Cotton/poly cut work fabric
from the FIDM Scholarship Store.
Blue-green satin faced polyester fabric
from an ASGLA Couture Group stash exchange.
I need an outfit suitable for a wedding this fall; I was actually well on my way sewing Tom & Linda Platt’s 2-piece pants suit (Vogue V1869) when I found out that the bride was wearing a non-traditional color — the same royal blue as my outfit! Two of my students have sewn Julio Cesar’s Vogue jumpsuit, V1806, to wear at weddings this summer. I figured it was my turn.
The pattern was relatively straightforward to fit, as it has basic darted back pieces with a center back zipper and the princess-seamed front comes in a variety of cup sizes. I did my usual bodice alterations: high round back, forward shoulder, sway back, full bust and a redrawn waistline. I fit the pants separately, reoriented the waistline, and reattached it to the bodice. My pants alterations: narrow back, drop seat, sway back, and reoriented waist line. Pattern alterations completed, I focussed on the fabric.
During a recent American Sewing Guild stash exchange, I ended up with 5 yards of a lightweight blue green poly fabric that looks like silk dupioni on one side, but more like satin on the other. I decided that the “dupioni” side would be a nice underlining, and the “satin” side would work well as a bodice lining.
On the pattern envelope, V1806 is shown in an eyelet-like lace. I had some cotton/poly cut work fabric in my stash; I’d purchased it years ago at the FIDM Scholarship store. The black cotton/poly is satin stitched to form the “lace” roses. The fabric is a lightweight cotton/poly batiste. Where it is cut away, the gaps are quite large. I’d avoided this fabric for years because of the construction difficulties that it presents. I consulted with my sewing mentor, Susan Khalje, to determine the best method of construction.
Usually, manipulating lace over curved seams is a bit of an arduous process. One first constructs the base fabric, then tacks the lace to it, cutting out the pieces that overlap to create the shaping over the seams without a visible seam line. The soft cut work fabric did not seem particularly amenable to this process —- especially over curved princess seams. Susan suggested treating the cutwork as a fabric for the bodice, so I cut the blue green poly with the dupioni side as the “right” side. I marked the satin side with a tracing wheel, and used it as the pattern for cutting the cutwork. Then, I basted the two together along all the seam lines. As you can see in the pictures, it behaved rather nicely when basted.
The pattern called for a separate tricot short under the lace pants. I thought this was a rather odd mixing of fabrics and, in any case, I wanted my pants lining to be full length. The pants have only a crotch seam and inseam; there is no side seam. Complicating the matter, the lace is too open to create strong inseams or crotch seams. Susan and I decided that if the fabrics were treated as one and sewn together at the inseam, they would droop at the side and be too stiff at the inseam. Instead, I constructed four pant legs separately (two cutwork, two lining). Creating a separate cutwork leg meant that I needed to create an inseam in a fabric with lots of big holes. Susan suggested a technique similar to the one usually reserved for lace. I overlapped the inseams, satin stitched down the existing bride lines, and cut away the excess fabric. I tested the technique (pictured with contrasting thread) and found that I needed a 2.3 mm wide zig-zag (slightly larger than the 2.0 mm wide fabric stitching.) I also decided to reduce the presser foot pressure and to use some tear-away stabilizer against the feed dogs while I stitched. The two “lining” legs were inserted into the two lace legs and seamed together at the crotch and back zipper and pleated together into the waist.
The cutwork and blue green fabric legs were hemmed separately. The crotch seam is bulky and presents some challenges for finishing. I sewed a double seam, ¼” apart, in the crotch curve. I finish crotch seam allowances by pressing the center front and center back seams open until halfway down the crotch then overlocked the pressed-open seam allowances separately. I trimmed the bottom of the crotch seam to 1/2” and overlocked the seam allowances together, so that there is only one seam allowance in the bottom of the crotch. This finish resulted in a smooth crotch curve that lies close to the body.
Susan also suggested that I needed a belt to define the waist. I made a belt from two layers of black batiste over a length of Pati Palmer’s Perfect Waistband interfacing. I finished the belt with a vintage black clasp, and clipped two black S & M Schramsberg silk satin roses to either side of the clasp.
I am happy with this jumpsuit and the matching shrug (V8796 view B, not pictured.) The front is smooth, but there are a few drag lines on the lower back. When I fit the bodice closely enough that they disappeared (a sway back alteration fixes them nicely), I found the shoulder-to-crotch length became too short for me to zip myself up! Since I don't plan to have a lady's maid with me in the bathroom, I thought I'd bear a few drag lines!