Top ‘n’ Tailing : A Guide to Hacking your own unique Jumpsuit Pattern (from patterns you already have!)

Have you ever wanted to create your own unique garment, by hacking together certain features from your favourite sewing patterns but find yourself unsure where to begin? Perhaps you’d like to enter this years’ #sewtogetherforsummer challenge but can’t quite find a pattern that has all the elements you wish it had? Today we bring you a guide to get you started mashing up your own unique style – since it relates specifically to Jumpsuits we’ll be talking about putting your favourite bodice to your favourite trousers, perhaps adding your favourite sleeves and other features … from the patterns already in your stash!

I’m handing you over to my #sewtogetherforsummer co-host, Suzy, for this one; she’s made four different mashups using several patterns including New Look, McCalls, Named, Deer & Doe, Style Arc, AK Patterns and Sewhouse 7 to inspire you to get creative!

“This year jumpsuits are everywhere; those of you following our IG sewing community challenge #sewtogetherforsummer hashtag page will see just how varied the beautiful jumpsuits, overalls, and dungarees being sewn and entered are!

Yes, there are plenty of wonderful patterns out there … but what if you want to make something really different? Not everyone has the skills or confidence to draft their own pattern but I reckon that you can have great fun hacking your existing patterns!

Project One – Suzy – Bridgetown Dress by Sewhouse 7 hacked with McCalls 6571 Trousers

Pattern Mashup!

Here’s a knit jumpsuit that I made two years ago. The top is from the Bridgetown dress by Sewhouse Seven whilst the bottom is made using the trousers from McCalls 6571 (unfortunately it’s out of print but any elasticated knit trouser pattern should work).

This started me thinking about new hacks to try out and so I enlisted three friends, Marina, Manoli and Reyes, to assist me in trying out these ideas using only patterns already in my stash – so let’s see how it all worked out!

Project Two – Marina – New Look 6179 Peasant Blouse hacked with Abi Jumpsuit Trousers

My initial idea was to marry the Adrienne top by Friday Patterns with trousers but when we chose the fabric locally for Marina, who is super-petite, I felt that she would be overwhelmed by the sleeves in this floral print.

So I chose an alternative peasant blouse pattern, New Look 6179 which I combined with the trousers of AK Patterns Abi Jumpsuit .

Marina lives in Seville, some distance away, so I had to work on her measurements only; cutting the equivalent of a UK 6 in both parts. The top pattern has a waist marked on the pattern piece, which is really useful – I added a seam allowance to that marked line and cut the bodice pieces at that point. Then I went ahead and attached the trousers to the top, stretching the trouser-top slightly to fit the bodice.

New Look 6179 paired with Abi Jumpsuit (AK Patterns)

As you can see, it makes a really relaxed jumpsuit with the option of off-the-shoulder or on…Marina chose off, and why wouldn’t she; she looks fabulous!

This was a very quick project, and the excellent Abi trouser pattern and knit fabric made fitting this jumpsuit very straightforward.

Project Three – Manoli – Anni Building Block by Named Patterns & Marilyn Dress by Style Arc

Manoli is Marina’s mum: she has two very bright daughters – Marina being one; she’s a Lawyer. The younger, Claudia, is graduating as a Doctor later this month. So we decided to make Manoli a classic jumpsuit in navy crepe to wear to her daughters’ graduation ceremony.

Named’s Anni (Building Block) Pattern with the Marilyn Dress by Style Arc sleeves

This time I used the Named Patterns Anni pattern which is a very well-drafted ‘building block’ pattern giving any number of fantastic options. The bust, waist, and hip lines are all marked on the pattern pieces, which made fitting a toile very easy. I made the size 40 for the bust and waist, grading to a 38 on the hips. I also took 3cm off each outside leg seam from the hip to the hem.

Named’s Anni (Building Block) Pattern with the Marilyn Dress by Style Arc sleeves

I swapped out the Anni pattern sleeve for the split seam sleeve from the Marilyn dress by Style Arc. The outer sleeve is navy which I contrasted with a coral pink satin for the inside. This is quite subtle, giving little flashes of coral as she moves. If you’re planning to add sleeves from another pattern to your bodice, it helps if that bodice is also designed for sleeves – you would then simply need to ensure, redrawing if necessary, that the sleeve head of your new sleeve matches the sleeve head of the original, so that it will fit the armscye of your bodice.

I made a tie belt; Manoli wanted some sort of belt, but nothing too fancy. I also lined the bodice in coral pink and covered the zip end in matching fabric too, just…well, just because.

I’m very pleased with this, and I think Manoli will look great at Claudia’s big event!

Project Four – Reyes – Belladone Dress by Deer & Doe with Anni Trousers from Named

We’ve come to the last of our projects; and it’s Belladone dress pattern by Deer & Doe which I’ve wanted to try for absolutely ages, particularly for that clever back detail to the bodice. So, as Reyes was happy to go along with my choice, I opted to pair this bodice with the Anni trousers from Named Clothing. I tweaked the bodice to fit, but basically this is a size 38.

Belladone Dress by Deer & Doe paired with the Trousers from the Anni Building Block Pattern by Named

We decided to trim down and crop the legs of the Anni this time, to get a narrower silhouette. I wanted to make this in stripes but it was proving a bit difficult to find something we both liked locally – until we spotted this corded cotton curtain material. The effect of the stripes on the back is very pleasing: the dress is sewn together at the neck, with the zip below the diamond cut-out. This is fine for a dress, but it wouldn’t be possible to put on as a jumpsuit. The solution, however, was easy – overlap the triangles at the neck with a snap fastener (to make it easier to dress without help) and an old mother of pearl button to finish it off.

Belladone Dress by Deer & Doe paired with the Trousers from the Anni Building Block Pattern by Named

Yippee! Another jumpsuit hack completed!

Hacking jumpsuits is so satisfying – here are my top tips:

Top Tips for Hacking Your Own Jumpsuit!

  1. Before you start, make sure you know how you will get the jumpsuit on and off, as not all dress bodices will be suitable; but you may be able to adapt the pattern as in the Belladone above.
  2. If you choose a knit pattern top, choose a knit pattern bottom too; if you choose a woven top make sure you choose a woven bottom pattern. Almost any knit trousers can be used as jumpsuit trousers but not necessarily any woven trousers; you need a longer rise in a jumpsuit – if in doubt, use trousers from a jumpsuit pattern.
  3. A pattern with a marked waist line makes life much easier. Remember, you may need to add a seam allowance to this line.
  4. If you’re planning to switch out your sleeves, remember to redraw your sleeve head to match the original sleeve.
  5. Try to match the waist size of the top to the trousers: for example, with my blue jumpsuit, both the top and the bottom were elasticated, but in Reyes’ version I needed both to be fitted.

There is lots of fabulous inspiration for hacking jumpsuits and overalls on Instagram, take a look at the #sewtogetherforsummer hashtag page. One of my favourites is by @crazydenimlady who combined a BurdaStyle top with Simplicity 2401 trousers :

@crazydenimlady
(image reproduced with permission)

Another favourite is by the talented Sue of @acolourfulcanvas, who made the perfect match of the York Pinafore by Helen’s Closet with True Bias’ Hudson pants. She’s written a very detailed blog post on how she constructed this, which is well worth a read!

@acolourfulcanvas
(image reproduced with permission)

Thanks so much Sarah for letting me post about these fascinating projects on your blog, and for presenting it all so beautifully. Thanks also to my lovely patient friends, Marina, Manoli and Reyes, who took part so enthusiastically: fabric shopping, fittings and dressing, and modelled uncomplainingly for endless photos – I enjoyed being the other side of the camera lens for once!”

Suzy x

Thank you Suzy! I really feel I’ve learned a lot from this and would certainly approach hacking different patterns together with more confidence than before. I absolutely adore all of these and I love the idea that in hacking your own pattern you can be absolutely sure that no-one else on the planet is likely to have exactly the same outfit!

What about you, which is your favourite? Do you have any planned hacks in mind?

Until next time, happy stitching!

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5 thoughts on “Top ‘n’ Tailing : A Guide to Hacking your own unique Jumpsuit Pattern (from patterns you already have!)

  1. Combining patterns to create unique and beautiful jumpsuits is clearly one of your strengths Suzy! As Helene says, each hack is so unique! I might find myself delving into my pattern stash to see what I can come up with!

    Thanks ever so much for the feature! I appreciate it very much!

    Thanks also to Sarah for giving Suzy a platform for blogging. She is a natural and we’d love to see more. {{nudge and a wink, :)}}

    YAY for #sewtogetherforsummer

    Like

  2. Amazing job! Each hack is so unique and perfectly crafted. Now Suzy is one seasoned sewist but my question is: where did she find time to make THREE jumpsuits? A blogpost on the topic would be most helpful! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is fantastic blog post, I shall come back to this bwcausw I need to be braver with my my exiating patterns. I particularly love the tips at the end. Mxxx

    Like

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