I feel that I definitely did not make enough jumpsuits this year! And as you guys know, I absolutely LOVE them. I had planned this one for ‘Jumping into June’ challenge, but I didn’t even get close to finishing this one in by then. So here I am showing this red knit jumpsuit in mid-August, but with my track record and the backlog of unblogged projects, this is really not too bad.
So, as I was saying, I’m a sucker for a new jumpsuit pattern. And I was looking for a new summer TNT pattern for a while, as an alternative for my all time favourite pattern, V9075. I have been following Nikki from Beaute J’adore for years now, so when I heard she is releasing a range of patterns for McCalls, I was intrigued. M7444 got on my radar and after umming and erring for a while, I bit the bullet and bought it in a sale.
I will get onto the pattern in a bit, but since we are still in August, aka #Sewcialists #TributeMonth, I want to give a shout out to a wonderful sewing blogger who inspired me for this make. Her name is Shun and she blogs at shundavies.com. I came across Shun’s blog as I was looking up any reviews for this pattern, and I’m so glad I did. She has a fantastic style that really speaks to me – and she has made many patterns that I either already own or are on my wishlist, clearly we both have the same great taste :). Go check out her blog if you don’t know her already!
Right, so about the M7444… I found precious few reviews of it, which is really annoying, I always like to see a few examples before committing to a new pattern. So hopefully this will help other people who are looking to make this.
Shall we start with the description on the back of the envelope? It reads: Close-fitting partially lined jumpsuit has front bodice tucks with stays, deep V-neckline, wide midriff, and back invisible zipper.
Because I’m a rebel like that, I made this in a firm knit fabric instead of the woven that is recommended on the back of the envelope. I would say that even if you make it in wovens, make sure the fabric has a bit of stretch, and the trouser part is quite fitted and it will be uncomfortable without a bit of give. But more importantly, take this into account when reading my recommendations.
The line drawings are deceptively simple, but there is a lot going on on the inside.
I usually do a quick tissue fitting for any new trouser patterns, because the difference between my hips and waist is quite big, as well as having quite full thighs and a round bum, so pretty much nothing fits me from the pack. Plus there is additional complexity with jumpsuits, as I have quite a short waist, so I need to make sure I shorten the bodices as well.
Because it’s always easier to cut off than to add, I decided to cut a size 14 for the bottom and a size 12 for the top, thought usually for Big 4s, I’m a 10 on top. I did the tissue fit and they felt tight on in the thighs areas, so I also added a bit more to the outside seams and hip. I also ended up doing a quick toile for the top and midriff, and good thing I did, because I realised it was madly indecent, and also a bit uncomfortable, because it really was too long. I cut the shoulder seam at size 8, which sorted the problem. The toiled also showed another alteration I usually make because of my narrow back, so I reduced the centre back by about 3/8” (1 cm).
I also ended up adding 1” at the shorten and lengthen line and an additional 1/2” wedge on the back, to make up for my round bum. After finishing them, I would have liked to add a bit more at the bottom length, as they came out a bit short. So I would really advise toiling this pattern before you cut into your nice fabric.
Another watch-out is that there is a mistake on the fabric requirements, as they don’t take into account the fact that the trousers are also lined, and they recommend only 1/2 m for lining, but that’s totally not enough for a full length lining, as the instructions call for. I did not use any lining at all in the end (thought I had cut and sewed it), but 1/2m at 110 cm wide could be enough for a shorts version of the lining.
In terms of construction, it’s reasonably straightforward (pattern is ranked as ‘easy’). However, there are a lot of pieces and lining as well, so it’s not really a quick make. I also made life harder for myself by sewing the seams by machine and then overlocking all of them as well. To be fair, it was a bit of an overkill, because the bodice is self lined and the fabric is not fraying at all. I should have just reduced the SA as overlocking also added bulk in the seams and it’s showing through. Live and learn, folks!
The one thing I struggled with were the pleats, as I could not understand which way they were meant to go. I unpicked the front about 10 times and I’m still not sure if I did it right. The pleat is on the wrong side in my version and it’s showing through the front, which I don’t like.
Other changes I’ve made was to omit all lining except the front stay. Because of my fabric was a knit and I made it all quite fitted, I felt the lining will feel restrictive. I do quite wish I had some sort of lining in the knee area, as the fabric will stretch there like no-one’s business. I was wondering if I could maybe add something like a knee patch on the inside, but I just could not be bothered to unpick the sewn and overlocked seam. Let’s see how bad it gets and I might convince myself to do it. Omitting the lining also made life easier, as I just joined the trousers to the midriff and the bodice and stay + front and back straight to the bodice with the overlock. The way the instructions wanted you to to do it was more complicated because of the lining.
Once it was all put together, I realised that it was waaay too big, so I trimmed the side seams and outside leg until to came together and fitted tightly. I’m not sure if this was because of my knit fabric or that the sizing is off, but I’m sure that won’t be the case in a woven.
I could not hem the legs with the normal 2” hem because they were way to short. So I just had to do with an overlocked and turned hem, finished with the chain stitch on the coverhem machine. I initially did a double needle stitch on the coverlock, but it didn’t look very nice. I don’t like the way it looks too much, it doesn’t hang well, but I had to make do, otherwise it would have been too short for heels. And I think they do need heels :).
The fabric is some sort of poly knit. I can’t actually figure out what it is, it’s almost like a ponte, medium weight and quite firm and spongy, with a good amount of stretch, but can be easily sewn with a regular sewing machine and a jersey needle. I got it from Minerva last year and as I had a gift card, got a lot of it, and I previously used it for this Seamwork Elmira top. It was described as jersey crepe, but I can tell you for sure that that’s on thing it absolutely isn’t. I have doubts about how well it will fare in the long run, as it’s already starting to pile in the inner thigh area. Not too impressed!
Overall, I am a bit unconvinced by this pattern. It seemed to be a lot of work for what it was. Ok, I made life harder for myself, and because it was a new pattern, I’ll have less issues with the fit next time. But still, not sure how many such jumpsuits I might need in my wardrobe. It really is a bit too low cut for me. This is not because I’m some kind of a prude, but it really limits the wearability. I can’t wear it to work, unless it’s over a cami or bodysuit, so I will have to save it for going out.
A solution to the latter issue can be sorted with a combination with the Elmira wrap top, which I had made before in the same fabric and they go together quite nicely. I wore this combo to a Christening, and my modesty was preserved. Plus it gives it a cool 70s vibe.
So here we are! You can tell by the length of this post that it was not really a straightforward make, but I hope you’ll find the info useful if you are attempting your own version.
Pattern: McCalls M7444, size 10 on top and 12 on the bottom
Fabric: Poly knit from Minerva Crafts
Notions: one 22″ invisible zipper
– reduced shoulder seam by 1/2”
– reduced centre back by 3/8”
– increased back crotch by 1/2 ”
– increased front and back trouser length by 1”
– omitted lining
Future alterations: add 1” to hem length
Verdict: Maybe give it another go in a woven.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT JUMPSUITS? HAVE YOU TRIED THIS PATTERN YET? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BOX BELOW OR TWEET ME @SEWRENDIPITY!
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