Self Assembly Required

DIY dressmaking + crafts with Emily

Barbie pink playsuit // self drafted

Well it’s been a while hasn’t it?

I didn’t intend on having such a long blogging break. I would start half writing a post and then would just never get round to finishing them or taking nice photos! It’s definitely become less important to me but I still think it’s nice to document my makes. So for the time being I’m going to try to update the blog and write about the bits I’ve made this year but we’ll see what happens in the future and how this space might change.

I’ve been making less this year as well – mostly intentional as I’ve realised I have more than enough clothes! The majority of my wardrobe is me made bar a few T-shirts here and there and I’m actually really happy with what I have. I definitely don’t have the same urge to be making in the same way as I have in the past.

That being said, I couldn’t resist jumping on the Barbie trend and made an outfit to go see the movie!

I picked up the most Barbie of all pink linens whilst on a trip to Birmingham last weekend at Barry’s Fabrics. The mid to heavy weight pure linen was £12/m and, frankly, very good value for money. They had lots of other cheaper linen blend alternatives though none were in the exact pink I had in mind. I hadn’t yet formulated a plan for it but got a cut of 2 metres to play with.

The structured nature of the linen led me down the jumpsuit/ playsuit path and it was a toss up whether to make something like the green velvet one I made here in a boiler suit style (think Barbie mechanic) or to do something a bit more elegant.

I ended up down the elegant route, mostly because I didn’t think I’d wear a hot pink boiler suit again. I found lots of inspiration off Pinterest which is always a great source for ideas.

Source: Pinterest

I really like the idea of the twist top with some wide fit culottes. I knew I didn’t have a pattern for what I wanted exactly so I chose to draft/ hack one myself using what I had to hand.

The top part was made using the Vikisews Timea (more to come on this pattern soon!) as a block – mostly because it was already on my sewing table and I knew it already fitted so I could focus just on design. I had a good idea on how to execute the top and drew on my design lines for a slim shoulder strap and scooped back neckline. I then cut out two paper halves of the front bodice, flipped one upside down and stuck them together at the centre front.

I did a first draft in Swedish tracing paper so I could sew it together and do a rough tissue fit. The changes I needed to make were as expected: an extra dart around the bust and to take out some length from the neckline as I’ve taken a block meant for sleeves and made it sleeveless and more fitted. The tricky bit for me was being able to get the front twist sitting exactly where it needed to be and it took a bit of trial and error to solve this.

I used the shorts of the Simplicity 8635 (which I made here) and lengthened them for the culotte. Funnily enough the pattern actually comes full length but I used the traced short that I had to hand instead so a much easier and quicker option. The short pattern had to be edited slightly to fit the bodice which meant placing two pleats in the back rather than the dart. I also hacked the pocket as I had done previously for a slash pocket over an in seam one.

I added a narrow waistband on the front and back using the measurements from the bodice and shorts and an invisible zip into the centre back.

The top and waistband is fully lined and encased for a nice neat finish. I even hand hemmed the trouser to keep it as tidy as possible! (Though a small part of that might also be to do with the thread I used being not quite a perfect match!).

It could probably still do with some tweaking. If I remade this I’d definitely lower the back by and inch or so as this would give way more drama whilst still being able to wear a bra. There’s also a couple of folds and wrinkles under the arm that I might be able to improve too, though whether that’s worth it or not is a bit debatable.

Overall – a good outcome I think! I definitely feel a bit Barbie in this!

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