Jump Starting my Summer Sewing! The Zadie Jumpsuit by Paper Theory & The Abi Jumpsuit by AK Patterns

Well, the last week or so has certainly proved just how popular Jumpsuit patterns are within our sewing community! There appears to be one clear leader at present, the newly released Zadie Jumpsuit from Paper Theory. So today I have something just a little bit different for you; a guest post from my fellow #sewtogetherforsummer co-host Suzy (aka @sewing_in_spain) talking you through her experience of sewing it up – twice … including a helpful tip with regard to narrow hems! If a woven jumpsuit doesn’t ‘float your boat’ she’s also showcasing her fab knit Abi Jumpsuit from AK Patterns!

So, over to Suzy :

@sewing_in_spain

“Thanks Sarah for inviting me to share my jumpsuit pattern experiences on your blog.

Even before the end of last year’s #sewtogetherforsummer IG challenge, Sarah, Monika and I had already focussed on the jumpsuit as the garment for the 2019 challenge; it was perfectly on-trend and offered a new sewing experience. Although I have to confess, I hadn’t imagined before then that the Jumpsuit was my kind of garment! Still, I jumped at the idea 😉  That’s the beauty of sewing your own wardrobe; we can try new shapes, colours and styles and sometimes we fall in love with the unexpected!

So here are reviews of the two patterns – the Zadie Jumpsuit by Paper Theory and the Abi by AK Patterns – with which I planned to start my jumpsuit journey.

The Abi jumpsuit by AK patterns is a knit garment and a fantastic starting point for newbie jumpsuit makers and wearers!

First off, with its well-proportioned wrap top, I think it’s supremely flattering and it makes even a short(ish) person like myself, look taller.  I chose the wider legs, but the pattern also has an option for tapered legs too: just take a look at #abijumpsuit on Instagram if you want to see how wonderful everyone looks in their Abi jumpsuits – importantly, the wrap front feels very safe!

The pattern is well drafted and the instructions are clear.  The Abi is designed for stretch fabrics, making it a breeze to fit – for example, you don’t need to fret too much about the rise (more on that later). I made a size 10 and apart from shortening the legs a little, I made no changes to the pattern. It comes together very quickly; I made mine in an afternoon.

The fabric was gifted by Girl Charlee UK, and it’s a lovely cotton jersey rayon spandex blend; the navy with red dots gives a superb purple effect! The fabric is still available (HERE) and Girl Charlee are offering a 15% discount for #sewtogetherforsummer makers until 31st May (use code : TOGETHER at checkout).

So, the verdict?  I love it!  Such a great pattern to sew and I feel so good wearing it. 

Next stop on my Jumpsuit Journey was the Zadie Jumpsuit by Paper Theory Patterns, launched this year and already creating quite a following!  Its ‘relaxed and forgiving’ fit is definitely one of the reasons for its success – and because it just looks so good in so many different fabrics, from denim to linen to drapey viscose – and on so many real women! Again, take a look on Instagram #zadiejumpsuit hashtag page to see some truly amazing versions!

I chose to make my first Zadie in a foliage print viscose that I bought from a shop in my beautiful local city of Córdoba – I just loved the colour and print.

The Zadie is designed for a 5´7” woman and C cup, and so me, being ‘Petite Suzy’, had a bit of a dithering meltdown over whether to shorten the rise (the distance between the waistband and the crotch seam on trousers), which seemed very long.  Although I’m under 5´2”, I rarely shorten the rise on normal trousers; I’d just watched an episode of the Great British Sewing Bee in which ‘tough-but-fair’ judge Esme warns of the dangers of a ‘hungry bum’ – and I certainly didn’t want a hungry bum! On the principle of ‘when in doubt, don’t mess about‘, I made up a size 10 at the bust grading to an 8 at the waist and hips with no other changes to the fit – more later on how it turned out!

I only had 2m of fabric to play with: I cut the front bodice pieces first to ensure no embarrassing pattern placement, and then squeezed out the other bits by piecing the ties and pockets with lining fabric. I like the fact Tara from Paper Theory has given conservative fabric allowances and encourages cutting out in a single layer: this saves so much fabric, and she suggests using scraps to piece together ties, pocket bags and binding.  The pattern placement needed a fair bit of fabric, so I decided to buy extra binding in a green to match the leaves. 

…pocket…

The instructions are top notch, and a few enjoyable hours later I was wearing this fab jumpsuit!

I like it, but the rise is very long; the draping of the fabric hides the bagginess in the rear but it does feel slightly … odd.  This photo shows how low the crotch is on me, something to bear in mind when you make yours, if you are shortish too :

A word about a new fabric to me – Tencel : it’s a sustainably produced fabric made from wood cellulose and is said to be one of the most environmentally friendly materials. On a recent visit to the UK I bought this soft browny-grey Tencel from Merchant and Mills in Rye. They call it ‘Pluto‘, it has lots of drape but more substance than a rayon; it sews beautifully, holds a press well and feels similar to sand-washed silk. OK, it does crease but it’s so versatile, how much does that matter?

My 2m of Tencel was a dead cert to become my Zadie number 2; this time I reduced the rise by 5cm (approx. 2″) and the bodice 1 cm (0.4″) and I took in an extra 1cm on each side seam. It’s still relaxed, but I don’t feel I’m swimming in fabric. 

The construction is very straightforward but I made two small adjustments: immediately after cutting, I interfaced the seams on the neckline – I always do this on wrap and V necklines to prevent them stretching out of shape, which they seem to do if you just look at them the wrong way!

On both my Zadies I made a narrow hem on the sleeves: I start this before sewing up the side seams by stitching ¼ inch (6mm) from the edge of the sleeve and pressing that to the inside. Then, with an edge stitching foot, I stitch close to the fold.  Then I trim close to the stitching as shown.

Then I turn the sleeve hem in again and press.

At this point I sew the side seams, press them open, and then I go back and finally finish the hem of the sleeve, again with the edge stitching foot.

The final verdict on the Zadie? Very positive; I think I will wear and wear it when the weather warms up…believe it or not, it’s not always baking hot here in southern Spain!

So, have I changed my mind with regard to my initial reticence on jumpsuits? Totally! I love these and my head is now whirring with lots of ideas about jumpsuits and dungarees patterns!

And what about you? Are you to jump in?!”

Suzy x

*******

Thank you Suzy! Doesn’t she look fab!

So (sew), until next time, when I’ll finally be posting my Sallie Jumpsuit by Closet Case Files, happy Stitchin’

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11 thoughts on “Jump Starting my Summer Sewing! The Zadie Jumpsuit by Paper Theory & The Abi Jumpsuit by AK Patterns

  1. What a useful post! Many thanks to Suzy for her construction tips and adjutments deets and a huge thank to the three of you for hosting “le” sewing challenge of the summer! Your seasonal theme will get me out of my comfort zone and, hopefully, I too shall fall in love with the ubiquitous (and rather scary) wardrobe staple of 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks Suzy for writing up the Zadie – which is one of two patterns I’m considering.
    I’m a petite 5 foot 2 ( and a half) too so I am definetely noting your adjustments!
    Now if you could just make up the Deer & Doe Sirocco ( my other choice) and compare that you could save me a lot more angst about which to chose…….

    Liked by 1 person

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