I made a jumpsuit! I don't consider myself a jumpsuit person at all and have never found one that fit me. Correction: I have never even tried to find one that fit me. With a smaller chest, long torso, and wider hips I just wrote it off pretty quickly. One piece outfits aren't typically made with those measurements in mind.
However, my brother-in-law got married this past weekend and somehow I had it stuck in my head that I just had to make a jumpsuit. Thanks to the wonderful world of Instagram hashtags I found this post and the gorgeous McCalls 7608 jumpsuit pattern!
Then I did what most sane people do: I bought fabric, shoes and a fascinator (fascinator per bride's request but she didn't have to ask me twice!) to go with it. Then I sat on it for months. Because what fun is it to make a fitted bodice jumpsuit pattern that you've never made before if you don't wait until a week before the wedding?
Let me just say--- I needed to make a million alterations to this bodice to have it fit. I'd also like to say that I swear it fit me better than it appears to in these photos. My husband and I were flipping through the yesterday after the final guest had left our house and both of us looked at those wrinkle lines on the bodice and said "huh-- those were there?".
My first inclination was to break out some Photoshop and clean it up because I worked to damn hard on this thing for it to look ill-fitting. But I didn't-- because I worked too damn hard on this thing to pretend it's something that it's not. Fitting patterns to yourself is really difficult. And I am in no way an expert at it (that's why I hired our Garment Teacher, Sarah!). Those drag lines did not effect how comfortable it was, how confident I felt wearing it or how much fun I had while wearing it. Next time I make this pattern I'll hunt down the who, what, when, where, why of them but for now here they are in their full reality!
Back to all my notes: as I should have expected, the first bodice did not fit at all. I cut size 14 per the pattern (my bust was just shy of size 14 and my hips were size 16 but the finished measurements gave plenty of room to cut a 14) and I was swimming in it. My normal course of action is to start prodding at it and make a million changes and THEN realizing I should go down a size. This time I decided to do the smart thing and just go down a size, grading out a little at the waist. So it was size 12 graded to size 14 for the bodice and size 14 for the pants.
The fit was better but it became very clear that I was not about to fit into the space the darts created. So started the third of 6 bodice fittings. Woof. Next time I will take photos every step of the way!
Fit #1: I tackled the back. There was a lot of extra fabric here buckling out at the back of the arms. I ended up pinching out 1" (so 2" total of fabric).
Fit #2: This sent the shoulder way off my actual shoulder so I transferred about 1/2" from the outside shoulder to the inside shoulder.
Fit #3: On to the front bodice. First I tried a Small Bust Adjustment which added a small dart to the side (helped take care of the arm hole gaping but still didn't solve the problem that I had a big bubble where bust should have been.
Fit #4: I took out the waist dart entirely. That big old waist dart just wasn't doing me any favors. I could have taken the waist dart up higher but I prefer darts to end below the apex of the bust, not over it. I sliced from the center of the dart up the arm hole and brought the two legs of the dart nearly completely together. This worked well but definitely made the front flat and not fitted.
Fit #5: Added back in little waist darts. I pinched and pinned and ended up with a waist dart with all of 3/4". Super narrow but solved the issue enough and would later match up well with the pants pleats. A little more tweaking for dart positions after that and I was happy with the front. In the future I'll move them more towards the center. They seemed centered when I was fitting it but the photo are showing otherwise.
Fit #6: Returning to the back, I added much longer and more curved darts. Makes sense because I have a sway back and always need to account for that.
I actually didn't add any length to the bodice (I don't think-- I'm floored that I even remember all of these things that I did!).
Fit #7: With that done I turned my attention to the pants. These were a much easier fit, though I probably could have done another round of adjustments if I had the energy-- or better yet, kept the larger size and eased it into. I felt the rise pulled too much at my crotch and lengthened it a solid 2". It's a lot, but given the balloony nature of the pant leg I figured you wouldn't actually be able to tell where the crotch was. (Luckily my guess was correct).
Fit #8: It still pulled at my butt uncomfortably (oh the things you say when discussing alterations) so I scooped out the back rise more. This is a fix I have to make with most of my pants patterns so I probably should have started there.
Had I stuck with it through one more round of muslins I would have made an alteration to allow more fabric around the hip area. The pleats in the back are supposed to be stitched down about 3.5" but if I did that there would be a weird flare where the stitching stopped. I haven't given it enough thought to figure out exactly what I would do to fix that yet-- just add a chunk of fabric within each pleat maybe?
There was a big inhale when I tried it on-- not because I was sucking it in, but this was a TON of work, DAYS before the wedding and if it didn't fit I was going to be peeved. It fit. Ok, I didn't have the zipper in because of course I didn't have one that matched, but otherwise it looked good.
AND it matched the fascinator that impulsively (but ecstatically) purchased from My Art Deco on Etsy and the shoes that I impulsively (but ecstatically) purchased from ModCloth back in April. This was a total feel good outfit!
Pattern: McCalls 7608
Fabric: Tencel Twill in Mallard from Blackbird Fabrics. I loved this fabric! It was very easy to sew with and has a gorgeous drape and sheen. I was a little worried that it was going to be too heavy and hot (pants legs have more fabric than a skirt-- a questionable choice for a mid-August wedding) but it was very comfortable.
Size: 12 graded to a 14
Next time: Chase down the cause of those wrinkles. Start with larger size pant and ease in. Maybe make fish eye darts in back bodice get rid of that extra back fabric?