Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

A 70s chartreuse velvet Campbell jumpsuit // Seamwork

This project has jumped the blogging queue as I couldn’t wait to share it!

I’ve been dreaming of turning this piece of chartreuse green velvet from The New Craft House into a jumpsuit for months! After spending all that deliberating over what pattern to use and what style to make, I finally settled on my idea and made it last week!

Inspired by the apple green Gucci jumpsuit below, I wanted a 70s style fitted jumpsuit with a zip front and notched lapel. I loved the slightly flared leg though I knew realistically that this probably wouldn’t suit me.

Gucci Spring 2018

I spent a long time deciding on what pattern to use as the base for this. I had narrowed it down to the Fibre Mood Leah, the Closet Core Blanca Flight Suit or the Alice and Co Intrepid Boilersuit. I also toyed with the idea of just drafting it from scratch. In the end I chose not to use any of these and opted to use the Seamwork Campbell jumpsuit! A lot of this decision was down to how much work I wanted to put in to pattern drafting (and cost!) and the fact I already had the Campbell printed and ready to go!

The main thing this pattern had going for it was that it already had the notched collar I wanted. I knew I would just need to exaggerate it a little to achieve my look. But apart from that I knew I’d have to alter a fair bit!

So starting with the Campbell jumpsuit as my base I made the following changes:

  • Narrowed the shoulders by 1.5cm
  • Reduced the bodice length by 1.5cm
  • Added a dart of 3cm to the bodice and trouser on the front and back
  • Removed the button placket and added a seam allowance for a zip
  • Altered the collar shaped for a more exaggerated point
  • Straightened out the leg shape to remove the taper
  • Made a big bicep adjustment of 2.5cm
  • Increased the cap height of the sleeve

I made a toile of these first changes and was pretty pleased with the results. I could see immediately that I still needed to reduce the length in the body and I removed another 3cm from the waist seam alone. I also took out some more width of the side seam essentially grading down two sizes to the waist. The leg shape ended up too wide in this first instance and I shaved it back down to a more acceptable width which ended up more smilies to the original taper. The fashion fabric I was using had a bit of stretch to it so I knew I could lose a bit of the ease that was built into the original pattern.

Despite what seemed to be a lot of further changes to make, I decided to cut straight into my main fabric!

Top tip: I nearly always cut velvets and corduroy with the nap going up (ie it’ll feel smooth running your hand bottom to top and rough going down). I love the depth of colour that this gives and I don’t mind the feel! Always remember that whichever way you choose to go, cut all the pieces the same way!

I used the patch pockets for front and back trouser instead of the weird side seam pocket that comes with the pattern. Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend using the pocket that comes with it as I don’t think it’s secure/ attractive/ long lasting.

The collar and zip insertion was an interesting process for me as I needed to make this bit up as I went! I ended up making up and finishing the collar and notch up to the point of top of the zip and from there I wiggled the zip into place and topstitched it down so it was sandwiched between the main bodice and the facing. Whether there’s a better way to doing this, I’ll never know!

I was lucky that the fitting tweaks I made to it worked first time!

I added a belt to the outfit using a nurses belt clasp and some 50mm elastic. The Campbell does come with a pattern piece for a tied belt and belt loops but I’d run out of fabric to do a belt of any decent length!

For the belt I took a piece of wide elastic and stretched it to a comfortable point around my waist and cut it to size. I essentially made a tube that was twice this length to house the elastic and stitched it together at the ends. After stretching it out a couple of times, it creates an evenly gathered length. I then threaded an end into each side of the belt clasp and topstitched it down. My clasp was a little wider than my elastic so I made my belt the correct width and placed a line of top stitching along the length to get the right width for the elastic. The aim was to reduce too much loosely gathered excess bulk.

It’s not quite the same look as my original Gucci inspo. It’s much more utilitarian than I expected despite the lush velvet substrate! It’s crazy comfortable and I’m so so happy with the fit of it. I’ve got a piece of brown stretch twill that I’m tempted to use to make another one of these already!

Mirror selfie from the new New Craft House shop launch party!

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