Month: January 2015

How to Find the Best Sleeveless Jumpsuit Pattern.

As the jumpsuit trend continues in ready to wear, more jumpsuit sewing patterns are springing up on the market, but with so much choice, it’s difficult to know which one to buy.

The good news is, I’m a ‘jumpsuit-a-holic’ and I’ve done a lot of the researching leg-work for you. Here’s my roundup of three of the best sleeveless jumpsuit patterns available at the moment, I hope they give you some jumpsuit ‘food for thought’!

The Patterns:

You’ll notice that Simplicity 1325 isn’t strictly a jumpsuit pattern, at least Simplicity doesn’t market it as one, but, trust me, it has the ‘bones’ of a jumpsuit. (Skip to the end of this post to find out how to make this).

Now grab yourself a cuppa’, get yourself comfy and let’s get on with this ‘jumpsuit-athon’.

Pattern Similarities

1. Style – all make a sleeveless v-necked jumpsuit and produce a similar looking silhouette.

2. Fabric – all can be made in a variety of fabrics.

3. Sizing – all available in a variety of sizes.

4. All are fairly easy to make.

Pattern Differences

1. Paper vs. Digital Download patterns – Simplicity 1325 and McCall’s M6083 are traditional paper patterns, by established pattern companies, that need cutting out or tracing and both include 1.5cm seam allowances.

Ralph Pink RP070 is by an independent pattern designer, that’s available as a digital download PDF that needs printing out, taping together and cutting out or tracing. Or you can pay a professional printer to print out the ‘copy shop’ version of the pattern for you. This pattern includes one centimetre seam allowances.

2. Price – McCall’s M6083 $11.95 plus postage;

Simplicity 1325 $10.75 plus postage;

Ralph Pink RP070 9.99 British pounds.

3. Pattern Instruction Languages – Simplicity 1325 and McCall’s M6083 pattern instructions are available in various languages whereas RP070 is only available in English.

4. Pattern Construction – Simplicity 1325 and M6083 have separate bodice and pants pieces whereas RP070 consists of four long main jumpsuit pieces – two front and two back. The upper back yoke is faced.

The separate bodice and pants pieces of the Simplicity 1325 and M6083 offer you more flexibility and freedom to design because for example you can use different fabrics for the bodice and the pants.

With RP070 on the other hand, the options to use contrasting fabric are limited to just the neck band, back bodice yoke and belt which limits the design possibilities.

5. Pockets – McCall’s M6083 has side front pockets in the pants, whereas Simplicity 1325 and RP070 don’t have any pockets.

6. Bodice Finishings – Simplicity 1325 has a lined, fitted bodice with a neck facing.

I also lined the pants by cutting the bodice and pants pieces out of my lining fabric and sewed them together in the same way as I did with the main wool fabric pieces. I then sewed the lining jumpsuit and the wool jumpsuit together, with right sides facing at the neck and arm openings. Then I turned the lining to the inside and under stitched it. I then treated the two layers as one and sewed the zip on top of the lining on the inside of the back of the bodice.

M6083 has an unlined bodice with neck facings and narrow hemmed armholes. RP070 isn’t lined and has a neck band (tutorial for how to make this neck band in a fabric with a directional print – coming soon) and armhole facings.

7. Waistlines –  Simplicity 1325 has a fitted high waist where the bodice joins the pants. The bodice and pants have darts front and back. This makes a fitted bodice so I suggest making a muslim to check the fit before you cut into your fashion fabric. I had to reduce the seam allowances on the side seams slightly at this point to get a good fit.

McCall’s has an elastic casing along the seam where the bodice joins the pants at the high waist point. I omitted this elastic casing and use the self fabric belt instead to highlight the waist. Next time I make this, I’ll also lengthen the bodice pieces by a couple of centimetres to allow a more relaxed blouson effect of the mock-wrap front bodice.

RP070 drapes and gapes open at the front and is closed with a button fly (I used press studs instead) and a belt but the pattern has no waistline seam. The pattern pieces do narrow at the waist though which gives some waistline shaping.

8. Suitable fabrics – RP070 and McCall’s M6083 are designed for lightweight fabrics – I used shirt-weight cotton for both and a linen/cotton mix fabric for my second RP070.

Simplicity 1325 is more suitable for medium weight fabrics – I used a trouser-weight wool with a viscose lining.

9. Style – RP070 and Simplicity 1325 produce jumpsuits with deep v-necks that need something worn underneath.

McCall’s M6083 has a high cut v-neck which I can get away with wearing on its own.

All of the jumpsuits have fairly wide legs although RP070 has possibly the slimmest leg width of the three patterns.

10. Sizing –  Simplicity 1325 and McCall’s M6083 have multi-sized tiled patterns, meaning all the sizes are on one pattern sheet, which makes grading between sizes easier. Plus the more generous 1.5cm seam allowances give you a bit more freedom to let out or take in seams to improve fit.

RP070 is also multisized but once you’ve chosen which pattern most closely fits your measurements, you print out the corresponding sized pattern and you only have one size on each pattern printout. This makes grading between sizes more difficult with RP070 and the smaller 1cm seam allowances don’t give you much room to make fit adjustments either.

I chose the pattern sizes which most closely matched my body measurements for all of the jumpsuits and found them to be fairly true to size.


I recommend all of these patterns and have happily worn my versions of all of them – a lot!

McCall’s M6083 is a good summer jumpsuit because it can be worn as a stand alone piece and can also be made from jersey – the only pattern of the three which can. The pockets are useful and the design is flattering.

Simplicity 1325 offers the best value for money because you get almost a whole wardrobe of pattern possibilities in one package – a jacket, pants, skirt, dress, long-sleeved top and an unofficial jumpsuit.

The deep v-necked front bodice is flattering and the design is closest to one of my favourite designer jumpsuits – this Luciano Soprani one below. It’s a pity Simplicity 1325 doesn’t have pockets though!

I’ve made RP070 three times and worn them year round. The layering possibilities of Simplicity 1325 and RP070 offer good year round wearing options.

The Simplicity 1325 jumpsuit is simple to make. Here’s how:- Sew the bodice and pants pieces together following the pattern instructions for the jumper/dress C/D by substituting the skirt pieces for the pants pieces. Then put a zip in the back of the bodice long enough to extend from the neck edge of the bodice down into the pants (for me the zip extends 17cm into the pants. Measure your back bodice piece and add on 15cm or so to calculate the length of zip you’ll need). Then hey presto, you have a jumpsuit!

Simplicity 1325 back zip.
Simplicity 1325 back zip.

If you’ve made any of these jumpsuits or if you make the Simplicity 1325 jumpsuit Franken-pattern, please leave a link in the comments below, I’d love to see them.

Happy sewing,


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Disclaimer: The unbiased views expressed in these reviews are my own. I didn’t receive any of these patterns for free and have no affiliation to any of these pattern companies nor to John Smedley Knitwear (although John Smedley, if you happen to read this, I’d happily wax lyrical about your knits in exchange for a few pullis because I LOVE your knitwear!)

3 Tips for Making a Denim Jumpsuit You’ll Love

Happy 2015, I hope the year’s treating you well and you’re sewing up a storm!

I’ve completed a few projects already and although it’s soo last year, I’m still making jumpsuits and LOVING them!

I’ve made 11 in the last 18 months. #jumpsuitobsessed

Here’s my latest denim one.

Burdastyle Easy S/S 14 jumpsuit in organic cotton 6oz denim.
Burdastyle Easy S/S 14 jumpsuit in organic cotton 6oz denim.

Love them or hate them, you can’t deny that jumpsuits give you all the fun of a dress in a ready-for-action form, and are comfortable and practical to wear.

So from all this jumpsuit-making action, here are my three tips for making a denim jumpsuit you’ll love.

1. Choose A Fabric That’s Easy To Move In. 

A denim jumpsuit is a suit you should be able to jump for joy in, so when you’re choosing your fabric, do the ‘star-jump test’. If you can imagine star-jumping comfortably in it, then the fabric’s probably suitable. (This is an unofficial test obviously, strictly for YoSaMi followers only, LOL!)

Organic cotton 6oz denim.
Organic cotton 6oz denim.

To make a full length long sleeved jumpsuit like mine, I’d recommend using a lightweight shirt-weight denim. I used an organic 6oz cotton denim (98% cotton, 2% elastane) which has some drape to it and a little stretch and is soft and comfortable to wear. A regular jeans weight 12oz denim would be too heavy to wear all over and wouldn’t be so nimble in the ‘star-jump test’.

A linen twill or linen mix would also give you a ‘denim’ look and be comfortable to wear and be reasonably hard wearing.

2. Choose Practical and Functional Details.

I’d recommend a front opening with a zip or buttons that extends down into the pants. I’ve found this is the easiest opening to get in and out of.

Adding elements such as zips, are also opportunities to soften and feminise the look of your jumpsuit and take it out of ‘boiler-suit’ territory. I used a gold zip for a bit of bling.

Front zip opening and adjustable waist band.
Front zip opening and adjustable waist band.

For the ultimate casual slouchy look, pockets for me are essential in a denim jumpsuit. This Burdastyle Easy S/S 14 jumpsuit pattern is packed with pockets. There are front welt pockets on the top and front pockets on the pants and back welt pockets on the pants.

Back welt pockets.
Back welt pockets.

The adjustable waist is also a winning feature of this jumpsuit and is relatively simple to do and a refreshing alternative to an elasticated waist. You could alternatively make a tie belt or finish the belt with a buckle or press studs.

3. Choose a Pattern With Options.

I recommend the Burdastyle Easy S/S 2014 jumpsuit pattern that I used because it offers lots of customising options, such as choice of pockets, sleeve and leg lengths, neckline finishes and waist fastenings. It’s useful to have the flexibility to remake it and alter the style to suit changing seasons. This pattern for instance has a cute sleeveless shorts version.

Denim jumpsuit that can be worn with layers.
Denim jumpsuit that can be worn with layers.

I’ve been wearing this long sleeved version layered up this winter, as you can see in the above photo. You can also make the pattern as a separate jacket and pants.

Alternatively you could experiment by putting a top pattern and a pants pattern that you like the style and fit of together and create a custom-made jumpsuit.

Top joined to pants with waistband.
Top joined to pants with waistband.

You can join the top section of the jumpsuit to the pants with a waistband as mine is. To do this, cut two rectangular pieces of fabric the length of the circumference of the waist section of your top and pants pieces, and the width you’d like your waistband to be, plus seam allowances.

Then with right sides facing, sew one piece of the waistband to the outer/right side of the pants. Turn the piece down and press the seam allowance towards the waistband. Then press the seam allowance of the waistband piece to the inside of the waistband and sew – hand stitch or stitch-in-the-ditch to the top. Repeat for the other waistband piece on the inner/wrong side of the top. Then hand stitch or stitch-in-the-ditch the waistband to the pants.

In my next jumpsuit pattern review, I’ll tell you how I made this tartan jumpsuit below. It’s a Simplicity pattern mash-up.

Simplicity pattern tartan jumpsuit mash-up.
Simplicity pattern tartan jumpsuit mash-up.

I hope these tips are helpful and if you’ve got any more I’d love to hear about them, so please leave a comment below.

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Happy sewing,


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