knew this was my perfect starting point.
I wasn’t, however, a huge fan of the top half of the jumpsuit – there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s just not my style!
In the end, I decided the best thing to do would be to mix and match with another Tilly pattern, the Bettine dress!
I couldn’t just use the top half of the Bettine exactly as it is and sew it to the pants of the Marigold as there’d be no way of getting into it (although if you did want to achieve that look I think adding on a zip in the centre back could work or even a side zip!) so it took a little bit of hacking and tweaking to get to what I wanted.
A few things I took into consideration when hacking:
- The fact that the waist is elasticated. This meant that I needed to make sure the top could open up to hip/shoulder width so you could get in and out of it. I decided to make the front bodice into a wrap style without fasteners which would open completely.
- The Bettine bodice pattern includes extra length to be used as the elastic casing which wouldn’t be needed here so I’d have to shorten the bodice a bit to compensate.
- Previous adjustments I’d made to Bettine in the past. I prefer a wider kimono style sleeve and widened the sleeve accordingly.
For the bottom half of the jumpsuit I used the Marigold pattern as is – the front and back trouser, pockets and waistband pieces.
For the top half, I started out by tracing out the bodice of the Bettine (front and back). I then cut off 6cm off the bottom of each piece. This gets rid of the casing excess and also a little of the overhang fold which is part of the Bettine design.
If you compare these pieces to the Marigold bodice you’ll find that the lower edges are quite different in width and shaping. What we need to do now is blend the two patterns together so that the Bettine bodice essentially becomes the Marigold bodice at the very bottom.
You can do this with some extra tracing paper taped onto your Bettine piece and overlaying it on the Marigold pattern. Match up the CF/ CB and trace the new line. On the side seams, blend the new line into the old.
The new front bodice now needed to be altered to become a wrap front. To do this I traced the pattern piece onto yet another piece of paper, this time onto a piece which was folded in half. I matched the centre front of the pattern with the fold itself and traced and cut so create a single layer pattern piece of the entire front bodice.
I used the position of the neckline as a guide to draw a line from the right shoulder to the bottom of the left bodice ending about 10 cm from the CF.
For the facings, I used the back bodice facing from the Bettine as it is and cut a new facing using the wrap front bodice pattern as a guide.
I used a gorgeous floral viscose for this project – I LOVED this fabric and was so reluctant to let it go! (Cat you should feel very privileged that I gave I to you! LOL!). I picked it up from The Textile Centre in Walthamstow a while back and I haven’t seen it since!
Sewing up was pretty simple. I finished the top and bottom separately and sewed them together to include the waistband. I pretty much just used the TATB Marigold instructions and substituted the hacked top in place of the actual Marigold top.
I did one fitting to check the hems of the legs and sleeves. I was so relieved everything seems to fit really well straight off the bat!
She does look FABULOUS in this if I do say so myself! I’ve been out and about with her whilst she’s been wearing it and she get asked where it’s from which always leaves me really pleased with myself! 😂
I’ll definitely need to make myself of these at some point too!