What if I told you that I recently sewed myself a pair of pajamas that I wore on a plane, to work, and then to a bar? And that I was appropriately dressed in all cases? You'd say that’s some crazy talk, right? It is crazy. But it’s not just talk. It is A Thing and she is called Sallie. You might be thinking, looking at the picture above, "Umm, you can't sleep in this". Oh but you most certaintly can, ladies and gents. It is that soft and comfy. I didn’t believe it at first either. 

Having tested her Ginger Skinny Jeans, I was happy to try out Heather’s new baby, which she described as an easy make, easy wear knit jumpsuit, culottes, or maxi dress. Aka “secret pajamas”. I thought the pajamas comment was a stretch, but since I don’t own a single jumpsuit I decided to give that view a try. Use a cheapo fabric, give some useful feedback, wear it once or twice, and call it a day. 

Next thing I know, I am wearing it literally all the time. And I mean ALL the time. Getting compliments left and right. And ignoring my summer research job in favor of making a second one. Sallie is addictive and a bad influence. Don’t say I didn’t warn you! 

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Note: Since the pattern changed little after testing my comments below are fully relevant to the final product.
My first Sallie was made from a flimsy navy jersey with unknown contents and poor recovery bought for $1.50/yard from L.A.’s Fabric District. Like I said, I didn’t expect to get much use out of this garment. I hate strapless bras so I chose the V neck tee for the top and taped it together on A4s. But for the pants I used the copy shop pdf. It was my first time using a print shop and I am a convert! It was much cheaper than I expected: the pants, which would have taken hours to tape together, came to only $4.99. All indie designers should have copy shop versions! So far so good. 

Since I like a closer fit I went with my hip size (8), even though my waist and bust are a solid 10. The pants were a breeze, took less than an hour. Crotch and all. I wasn’t sure about the pockets though. My knit was so thin I knew any pockets would be bulky and show through and I would never put anything in them anyway. So instead, I cut out the legs per the pattern but sewed the hip straight down, using a large enough SA to accommodate for the new hip curve. I also left them unhemmed. Yay knits! The fit was spot on. I love them so much I plan to add a waistband and make a few standalone pants. So comfy, even pretzel legs are no problem!


The top is where my stupidity kicked in. I’d never made a self-lined top before so of course I had to mess up almost everything about it. To stabilize the back neckline I used elastic tape for the first time. Why would I try a brand new material on a dark, fragile fabric for a pattern test on a deadline? Good question! Surprise surprise, I was terrible at it. I sewed close to the edge but when I folded it over the elastic wouldn’t bend where the fold was and the edge stuck out. I am guessing I was doing it wrong. I unpicked and re-sewed along the very edge. Better but still annoying. So for the front neckline I used knit stay tape. As Heather warns, if you are a curvy goddess the knit stay tape might not give the V neck enough stretch for an easy Sallie entrance/exit. But if you are a column shape like me you will be fine with knit stay tape. Naturally, with all the commotion of stabilizing I forgot to sew in the back ties. Hello Clover unpicker! 

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The underarms were also a minefield. Did I carefully mark the little underarm dot as indicated on the pattern? Of course not! How important could a little dot be? So, naturally, my seams did not meet up properly and there was tons of puckering in the underarm. Eventually Clover unpicker and I did figure it out but it was not a bloodless struggle. Lesson learned: underarm dots matter!

Next came the waistline. After the debacle with my Onyx Shirt, I was NOT about to ignore my long torso. I added 2 full inches to the bottom of the tee. I was also worried that I might not like the gathering at the waist and figured some extra length would create a horizontal fold that would fall over and cover the waist line. As it turns out, going down a size almost eliminated the waist gather anyway, but it was a good thought.

So with zero experience of joining knit tops and bottoms, did I follow Heather’s beautiful instructions for the waist? Of course not! Why use an elastic casing as suggested, when I can torture myself with the abominable clear elastic tape some more? I sewed that into the seam used to join the pants to the tee, patted myself on the back, and put my new jumpsuit on. 
As can be seen on the left, the extra length in the waist did create a beautifully soft fold over the waist seam, giving it a very classy polished feel IMHO.

But less than 24 hours later I noticed that the elastic had stretched out so much the entire thing was hanging down and the crotch seam was now a good 3 inches too low! Thus I undid the whole thing,  unpicked the elastic tape, took in some of the pants' depth, and sewed a regular elastic casing per the original instructions. Please learn from my errant ways and follow the instructions, at least the first time you make this.

Alas the elastic I used also stretched out a bit and after some wear the waist drops and is no longer "hidden" in a fold of fabric as in the picture above. Next time I will make it a bit tighter. Still, it is not unattractive like this, I don't think, especially if you also have a belt thing going on.


After all my insanity it is surprising how quickly and how gorgeous Sallie #1 came out. 

So gorgeous that I promptly got onto making Sallie #2, with a better, more interesting fabric. Patterned with variably sized, "artisically" uneven, high contrast chevron stripes. That needed to be matched.

To be continued…

 


Comments

06/26/2015 11:03pm

This is gorgeous despite you breaking all the rules during construction! I wouldn't have thought a jumpsuit would be me either, but after seeing yours I think I'm converted!

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06/27/2015 12:56am

Oh yay! I am so excited to hear that! I am so surprised by how much I love it (and wear it) that I want everyone to give it a try. Thank you for your kind words :).

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MELISSA
06/27/2015 12:42am

Oh this is gorgeous, of course, you have the perfect shape to rock a jumpsuit like this. I think my hourglassy pear would look ridiculous

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06/27/2015 12:54am

Oh nooooes! Don't write it off yet! May be give it a try in a cheap dark knit? It's a quick make and you can always just scrap the top, add a waistband and re-use the bottoms for a pair of light pants? Plus Heather herself is a bit of a pear and it looks pretty hot on her: http://closetcasefiles.com/the-sallie-jumpsuit-pattern-and-maxi-dress-sewing-pattern/. It might surprise you! And thank you for the sweet comment :).

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07/06/2015 11:00pm

quite a tale of sewing woes, but the jumpsuit looks absolutely gorgeous on you!

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07/07/2015 8:48am

This is so very lovely Sena!!
I want so badly to make my own now that I've seen you in this one!!
I love your pics!! :)

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07/12/2015 2:07am

Nice write-up, thanks for that data. It is very full data. I will bookmark for future reference.

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