If you’ve been following us since January you might have seen a few posts here and there of me test wearing the early samples and gauging the feedback. I’ve never had such a big response from any other teasers so it was clear to me that there was a lot of interest in this piece. Thank you for your patience while I fine tuned the whole garment. It has been a long and thorough design journey which I’ve documented below.
The inspiration behind this piece came down to one word: ease. I wanted to achieve ease of wearing in every meaning.
Ease of movement. Ease of function. Ease of style. Ease of getting dressed in the morning. Ease of transitioning from dog walk to evening dinner in one outfit. Ease of feeling completely comfortable in what you’re wearing. These sentiments are true with almost everything I design but it feels as though there’s more weight in these intentions when the garment covers your whole body.
I really hope this pattern has been worth the wait and that it becomes a useful and well loved piece in wardrobes across the world. Have a read below for more details...
A Closer Look...
- This PDF pattern is available in UK Sizes 4 - 24
- The PDF comes with A0, A4 & US Letter formats with layers for different sizes
- The make process is labelled as an Intermediate + pattern. You'll need a reasonable amount of sewing experience but I've made every effort to include beginner friendly notes in the instructions.
- Welt pocket (this is the breast pocket and you could leave this off if you prefer)
- Option of a buttons only fastening or zip with buttons (the zip only covers the crotch area and you'd still have 3 buttons through the bodice)
- A combination of french seams, overlocked seams and mock felled seams
- Collar and facings
- Optional topstitching details
- Side pockets
- Elasticated waistband
- Option to reduce the body length (detailed instructions are included with the pattern)
The Design Journey...
As I mentioned above this has been a long and thoughtful journey (10 months to be precise).
When you create a pattern for yourself you need to like the design and feel good with the fit.
When you create a pattern to sell to others it means you have to understand every tiny little element of the garment. You have to understand how it reacts with different fabrics, how small fit adjustments will change the whole feel of the piece, how adjusting the proportions affects the character of the garment and above all you have to feel entirely confident that the sewing process works is clear and easy to follow.
To get from zero to finished with this pattern I made 7 fully wearable samples. The design didn't change at all but with each new sample I made tweaks and improvements and my understanding of the pattern got better and better. I thought I'd share some 'behind the scenes development' notes below:
I’ve had this design in my head for almost 2 years. I’ve sketched out various versions and I made this particular sketch to plan the pattern drafting in early January this year.
Sample number one included cuffs on the sleeves and ankles (this is no longer included in the pattern but it would be an easy to add your own if you like the look).
As a first wearable sample it was very similar to the finished pattern. Piecing this together was like building something from scratch and I was happy with the final outcome.
Having worn the first sample for a few months I came back to the pattern and made some tweaks. I then sewed this second sample in May and again I was happy with it visually but I needed to build some confidence that the front facing and fly area really worked.
It was also a bit tight to get in and out of throughout the day so I knew I needed to work on ensuring it was quick and easy to go to the bathroom in.
I made this third sample in a linen and I lengthened the body by about 4cm and in doing so I changed the whole feel of the garment. I had a panic and thought I had messed it up. Here it is unfinished and looking a little drab.
I realised that by lengthening the body I had created a totally different garment so I improvised and lengthened the elastic around the waist to let the waist sit lower. I then added belt loops and a tie which worked really nicely with the linen look.
I do love the slightly rustic artist vibe of this garment but this wasn’t exactly what I was going for. On to the next sample…
Next time I sourced a heavier canvas to see how the cut would respond to a heavy fabric. I felt slightly alarmed with how it looked at this stage.
Oh the importance of proportions… I did a couple of things to improve the situation from drab overalls to lovely summer jumpsuit. I tightened the elastic around the waist to nip it in slightly more. I shortened the sleeves and cropped the trouser legs. The result is a jumpsuit that worked much better with the amount of volume.
Here I am enjoying wearing the fifth sample in Paris. By this point I was more confident with the garment. I made the sleeves shorter with this sample and added a belt again.
By the time I made a 6th sample I felt fully confident with the fit and all the tweaks I had made. This is a navy twill number I made for my friend as a 30th birthday present.
You might be able to see that the legs and arms on this piece are more fitted. As my friend prefers a tighter fit with her clothes I tapered the inside and outside leg seams specially for her.
And then finally it was on to making the final sample and writing up the instructions! I'm really happy with how this garment now fits. I've found that the key is in making sure you adjust the body length to fit your proportions and I've included detailed notes on how to do this in the instructions.
I hope that reading about the journey has been informative and at the very least it shows the endless possibilities when it comes to fabric choice and small design changes such as tie belts and shorter sleeves. There really is a lot you can do with this pattern and I can't wait to see how different sewers interpret it and make it their own.
You can buy the Jesse Jumpsuit here.