This was a fun make! I’m on quite a Closet Case Patterns kick right now – I made the Blanca Flight Suit earlier this year and my Carolyn pajamas are alllmmoost done. I cut those out in December! Crazy. Anyway, this jumpsuit is something I chose as part of my loungewear capsule wardrobe, which is slowly nearing completion and coming in even more useful than I anticipated back then! The Sallie is a knit jumpsuit, so it’s extremely comfy for lounging around, but I’m more than happy to wear it out and about too. It’s certainly not a garment that needs to be confined to the house!
In fact, I wore it to the zoo this week, which reopened at 25% capacity and with full Covid precautions (masks, distancing, etc.), and it made for the perfect exploring outfit. I made my Sallie from this modal knit I got from Lillestoff. I’m a fan of the quality of Lillestoff knits and wanted to try a solid piece after using a patterned length for my Mayfair dress earlier this year.
It’s a lovely weight – somewhere between light and middle-weight – slinky with great drape, but completely opaque. I chose the petrol-green flavour, but they have tons of great colours. My only concern pre-make was that it might be a bit clingy in the wrong places. I think by and large it’s fine. At least – I can’t see most of the bumpy parts, so I’ll just pretend they’re not there! Ha! But it would be fair to say that it’s a little more clingy that a straight cotton jersey.
The Sallie pattern actually has three distinct views. It’s both a maxi dress and a jumpsuit with two different leg lengths and you can choose between a lined kimono-sleeved bodice or a strappy tank. There are also pockets (of course) and an elasticated waist. As you can see, I went for the most covered-up version – the jumpsuit with the v-neck kimono tee bodice. I decided to leave the legs at maximum length until the end of construction as the shape is fairly straight, so it wouldn’t matter much where you chopped it and at that point I wasn’t sure if I wanted a full or cropped leg. As you can see I went for small crop in the end.
Size-wise, the 18 is an exact match to my measurements. However, I knew (as always) that the 18 shoulders would be too wide. So I used my high-bust measurement and cut a 14 at the shoulders, immediately grading out to an 18 for the rest of the jumpsuit. The pieces are shaped such that this was very simple and I think it worked well, although my HB+2 measurement – or a size 16 to start – may fit me even better as the armscyes are very slightly high. I also knew from experience I would need a little more length in the jumpsuit body. I added an inch to the rise at the front trouser and 1/2 inch to the front bodice. I didn’t add to the backs as I felt I needed the extra length was required mostly in the front on this occasion – and I think the back is okay, actually. What I would do next time is add a little to the front crotch curve – perhaps just 1/4-inch. It’s something I do for wovens, but I wasn’t sure about this knit. It’s certainly wearable, but I could do with just a tad more room.
The construction was very thoroughly explained as per all Closet Case Patterns projects. Unusually for a knit project, I did most of it on the regular sewing machine, just finishing a few seams with the serger. This was because you make the self-lined bodice in a similar way to a lined woven bodice and with the v-neck you need to be quite exacting with turns and clipping points. I do like the added structure the enclosed bodice adds though and feel it would have been a little more revealing without that extra layer.
It was a little fiddly with the modal knit, I can’t lie, and I had to unpick my stitching a couple of times as I got things a little twisted, but it only took a little finagling. One note I made was to make sure you mark the central dot marking on you bodice very well. You sew up to that dot from a few different angles and it makes life much, much easier if you know exactly where that is (ask me how I know). Once you’ve conquered the bodice, though, you’re on easy street with simple trousers to stitch together and then you just connect the bodice and trousers, leaving a little channel for your elastic. All straightforward.
Of course – what everyone wants to know is: is it easy to get on and off to go to the bathroom? And the answer is – yes, it is. You need a fabric that has at least 30% crosswise stretch. Mine has a little more I think and it’s very easy to pull on and off without any additional closures. So now you know.
All in all – the Sallie a good wardrobe workhorse piece that you can easily dress up or down. I’m definitely interested in giving one of the other versions a go now, plus maybe something a bit more wild, pattern-wise. Let’s see. First I want to make another Zadie jumpsuit and ooohh… well, a million other things, as usual. I’ve been working on a couple of versions of the Seamwork Clarke tank, which I’ve hacked around a bit, but it’s also the next step on my expedition into the world of bias-cut dressmaking, so stay tuned for that post soon!