Thursday, March 9, 2023

Sezanne-Inspired Fibre Mood Jill

It was hard to pick a title for this post, because my inspiration started in one place, which led me to a pattern to hack, which led to an impossibility in dressing, which led to another hack...anyway. It was a long journey. 

Let's start with the inspo:

This is a jumpsuit that I saw on Pinterest. It's from the designer Sezanne and it comes in a couple different colors. I LOVED the back, the buttons and the little cutout. It looks fairly simple but elegant. I wanted to make one and I wanted it in this exact same emerald green. I studied the online listing and couldn't figure out what kind of fabric it was. I chatted with some sewing friends and eventually landed on a crepe back satin from Mood Fabrics. It's acetate and viscose, which meant that it wasn't a gazillion dollars like a crepe back silk would have been (I refused to make it in polyester). Unfortunately, I cannot find it online anymore, I'm sorry! I ordered back in August of 2022 so it might have been deadstock. The color is forest and it's exactly what I wanted. I used the crepe (non-shiny) side out as the right side.

Fibre Mood Jill hack

With the fabric sorted, I needed to figure out the pattern situation. Eventually, I found my way to the Fibre Mood Jill dress pattern (Loni from Havin Sew Much Fun sent me the link to the pattern, and she helped me find the fabric, so basically this was our brainchild). The back was close to what I wanted, the front was the same except it was gathered instead of having any darts/pleats. A good start.

Fibre Mood Jill hack
This is so wrinkly

For the pants, I pulled out Butterick 5391, which I'd purchased a long time ago. It's got a skirt and a pair of dress pants with four different leg cuts. I chose the wide leg, made them even wider, ignored the waistband and got to work figuring out how to combine the Jill top and the pants into a jumpsuit. I made a muslin of the top and turned that gathering into a vertical pleat in the front. For the back, instead of sewing the two pieces together, I kept them separate to allow for the loops and buttons. 

My muslin in poly crepe,
after I added the waistband

Using a paper pattern, I increased the rise of the pants high enough to sew it into the bodice of my fakey Jill. Between the paper pattern and my muslin I felt okay about cutting into my fabric.

Y'all. I got to a point where I could try something on and there was absolutely no way to get in and out of this jumpsuit alone. To be able to pull the pants section down, you need to be able to undo the back buttons. Maybe other people are more dexterous than me, but I couldn't do it. I laughed SO HARD at myself, watching in the mirror as I desperately tried to work the buttons. 

Fibre Mood Jill hack

Clearly, Sezanne either had some escape method I couldn't find online, or they just designed for the look and not functionality. I wanted to wear this garment to an event about an hour away, and the thought of asking a stranger in the bathroom to undo my buttons so I could pee was just too far. I decided to make it two pieces instead of a jumpsuit.

Fibre Mood Jill hack

At that point, I added a "waistband" to the bottom of the shirt. I had it just meet in the back and it closes with rouleau loops and buttons just like the center back. It's a waistband with a facing and to ensure everything laid neatly,  I did a lot of hand sewing to tack the facing.

Fibre Mood Jill hack
Yes, wrinkled

The pants...well. I wanted them to be super high rise so that my belly wasn't necessarily showing at all times (did I mention the event I was attending was technically a work event for my husband?). Because I had a "waistband" on the shirt, I did not also want a waistband on the pants. I thought it would look too busy. So, I pinched out at the side seams and kept making the pants narrower and narrower at the top to keep them up around my natural waist. I drafted waistband facings. I inserted clear elastic inside the top of the pants. I tried wearing shape wear and tucking the facings into it. I tried double sided fashion tape. All the things.

No matter what I did, the pants would roll at the waist and the facings would sneak their way out. It made me insane but eventually, I ran out of things to try and time in which to try them. The day of the event, I believe I went with a combination of the fashion tape and tucking the facings into shape wear. It was a lot of nonsense. Turns out, 50% of the women at the event had their midriffs out anyway. I should've just leaned into that look (and made the rise lower) OR put a waistband on the pants. 

Fibre Mood Jill hack

Frustratingly, the facings also have a tendency to roll out of the armholes as well. Yes, I understitched everything. I hand-tacked them to the side and shoulder seams inside the garment. Didn't matter. Still rolled. It's really obvious in the photo above.

For all the frustration it gave me, I enjoyed wearing this outfit. It felt nice to be dressed up in pants instead of a dress (my normal go-to for a fancy event). This color was absolutely everywhere so clearly I was on-trend. I made my husband a matching tie from my leftover crepe.

At the end of the night, it turned out to be a very good thing that I was in pants and could easily move around...we went to get in our car in the parking garage and the garage was...closed? It was midnight on a Friday. Nobody else was around. We couldn't drive out. The arm bar would not lift up. There were curbs everywhere so you couldn't go around it. The "help" button went to an office that closed at 2pm. After trying every possible method short of calling the police, we eventually had to call an Uber to pick us up at the parking garage and take us back to our hotel. The Uber driver told us that somebody had definitely been murdered at our hotel, and y'know what, it's probably better that our car was stuck in the garage overnight so it wouldn't get broken into. Cool cool cool. Total disaster. We had to call another Uber in the morning to go back and get our car. 

Right: Nikko top and Victoria Blazer

The event was back in October and since it got cold right afterwards, I didn't wear the outfit again until this spring. I pulled out the pants and did some mixing and matching with other tops in my wardrobe. I think they work well and for whatever reason, they felt more secure (probably I gained a little weight so they're staying up?). It can be fun to play dress up with older pieces and give them new life.

So there you have it, a cautionary tale about finding RTW inspo online. Be careful what you wish for, you may get stuck inside your outfit!

Save 15% on A Sewist's Notebook, now through 
Friday, March 10th with code COOKBOOKS15

1 comment:

  1. Linda (ACraftyScrivener)March 10, 2023 at 6:54 AM

    Too funny! I wonder if the original has a side zip. Gorgeous color, and I love it particularly with the pink!


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