Sewing: Sheila Trials Nerida's New Jumpsuit Pattern

Sewing: Sheila Trials Nerida's New Jumpsuit Pattern
Nerida Hansen
Nerida Hansen

Jumpsuits are the ultimate outfit solution for any occasion. They are comfortable, easy to wear and you can dress them up or down and take them to the next level with accessories. It is an effortless ensemble or a statement piece.

Hobby sewist, Sheila Duffy from @sheilasewsherclothes road tested an up and coming new sewing pattern for Nerida Hansen Fabrics – the jumpsuit!

Hello Sheila, thanks for taking the time make the jumpsuit and test it out. Firstly, when and why did you start sewing?
I was 11 years old and i had created a fuss, because my younger sister had had art lessons. I wanted lessons too. My mum thought sewing would be a good fit (she didn't sew). Back then we had a sewing school in our community and several places to buy fabrics.

What do you like about sewing?
I like everything about sewing. I love unique prints, especially ones that are designed by artists in natural fibres. I also like the constant learning that sewing involves both in terms of figuring out my personal fit issues and discovering new sewing techniques.

Why did this exercise appeal to you?
The jumpsuit appealed to me due to the late 60s vibe, as well as the lightweight linen cotton and mid-weight cotton fabrics. I really like the drape and weight of Nerida Hansen’s new range of lightweight linen cotton, but I have not had much experience sewing it, therefore I was keen to try out a pattern specifically designed for this fabric.

I also love the mid-weight cotton because it has both weight and softness, which is hard to find. I also had some mid-weight cotton in my stash from 2018 that I had been meaning to make a jumpsuit, but I could not find a pattern I liked and joined at the bodice.

I ended up making two jumpsuits in two different fabrics – one in Melanie Macilwain’s Marigold Garden in cotton linen that I was gifted and the other from my Nerida Hansen stash.

What were your initial thoughts from the jumpsuit pattern?
After reading the layout, I saw that the pattern included measurements for both the v-neck depth and the thigh width. I liked this because the v-neck depth gives me an idea of the functionality of the garment as everyday wear and the thigh width gave me the option of double checking before I cut the pant leg so I could be sure that I would have enough room to accommodate flat lying pockets.

What suggestions or tips would you like to share with other sewers keen to make the jumpsuit?
I made a toile. I cut the pants playsuit length to save fabric. I don’t always toile, but this was semi-fitted and I had no previous posts to reference.

I found that this pattern fits just like the line drawings. I made the mistake of cutting my first bodice a size below my measurements. I recut the bodice to my measurements and it all came together as it should. If I was not short waisted (with a few other gravity related body issues) my first sew of this pattern would have fit me perfectly. If I hadn’t made a toile it would have still looked okay because that big, long waist belt would hide my uneven waist and give me a waist curve and generally shoulder problems (mine slope) aren’t that obvious in things that are sleeveless, like this jumpsuit. 

What adjustments did you make?
I knew I’d be posting this so I did some adjustments. One was a short waist adjustment which is much easier with a two piece jumpsuit (like this one). This pattern also has an adjustment line on the bodice to do it from, which makes it very straight forward. I usually add what I take away from the bodice to the pant crotch curve because I’m longer below the waist (because once you start adjusting for fit you find all these strange things about your own body). 

I can tell you that the crotch curve is perfectly drafted and that is a thing. Ideally, when I adjust I should just be able to add to the bottom crotch curve exactly what I subtracted from the top bodice. However, sometimes I’ll still end up with a jumpsuit that rides up the back crotch (something only a gusset can fix if you are ever in that uncomfortable situation) but this curve was perfectly drafted. After my little adjustments the fit was spot on.

What else did you like about the jumpsuit?
I really like the zipper. I like buttons too but not on a jumpsuit. Too much to fiddle at the loo and button line just isn’t as flattering. I hadn’t sewed an invisible zipper in a few years and I doubt I’ve done more than six but I was game to have a go.

I’ve sewn lots of those centre seam zippers in years past but I wanted that clean look of the invisible zip. I read the instructions which were clear but it’s still so different from the ‘seams showing’ style of zipper I knew and I’m super visual with new stuff so I YouTubed it.

Success with both jumpsuits especially when I remembered to mark the back waist seam and use zipper tape to hold it in place (and that info is in the pattern instructions). The pattern also has a nice little burrito method for getting a clean finish out of the armholes. I have previously YouTubed burrito method but in this case I was able to read the instructions and ‘get it’ because the illustrations are all really well drawn.

Finally, could you describe how you felt wearing the jumpsuit? What type of occasion would you say it is suitable for?
The design of the jumpsuit results in a flattering silhouette. I finished the linen cotton jumpsuit and made another from mid-weight cotton. The one in mid-weight cotton is more casual and I wore it to meet a friend for lunch and run errands. I'm going to wear the linen cotton version to a pre-Christmas dinner, but I also think it would be suitable for work too.

Overall, it’s a cracker of a pattern. 

To shop the show stopping jumpsuit pattern visit

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