A few weeks ago we posted the world’s easiest DIY project, and so, in order to keep you on your toes (and prove we haven’t lost our edge), I thought it was high time we showed you how to do something new, and just a little bit more tricky. Namely using your own clothes to make patterns… and this DIY Linen Jumpsuit!
If I’m completely honest, patterns have been something I’ve shied away from my whole life, preferring instead to utilise a trial and error approach… Something that works out exactly 51% of the time! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ But I know (and Natalie in my team has told me over and over) that patterns can improve what you do and give you lots more options with your projects – particularly once you’ve done the gathered waistband to death. So, in an attempt to compromise, we wanted to show you how to create a few projects using patterns that you already have – i.e. with. your. own. clothes. Don’t be alarmed… In the words of every mug sold on Etsy ever, Keep Calm and Keep Sewing!
Making Patterns From Your Own Clothes
Not into sewing with patterns? I hear ya. But making patterns with your own clothes in so amazing, and if you do it (even sort of) properly it means that your current wardrobe can be the basis for a whole new, fresh wardrobe. Pretty cool right? You might remember this shorts project from a long (lonnngggg) time ago, and it’s pretty simple. This DIY Linen Jumpsuit takes that one or two steps further but is still relatively easy…. I promise.
What You'll Need
Making The Pants Section
Fold a pair of trousers in half, then lay them on a large piece of paper. Trace around the outer edges, making sure to add an inch or so for a seam allowance. Repeat for the front and back of the trousers. It's better to trace off of a loose pair of trousers, or enlarge the pattern if you trace off slim-fit ones, as you can make modifications to the fit later on in the sewing process.
You should end up with two pattern pieces consisting of the front and back panels. Then, fold your fabric in half and pin the pattern piece on so that when you cut you have two pieces.
Sewing the crotch seam can be tricky. An easy way we have recently been doing it is to sew the pant legs first, front to back, down the side and inner seams.
The front and back seams of both pant legs will now match up. Pin and sew the crotch seam.
Making the Top Section
For the bodice, fold a t-shirt in half down the middle and lay it over the drafting paper, then trace around the edges. You don't need to trace the sleeves for a jumpsuit. But you will need to trace around the armhole curve. Repeat steps for the back.
Because we are doing a low back for this jumpsuit, we needed to make some adjustments. Draw your desired shapes for jumpsuit bodice on the bodice patterns. Then cut away the portions you don't need.
This is how your bodice pattern pieces should look like after cutting away the excess.
When transferring the front bodice pattern to fabric, you'll have to mirror and trace the patterns (Since only half of the bodice pieces is drafted.) Draw a straight line as a guide, then align the center front seam of the bodice with this line. Trace around the pattern.
Flip the pattern over and align it on the opposite side, then trace around again. You will end up with a complete front bodice piece. Trace the rest of the paper patterns onto your fabric, you don't have to repeat this method for the rest of the pattern pieces. Leave seam allowance and cut.
NB: You can always fool your fabric in half and place the long edge on the fold, but we find this method is more accurate.
Then, sew your bodice pieces together. The easiest thing to do is sew a simple rolled hem around all the edges, and add the straps. Another option is to double up the layers of fabric by cutting out two identical pieces for the front and back, sewing down the open edges whilst the pieces are pinned right sides together, then flipping the bodice right way out, then adding the straps. This is a little more tricky though so go for the easier option if you need to.
Attach the top and the bottom sections of the jumpsuit together. Making sure not to close up where the zipper needs to go at the back.
We then added the invisible zipper to the back, you can see how to do that in more detail here. We also aded pockets to this jumpsuit, but thought that it would be a good idea to show you how to make those as a separate post. Stay tuned!
I’m wearing my favourite nude simple sandals here guys, they never get old for me! In case you are in Hong Kong, I wanted to let you know that you can buy them in person at the Summer Pop Up being held in Central. Details below:
Where: G/F 50 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong
When: 12th to 27th of June , 12-8pm daily
More info here.
Photos by Nicola Lemmon.