I’ve finally gone and done it. Yes, I’ve been carried away by the tide of jumpsuits flooding social media and have made myself one. In animal print, no less. Could I get any more on trend?!

This pattern is the Sallie Jumpsuit and Maxi-Dress Pattern by Closet Case Patterns, available as a PDF on their website. I’ve already made the Maxi Dress version which I adore, so I’d had a chance to test the fit on the “kimono” bodice (I’m aware of the problems with using the term kimono when describing a garment like this, but it’s the designer’s terminology so I’ll use it this once). Also, the bodice bits were all traced out which is always a win in my book. Just the legs to print and trace. Even this PDF-hater could handle that.

This crazy safari animal print viscose/elastane jersey is sadly no longer in stock at Minerva, but there are loads of other animal print jerseys available, should you wish to make your own Party Animal Jumpsuit.

I ordered 2m of this jersey, originally planning to make a shirt with it, but realised I had plenty to make Sallie if I used a different fabric for the bodice lining. I only had scraps left of my gorgeous soft viscose jersey I used to line the first Sallie, but I made it work by piecing them together and having a patchwork lining. Top marks to me for being thrifty and eco-friendly!

I have to admit, I made zero attempt to pattern match or even think about pattern placement as I cut. Partly this was because of the amount of fabric I had, but also—if I’m honest—laziness. I thought I’d get away with it with a pattern like this, but I’m wishing now that I’d thought about that patch of white at the base of the front bodice, which really shows up and looks weird.

I cut a size 12 which corresponds exactly to my current measurements. The only changes I made were to add 1” extra at the crotch along the lengthen/shorten lines as I know I generally need to make this alteration (spoiler alert: with this super stretchy fabric I really didn’t need to! The crotch is a little too low, now, but I can live with it).

Based on the fit of my first Sallie I also decided to make the armhole 1cm deeper as it feels a little snug under the arm. Not annoying enough to make me unpick and resew the original, but it’s an alteration I’d recommend if you hate close fitting armholes.

For the most part Sallie is a really easy sew. However, it’s definitely more complex than your average knit garment what with the pockets and the lined bodice, as well as those narrow straps/ties. I wouldn’t recommend it to a total beginner with knits unless you’re up for a challenge and using a more stable jersey like a cotton lycra, or going with the strappy bodice option rather than this one. Seriously, this slippery viscose jersey gave me some real trouble when it came to sewing the armholes. I probably should have used some strips of knit interfacing along the armhole edges on both the lining and the main fabric. Next time I will!

I did use strips of knit interfacing to stabilise the neckline and the pocket edges. I also used narrow strips of woven interfacing on the slanted top of the pocket opening as I found with my first Sallie that the pocket openings can droop if you use a knit interfacing here.

So, am I thrilled with this make? Honestly? It’s a yes and no. The Sallie pattern is a great one and so comfortable in this fabric. I love those roomy pockets and the cute back bodice with that V neckline and the ties. Wide trousers are something I haven’t worn since the nineties, though, and it’s a silhouette that could take some getting used to. I’m wondering if even wider trousers/culottes could be the way to go, so that it looks more like a skirt. I enjoy the swishyness of this drapey viscose, so more of that couldn’t be a bad thing.

One thing I do really love about this is the comfy trouser aspect. With little ones around it’s definitely more practical to wear trousers than a skirt or dress, as it makes it easy to climb around at the park with them and there’s no risk of them suddenly deciding to pull up your skirt in public and expose your knickers to the world #askmehowiknow

However, based on this make I’m still not sure if jumpsuits are for me. I love how comfortable it is to wear, but the getting-undressed-every-time-you-go-to-the-toilet aspect is fairly annoying. I’m not one hundred percent convinced about the head-to-toe look either, although that said, I love wearing maxi dresses which give the same long stretch of one fabric. Maybe it’s just too much animal print for me!

I’m going to give this jumpsuit a chance to prove itself as a useful part of my summer wardrobe, but realistically speaking, that's going to be next year now. If it doesn’t get enough wear to justify a spot in my wardrobe then I’ll probably turn it into a ridiculously comfy pair of elastic waist lounging trousers. I can definitely see me wearing those with a black cami on top.

Are you into jumpsuits, or has this trend passed you by?

Happy sewing, everyone!

Anna-Jo x

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The fabric for this make was kindly supplied by Minerva in return for an honest blog post. Thank you, Minerva!