Stretch Twill Sierra Playsuit
Posted on Monday the 20th May 2019 by Lucky Sew and Sew
For this months make, I thought I would really push the boat out and basically make a project that has all of my most anxiety-inducing processes involved. Why?! To flex my sewing skillz, I suppose. Pushing yourself into those uncomfy steps are where you learn the most, so I feel it’s necessary every so often to make something that you’re dreading a little.
Ultimately, I really love this playsuit, however the construction was not always smooth sailing. But before we dive into that, let’s get the low down. Firstly, the Fabric. THIS FABRIC! I chose it partly because I fell head over heels for the print but also because I figured a little stretch wouldn’t go amiss with this playsuit. The fabric is amazing, seriously. I want to have an entire wardrobe made out of this, it feels and looks so ridiculously designer that it hurts. The print is described as ‘abstract’ - it’s a cream base with, what to me, looks like pen dashes in solid black all over. I really, really love it. When I first started sewing I went through that phase that I think 90% of home sewists go through, where you just pick every floral print you can find and make every item in it, before realising that florals aren’t really your thing. So for a while, I’ve been picking mostly solids. And solids have their place and can be fun but it left a bit of a gap in my Me-made wardrobe. I needed a print to pull things together and add some personality but not be a whole personality by themselves, you know? Therefore recently I’ve been pinning a load of monotone prints on Pinterest to my sewing board and I love how they’re paired-back but also a bit gutsy. So, as you can imagine, when I saw this fabric I just couldn’t get it outta my brain.
The fabric is a beautiful quality too. A great medium weight twill, with a very decent amount of stretch to the width and great recovery. I love working with twills and other medium-weight fabrics because they’re so easy to cut, pin, sew and iron, which just makes the whole process much smoother and easier.
The pattern I chose is the Sierra Jumpsuit by Papercut Patterns. Incidentally, I hadn’t used a pattern by Papercut before and I was really excited to give it a try. I opted to go for the playsuit (shorts) version as we are just about to head into a hot summer here in Spain and thought that I could make use of the playsuit as a multi-seasonal garment. I can wear it in the warmer months as it is and in the cooler months I can add a turtle neck and tights underneath. Genius! I love a multi-seasonal garment. Going by their size guide and finished garment measurements, I cut the pattern as a M on the top half, grading to an XL at the hips. Cutting the pieces out of the fabric was a little daunting and took a while. For the lining I chose an old shirting that had been in my stash for years which is lightweight and neutral, I think anything heavier than a lightweight fabric would be too bulky for this if you’re using a medium weight for the outer fabric.
The sewing process started off OK, I made sure to take my time and really read through the instructions well before proceeding.There’s quite a bit of understitching but that’s one of my favourite things to do so I didn’t mind. When it came to attaching the front bodices to the back and the bodice linings to the back linings, that’s when things started to go a bit squiffy. Then the pocket construction came and I definitely had quite a few minutes of head scratching before deciphering the point of each step in the instructions. The pockets are basically inseam pockets but they’re put together in a way that confused me so much! Especially when you also then read that you need to insert a concealed zipper along the side seam with the strange pockets! Regardless, the zipper went in perfectly first time (yay!) and the rest finished off smoothly.
The one bug bear I have about this pattern is how there’s no scope for basting and trying on to check the fit, as it really doesn’t become joined together and garment-like until right at the very end. I was convinced throughout the process that it was going to be too tight in the hips (I knew I was pushing it anyway as the largest size in the hip measured 48” and my hips are anything from 43”-46” depending on what I’ve eaten that day), but surprisingly, the fit is actually ok! There’s a little gaping at the underarm which I’m not too fussed about and the pockets seem to pop out quite a bit which I’ll hopefully fix with a little button or something but it definitely doesn’t render this playsuit unwearable at all.
I love the shape of the playsuit and the versatility as a multi-seasonal garment. I think the tie waist is genius and suits me well. The fabric has transformed this into the sort of item I would be pinning on Pinterest, with no doubt!