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Velvet Zadie Jumpsuit

Hello there!  I’m excited to share about a velvet jumpsuit garment that I made with the Zadie jumpsuit by Paper Theory.  I was inspired to make a holiday outfit with velvet to wear this year.  Last year I made this fun velvet sleeved raglan top last year with Minerva.  Initially I thought about making a dress but I don’t currently have many super fancy occasions that I’d need a velvet dress to wear. I saw another maker’s short sleeved velvet Zadie jumpsuit on Instagram and I was sold on the combination. I love the versatility of the pants with the dressiness of velvet. I like that this outfit can be worn around the holidays or through winter. I also appreciate the versatility that jumpsuits offer when worn while traveling. 

For the fabric, I picked a dressy crushed velvet in a knit base.  There was some risk involved selecting a knit fabric base for this project (the pattern recommends a woven fabric).  I’ll share more later on how I approached sizing and applying a knit fabric to this project.

I used the following machines for this project.  I used the standard machine for most of the sewing and the overlocker to finish the seams.  


  • 2.5m, Crushed Velvet Knit, Stone (reference size chart for fabric length needed)

  • 80/12 Ball Point needle

  • White Universal thread

  • Bodkin

  • Iron

  • Ball point sewing pins/fabric clips

Recommended fabric:

Per the pattern: “This pattern was designed especially for woven, medium weight fabrics like cotton and linen and would look great in fabric that has a draped quality like crepe, viscose twill or satin. It would also make up well in some heavier fabrics like drill and light weight denim. It is possible to make this in Knit or stretch fabrics like Jersey but the binding technique around the neck is tricky in a stretch fabric so be warned that would take the difficulty degree up a few notches.”


I debated on which version to make. This is a great problem to have as I love patterns like this that include multiple versions in the same pattern.  I debated between the short sleeve or three-quarter length sleeve length. I searched on IG for awhile via #zadiejumpsuit for inspiration. A lot of projects that I saw are the short sleeved version.  This might partially be due to the pattern being released March 2019 and people have been enjoying making this pattern over the summer. I will wear this velvet garment more through the winter so I decided to add the sleeves. 


For sizing I read a lot of pattern reviews online before selecting what size to make. That is one really fun element about our sewing community. If you pick a popular pattern to make, a lot of people have already made it and can give you tips and suggestions for the process they went through. I consistently saw people sharing how they sized down two sizes for their jumpsuits. 

There are pleats within the pattern in addition to the style being a wrap style. I like wrap style dresses and jumpsuits as the built-in adjustment options are quite nice. I decided for this project to err on the side of a slightly fitted detail vs than making the jumpsuit on the larger size for my body type. 

Based on my body dimensions, I selected a size 6 for the bodice and sleeves.  This is two sizes down from my body dimensions. I graded past the top of the pants to an 8 for the waist/hips. Grading was interesting as there are multiple pattern pieces to this garment. I decided to only grade on the outside seams of the pants. I did not grade along the crotch seams and instead cut the pattern pieces out at the size 6 along the crotch curves. I cut the waistband tie at a size 8 as I would rather have the tie be too long and cut back later if need be.

Cutting the fabric:

Tthe designer has some intentional ways to use the least amount of fabric as possible.  The fabric cutting diagram shows all pieces cut on the flat (rather than on the fold). I wanted to also note that the fabric length chart was intentionally as close as possible to the actual fabric used.  Some designers have an extra amount of fabric included into the recommended fabric length. This pattern did not have a large buffer included (so be aware to buy more fabric than recommended if you’re matching a printed fabric or modifying the pattern as I did). 

More commonly for me time is a bigger factor so I typically preferred cut on the fold. In this case I cut on the flat as the pattern recommends.  I’m glad I went this route and as I did run short on fabric. I had 2.5m of this fabric, 60” wide. This amount would have been enough fabric but I forgot that I added a significant amount of length to the pants. 

I referenced my recent MN Flint tulle pants make to match the pants length for this jumpsuit. Initially this meant me adding 8 ½” to the pattern length. As I got to the last section of pattern pieces to cut out I found I was going to be short on fabric. Thankfully, the fabric only ended up being 1” short.  I folded up the pants pattern piece 1” shorter for the total length that I added to be 7 ½” added to the pants pattern pieces.

As I was laying out the remaining pattern pieces I found I did not have enough fabric and had to think about layout for the final pieces. I decided to prioritize the belt length, cutting out two pieces of the full belt and the bodice pieces. 

To make up for the shortage of fabric, I was then able to patch smaller lengths of fabric together for the pocket bags. I decided that hiding seams inside the pocket bags was the least noticeable approach with the shortage of fabric. In some ways I’m happy the way this turned out because I have less scraps of fabric left over.

I’m glad I cut the pattern pieces out in the flat but admittedly, this did take me a lot more time. It was worth it to not run out of fabric for this project, in the end. If you’re short on time and you have enough fabric, you can modify the cutting layout to be on the fold.

Another modification I made is that I knew I did not want to add binding to the neckline. Velvet can tend to be bulky so I decided instead to serge the edges of the neckline and fold over this serged edge. I added a 3/8” seam allowance around the neckline to the pattern pieces.  After I serged the edges and folded the neckline over, the length will be the same. The pattern has zero seam allowance included at this area as the designer intends for you to use binding with zero seam allowance.

For the smaller pieces that I pieced together for the pockets, I searched the two pieces of fabric together. Then I ironed this search to seam flat. I folded over this serged seam and sewed this edge flat on the standard sewing machine. I then ironed the seam again for a flat finish. I find that both serging and then sewing the seam flat helps reinforce the new seam and makes this more like a single piece of fabric, stability wise.


Although the color is named Stone, I found it’s between a silver and a cream color. I decided to go with a white thread for the seams and top stitching.

On the standard sewing machine, I prefer to use a walking foot for knit fabrics. As I was practicing seam tension on scraps of fabric, I found that adjusting the dual feed foot helped balance the seam but also one that did not crush the fabric. I used both the lightning bolt stitch and zig zag stitch for the seams.

I always like to share that ironing knit fabrics is just as important as ironing wovens. This fabric has a nice stretch to it but there was a waviness that happened in the seams that was easily ironed out for a smooth finish. I ironed on the wrong side of the fabric with the silk and steam settings.

There’s something about velvet that I’m really drawn to, especially around the holidays. I will say that through the process of cutting out the fabric, little pieces of velvet were everywhere. This is another project where I went back to using my lint roller to clean off my cutting table and ironing board. It’s just the nature of the beast with textured fabrics like this one.  It’s worth it in the end, I just thought I would note this detail.

I find that with jumpsuits people either love them or hate them. I have to say, for me, I was more and tend to be more of a slow adopter. Not because there’s anything negative with jumpsuits, I just tend to step in slowly with trends (or throwbacks). The first way I dipped my toe into the jumpsuit style garments was with the Burnside bibs, via this post. I love these bibs! It is so comfortable.

One nice thing about this velvet is that it’s a two way stretch not a four way stretch. It offers some stretch but not as high of stretch as an athletic fabric. When I cut out the neck binding, I cut it against the grain so that there was less stretch included in the binding.

There were a lot of pieces to the garment so it was helpful to lay them out on my cutting table to keep them straight during the assembly process.

Project Mods:

  • Lengthen pants by 7 ½”

  • Shorten sleeves by 3”

  • Shorten left belt tie by 15”

  • Omit Neck Binding pattern piece

    • Add 3/8” seam allowance to neckline

    • Serge neck and wrap edges to fold over

Future Mods to this garment:

Sew the front crotch wrap detail closed (in the pants).  One negative I’ve found with this project is that the stretch in the knit fabric base makes the crotch wrap detail stretch open when the pockets are used.  A simple fix for this will be to sew the wrap detail closed in the pants. The wrap feature isn’t needed in the knit fabric base, for the pants (and the pants will be easy to get on and off with this seam sewn closed).  I’m going to hand baste this seam first while I’m wearing them. I’ll then take the jumpsuit to the sewing machine and sew this seam closed on the machine (along the existing edge seam).

Add a snap detail to the neckline of the jumpsuit.  Although this jumpsuit is VERY comfortable, the neckline is lower cut.  I like it but I want this garment to be less fussy than worrying about the wrap staying modest.  I’m going to hand sew a snap into the crossover detail at the bust to snap the wrap closed.

Final thoughts:

I like this jumpsuit!  It’s a very different project for me in a really fun way.  One fit detail that I would change for a future garment is the crotch line is too low on me.  The final garment is still very wearable but I’d love to make this again in a woven fabric. In a future garment I would raise the crotch line by at least 3”.    

I’ve seen a few people do a pattern hack with this pattern to make a wrap top.  I’d LOVE to try this hack as I love the wrap detail.

I love the built-in pockets and pleats for a comfortable fit.  I was surprised to learn that this pattern was released in March of 2019.  It’s been popular with many projects made so far that I assumed it was released a year or so ago.  If you have been on the fence about making a jumpsuit, I’d encourage you to jump in (pun intended)!

Rachel @oakbluedesigns 

Comment (1)

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Christine Wilkins said:

That is gorgeous! · 2nd Nov 2019 12:08pm