The Fibre Mood Carmella Jumpsuit
Posted in Projects on Thursday the 14th March 2019 by Vicki Ormerod
Hi everyone! I'm Shauni from The Magnificent Thread and this is my first post as a part of the Minerva Crafts Maker Team! I'm the sort of sewer who often shies away from the intricacies of shirt making (particularly plackets) but when I go for it, I really don't do things by halves. I thought I'd combine the opportunity to test some lovely fabric with putting my shirt-sewing skills (and more) to the test by making the Fibre Mood Carmella Jumpsuit.
Fibre Mood are a fairly new-to-me pattern company that offer modern and fashion-forward designs in the form of a crazily well-styled pattern book (you can also buy individual patterns as PDFs, but the pattern books are great value if you like more than one in the collection). Carmella forms a part of their first issue offering and draws similarities with a bunch of RTW jumpsuits/boilersuits that I've seen flood the high street recently - Oliver Bonas, &OtherStories, Anthropologie and Whistles all seem to have stocked something like this over the past couple of seasons. I added it straight to my #2019makenine and thought it would take a while to find the perfect fabric until this one came along.
The suggested fabrics listed are pretty varied dependent on the style you're going for, but I knew I wanted my version to feel relaxed yet a little more 'luxe'. The John Kalder Juliet Crepe Fabric from Minerva turned out to have the exact feel and drape I was looking for. It has an almost peachskin-feel and a lovely subtle shine to it (that's a not-tacky-in-the-slightest, more high quality/high end sort of shine by the way)! I chose navy for a fairly classic look, but there are some amazing and very bold alternatives for those of you who are more daring than me - I'm looking longingly at the plum colourway!
As someone who loathes tracing patterns, I found the prep to be quite labour intensive, especially adding on seam allowances and working with pattern pieces so big. Interestingly the front bodice and front leg are cut out together as one big piece: annoying in the cutting stage but fun when it comes to constructuion! After a bit of playing with the layout, I cut a size 38 using just under 3m of fabric. As a word of warning, the pattern piece for the belt isn't included, but rather the dimensions for it are given later on, so be sure to save a strip of fabric for this.
The make itself was quite involved but mainly straightforward. It seemed a bit overwhelming at the start as there are so many steps, but once I started working through them, I realised it was no more challenging than making a shirt or a pair of trousers - it's just that both are combined together! Some of the instructions were a bit difficult to understand on the first read, particularly the button placket and binding the sleeve openings, but the illustrations are a help.
The John Kalder Crepe was really easy to work with and I would definitely use it for future projects. I'd recommend overlocking or finishing your edges early on if you can as it does fray a bit, and be sure to iron it using a low heat. The fabric presses with ease so it's really easy to manipulate into place for the detailing required in a shirt, and my sewing machine took to it without even the slightest protest. It would make a great structured yet relaxed shirt or dress, but would work equally well for a skirt or dress that has a more fluid drape to it.
I made a straight size 38 with no alterations other than sewing the sleeves with a 1.5cm seam allowance rather than 1cm. Despite the relaxed fit being intended, I still think the shoulders sit at a slightly awkward point - they're neither drop nor close in fit. I'd probably address this in a future version and lower the bust pockets slightly as I imagine I'm a fair bit bustier than their fit model!
I might make some tweaks to the trousers too with future versions of the pattern. Whilst I like the fit, there's something about the lower half that seems a bit unfinished, particularly considering all the work and structuring in the top half. Some utility patch pockets might even out the balance here, or a wide-legged culotte hack could definitely elevate the lower half. I did do a bit of a rush-job turn-up at the hem that could be improved, or I might even crop them in length just that bit more so they're perfect for wearing with ankle boots - I'll decide after a wear or two!
Overall though, I am pleased with the results and encouraged to try more Fibre Mood sewing patterns - I've just finished one of their knitting projects and I can vouch for that too! The Carmella isn't what I'd call traditionally 'flattering' - it's actually quite reminiscent of the overalls my dad wore to work as a mechanic when I was a child - but just a I intended, it feels relaxed yet easy to dress up. I could wear it layered over a turtleneck to work, with boots and slightly unbuttoned on a night out, or loosely tied with sleeves rolled up to lounge around on a day off. The only challenge to all of these is the amount of time it takes to unbutton when you need the loo - I'm working on that...
The nearly three weeks I spent making the Carmella could have felt like an age, but I thoroughly enjoyed the slowed-down, methodical approach to sewing - tackling just one element at a time made such a big project much more manageable. After this, I'm definitely feeling up for venturing deeper into more technical projects like shirt making, and currently eyeing up the plum version of this fabric for just that!
Thanks for reading
Shauni @ The Magnificent Thread
Michelle Mersom said:
I love this on you. The style is so chic and versatile, the fabric looks amazing. Definitely inspiring me to make one! · 18th Mar 2019 09:20am
Meg An said:
It looks lovely · 17th Mar 2019 10:18am