The Demented Fairy (here in a glorious velvet wedding jacket), sent me fabric for Jungle January.
In the package was 2m of glamorous, silky, slightly stretchy satin in blue snow leopard. It positively glows. I decided to use this fabric for formal evening attire. I have a posh dinner next month, so I plan to make something a little bit special. The Annual Dinner of the Chartered Institute of Housing takes place in our local Natural History Museum, alongside the dinosaur bones, and with starry lights. The event is dominated by men, even in this day and age (where topless Page 3 pictures have finally hit the dust). I would guess women make up around 30% of the attendees. The men wear dinner suits (and very nice they look too) with the odd kilt amongst them (hurrah!). Many of the ladies wear long dresses or flashy cocktail numbers. Unsurprisingly most of them stick to black. So although I am not a trouser person (but may be changing) I decided to try a jumpsuit! I am surprised by my choice too, but the jumpsuit is on my list of trousers-to-try, and this is as good an excuse as any.
Also Jenny mentioned that a Jungle Jumpsuit has already been constructed by Fadanista. It looks great on Sue, who has a straight body shape. I, on the other hand, have a curvy shape, so I am not sure this is going to work. The snow leopard is not sure either. Especially when he realised I am planning on using a 1980s pattern.
This is McCall’s 7437 from 1981. I want to make view C with long trousers and sleeves. But the pattern requires (so they say) 3.2m. I have 2m. Also, while the bust size is fine at 34″ I will need to add an inch or two to the hips.
So here are some tips that may come in handy if you are in a similar dilemma yourself.
- First alter the pattern to fit you. I absolutely needed a little extra in the hips, and length in the upper body, but I shaved two inches of the length of the trousers and one from the long sleeves
- I cut this out on the floor as my cutting table was too small and I needed to see the whole thing at once
- With such long pattern pieces I was loath to cut the top from bottom and seam, so I arranged the pieces top to toe. So my snow leopard is running in the wrong direction but who will be able to tell? It’s a busy, relatively small-scale pattern.
- I managed to squeeze the long sleeve out of the fabric by reducing the seam allowances top and bottom. I could have gone sleeveless with this design had I been really short of fabric.
- The smaller pieces all fitted in.
- The breast pocket (single layer of fabric) and in-seam pockets (four layers) are easier to cut from the left over fabric so cut them when you have got your three big pieces out. I was prepared to make the pockets from lining material if necessary, but it isn’t
- I was prepared to cut the collar on the down rather than across the grain but that wasn’t necessary
- In extremis I could have had a contrasting top pocket, collar and cuffs. But again it wasn’t necessary.
I cut out the small pieces – I needed four pocket bags – from the off cuts. In the end I didn’t cut the breast pocket – I shall look at what the pattern matching looks like when it is ready to sew and may mess around with the placement of the pattern piece on the fabric.
And, phew, all done, with not much to spare.
Unlike Kadiddlehopper, I won’t be making a matching jump suit for my Barbie, I am afraid.