Monday, March 15, 2021

Double Cotton Gauze Fern Jumpsuit

My birthday was in February, and because he's awesome, my husband bought me a Mood Fabrics gift card. Browsing through their freebie patterns, I ended up seeing the Fern Jumpsuit, and fell in love. Their recommended fabric was a double cotton gauze, and when I checked it out I saw that it came in something like 40 colors. Even better, it was crazy affordable. 

I settled on Royal Blue for my jumpsuit, but I also snagged a bit of Rosewood for funsies. The pattern directions called for 5 yards...I assumed that was crazy pants. I've never used 5 yards of fabric for anything! Being cheap, I ordered 3 yards and assumed I'd be fine. I was wrong, but I could've gotten away with 4 yards I think. 

Video of me unboxing this fabric

One disadvantage of a free pattern is that it can be missing something useful like a finished garment size. My measurements on top put me in the 4/6 range, but it ended up WAY too big. I do think the model is wearing it with a lot of ease, but unless you stand in the same dramatic poses you'll look like you're wearing a sack. The top is essentially a fully lined Ogden Cami...I should've just used that pattern as I've already worked out the fitting. I didn't have enough fabric to make it fully lined, so I used facings exactly like the Ogden.

For the pants, I measured in the 8/10 size. Since the top and pants are gathered together it didn't really matter if I used two different sizes on top and bottom, which was nice. I found the fit of the pants to be fine, although I probably could've gone down a size without issue. I made no changes for length (I'm 5'4") and they may look a touch long compared to the model. Due to the faux ankle placket, you cannot shorten the pants after cutting.

After I assembled the top and bottom, I was super frustrated by how off the fit was for the top. Taking in the side seams was going to make the center front and back V's too wide and deep. I didn't have enough fabric to recut. I thought about finishing the bottoms as elastic waist pants and later making an Ogden for a faux jumpsuit. I thought about setting the whole thing aside, ordering more fabric to recut the top, etc. After sleeping on it (and some side eye from a sewing buddy who questioned the idea of elastic waist pants) I was determined to at least try to rework the top.

I spent some time with it on my new dressform (also a birthday gift), redoing the side seams and also cutting center back and working with a seam there. After almost 9 years of fitting on my body, it was quite a change to be able to fit on a dressform. It was SO much faster!

I ended up shortening the straps, taking in the side seams (at least 1/2" on each side) and narrowing the back via the new center back seam. That much seam ripping and resewing did mean that the final product isn't sewn as nicely as it could've been, but the fit is much improved. I sewed the top to the pants and then created a 1/2" elastic casing from the seam allowance.

Without all the styling I've done in these photos, this jumpsuit does sort of veer into weird pajama territory. I didn't have enough fabric to make the belt, but I plan on picking up another yard next time I order from Mood. The jumpsuit is super comfortable and I imagine the cotton will be lightweight in the summertime. I have a crazy bra that I wear with Ogdens and I've worn it here (from Amazon).

Band-aid from when I stabbed myself with my seam ripper

The pattern directions are minimal and what you see online is what you get. I'm kind of on the fence about recommending this pattern, I like it, but please muslin the top! There was also a labeling mistake, the bodice pieces are both labeled "front bodice" but obviously one is the back. The fabric was not that bad to work with, but it is difficult to rip seams neatly. As far as free patterns go, it does deliver a fairly dramatic style. Kind of a mixed bag all around but hey, a jumpsuit with pockets is worth trying any day.

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