I had the privilege of pattern testing the Caladium Jumpsuit, which is a new pattern from designer, CaraMiya Davies-Reid (@caramiyamaui on IG). This is a very unique jumpsuit because it can be worn back to front and front to back.
This reversible feature makes this jumpsuit stand out from the rest. On one side, the jumpsuit has a square neckline and on the other, a deep-V. Getting in and out of the jumpsuit is super easy – you just step in and out. This means that there are zero zippers, snaps or buttons to install. It is perfect as a beginner’s pattern, and the most challenging technique is sewing on bias binding and a square neck facing. There’s no doubt it can be classified in the easy-to-sew and easy-to-wear categories. It didn’t take long for me to sew it up. All in all, it took up about 3 hours of my time, and that included cutting up the fabric.
Honestly speaking, this is not going to be a true pattern review of the jumpsuit because of my experience of it as a tester. I worked with a pattern draft that was still undergoing a testing or birthing process. CaraMiya was very responsive to everyone’s feedback, and the development of this pattern really benefited from the group input. The seed and genius of the pattern came from CaraMiya and CaraMiya alone; while the testing group was like a tribe of midwives that supported her through that final push to release it into the world. I imagine this whole testing process must be a very vulnerable thing to do for a designer, so I give CaraMiya a lot of credit for being so receptive to feedback and criticism. At the same time, the group was incredibly kind and encouraging. It was really fun to see everyone’s version of the jumpsuit in the FaceBook group that we were in, and I really appreciated being a part of this testing tribe.
When sewing up jumpsuits, it’s important to know the vertical measurements of your body and compare them to the vertical measurements of the paper pattern. One of the main fitting issues of making a jumpsuit is how low or how high the crotch is.
The crotch should be low enough so that it’ll be comfortable even when sitting down, and that is why a few vertical measurements must be taken from the shoulder to the crotch to prevent painful wedgies from a jumpsuit with a too-high crotch.
These measurements include:
- high point of shoulder to bust;
- high point of shoulder to waist
- waist to hip
- waist to crotch.
It is worth taking these measurements and double checking them on the paper pattern. This way you will be able to make the necessary lengthen/shorten adjustments before cutting into the fabric.
From these measurements, I deduced that the shoulder straps were going to be too long for me, but at that point in time, I wanted to wait for a fitting close to the end of the sewing process to determine how much to shave off at the shoulder straps. Anticipating that, these were the adjustments I made:
- Lowered the crotch by 1’’
- Raised the square neckline by 1’’; and made the same adjustment to the neckline facing
- Added 7’’ to the hem because I wanted full-length pants instead of them finishing at half-calf
- Instead of a 1.5’’ wide bias tape made from the self fabric, I reduced the width of the tape to 1.25’’. The slimmer tape produced a seam finish that felt more proportionate to me.
When it was time to sew up the shoulder seams, I ended up taking in one more inch so that the square neckline would sit at the level that I want it to. From pictures of other Caladium makes, this neckline sits a tad low for me. You might not need to make any adjustments to your Caladium Jumpsuit since CaraMiya has made changes to the final draft. However, these might be helpful suggestions for you when you are sewing up the jumpsuit.
The other fitting issue is to make sure that the widest opening of the jumpsuit will be able to fit past your hips in order to put it on. So double check the finished measurement chart to determine which size to sew up.
Sizes for the pattern comes in 0-2 (hip size 35’’-36’’) to 28-30 (hip size 58’’-60’’). I sewed up a size 0-2. The fabrics were Shibori-dyed, using Jacquard iDye for Natural Fabrics in Pink (numbered 409). This is a hot water dye and what I like about this product is that the powdered dye comes neatly packaged in a small dissolvable plastic pouch, which helps with preventing messy dye powder spillage. The fabrics are a light pink linen which was dyed with a folding technique to produce geometric patterns; and a white cotton-linen blend which was simply thrown into the dye vat together with the former. The dye vat was definitely overcrowded and produced this patchy dye job that I initially was bummed out about. But the patchiness slowly grew on me. I like the juxtaposition of the more disciplined lines of the patterns created by the folds against this amoebic, organic blobbiness. See how mistakes can be repackaged into something desirable? All is needed is a change in perspective. I was also afraid that the pink is a bit radioactive and jarring on the eyes, and I was afraid I would not find anything much to match with it. But it kind of goes with everything!
The other selling point about this jumpsuit besides its unique reversibility, is its versatility. It can be worn on its own (if you’re not afraid of showing too much skin), as a beach cover-up, with a tank, a button-up shirt, a t-shirt, poofy sleeves, turtle-neck, etc. Basically, it can go with everything and anything. And it can be made up in any fabric – woven or knit, heavy or light. It can be styled for casual or more formal occasions and can be fashioned into the coolest party gear. It’s also extremely comfortable to wear. So definitely give this pattern a go. You won’t regret it.