The jumpsuit of great aggravation

My last post was about a grey jumpsuit. So obviously the next thing I made was another grey jumpsuit. This one is Burda 130 09/2011, a drapey style with a crossover front. Burda’s version below looks quite fancy but mine turned out to be surprisingly practical. I wore it a lot just after having a baby, and it shrugged off all the food stains and was comfortable for sitting on the floor and provided deep pockets to stash all the things I didn’t have enough hands to hold, while still managing to look presentable.

Burda 130-09-2011 magazine photo
Burda 130 09/2011 model photo, burdastyle.com

My original version fell to bits some years ago, tencel twill not being the most hardwearing fabric. And having recently realised that the thing I wear the most these days is my black Closet Core Blanca jumpsuit, I decided to remake this pattern and compare. I had a length of suitable fabric in my stash from an abandoned project (Merchant and Mills‘ tencel twill in the colour ‘pluto’, sadly no longer available) and I’d kept the pattern tracing, so it was meant to be. I dived straight in and cut out the pattern I’d traced in 2014. I didn’t recall anything particularly difficult about sewing the first version, or any fit problems with the result.

Well this was the most annoying thing I’ve sewn in a while. The fabric was very unstable and I obviously wasn’t careful enough to true it when cutting out the bodice fronts, because the pleats have ended up in slightly the wrong place. They are meant to line up with the topstitching line holding the yoke facing in place, and they don’t. I’ve also got a bit of gapping just under the front yoke seam because the interfacing I added to the self facings was too heavy. The side zip went in perfectly…and then I realised I’d lined it up with the wrong notch and had to rip it out. The second insertion was not nearly as good. The shoulder pleats collide with the shoulder seam allowance in an annoying way. I struggled to turn under the edge of the back neck facing neatly so it’s all jaggy on the inside instead of being a smooth curve.

But this is not all; the fit’s not great either. This wasn’t supposed to be a Tall pattern, but I wonder if it was labelled incorrectly. The bodice is much too long – look at that pleat forming on the back in the photo below – and the crossover won’t stay put. I resorted to adding a small snap. But that’s nothing to the arms and legs. I carefully made the prescribed turnups on the legs, and then had to roll the legs up about 10cm to wear the thing, so I really needn’t have bothered. The arms are a similarly excessive length and so those are turned up up in the photos too. I noticed those in time and hemmed them with the hem allowance turned to the outside so it’s hidden when the sleeves are turned up. I notice I rolled up the arms and legs in my previous version…and the bodice on that just gaped wide open. I always wore a t shirt under it.

Interestingly now I look carefully at Burda’s model in the photo above she is showing a suspicious amount of forearm, so I think her sleeves are rolled up too. There’s a second version of the pattern shown in the magazine and there the sleeves are clearly extra long even though the model has lifted her shoulders.

Burda 130 09/2011 model photo, burdastyle.com

It’s not the end of the world. I’ll certainly wear this, although always with a tank top underneath. And it does have good pockets. If I ever make this again I’d shorten arms, legs and bodice, and forget about turning the facing edges under. Overlocking’s good enough as an edge finish. I’d probably skip interfacing the self-facings, not that the pattern called for it in the first place. I’d keep the interfacing I added to the zip and pocket openings though.

So after all that, how does it compare to the Blanca? It’s fussier to wear, but the pockets are roomier and it’s a lot more comfortable on a hot day. With my usual brilliant timing I completed it just as the summer is ending, so I’ve got maybe three more weeks before I have to start layering something warm underneath it. I’ll report back.

Thanks to my husband for the photos.

8 thoughts on “The jumpsuit of great aggravation

  1. Tencel can be tricky to sew, it’s interesting how variable it is. Sometimes no trouble at all, and other times it’s like silk. I just checked, and it looks like I have to roll up the sleeves, too. I turned the straight portions of the front facings under, but my back neck part is finished with a strip of bias tape, because I (a) didn’t leave enough seam allowance to turn it under (d’oh) and (b) didn’t trust that a curve like that could be turned neatly. On the bodice being too long, perhaps yours is too wide in the waist? Taking it in at the side seams a touch would fix that, though I can see not wanting to take that zipper out for the third time!

    1. p.s. just realized what I wrote made no sense! I meant to say, I think the front and back of the bodice are supposed to overhang the waist in the design, so if you wanted that, then taking it in at the waist would accomplish it.

    2. I think you’re spot on about the waist. I don’t keep track of the sizes I trace but suspect I could currently do with one size smaller than whatever this one is. I can’t face taking that zip out again though. I wonder if there’s anything that could be done at the centre back.

  2. It looks great in your photos, but sometimes the actual wearing of a garment can be hard work if the fit is out. It’s strange that it’s so long – is this the fabric growing?

    1. Thanks! I think the fabric may have grown, but there’s something off about the arm and leg length on the pattern in both my versions. I’m just embracing the rolled up look 🙂

  3. Despite the problems that you encountered, it really looks great. The sleeves are clearly way too long in the model photo. It’s actually kind of weird.

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