I jumped at the Tulia Jumpsuit by Fibre Mood – metaphorically speaking of course. I jumped at the chance to work on it when I was given the privilege by Fibre Mood to preview their Issue #13. Actually, when the paper pattern had finished printing on the home computer, I literally jumped on it as well, pushing all my other sewing projects aside and placing it in front of the work cue. I was possessed and started cutting and glueing the PDF pattern like a maniac. Because, WOWZA! What a pattern! And in fact, what an issue! It is tremendous. All the patterns are fabulous, and I want to make ALL of them, but the Tulia takes first place for me.
There is really no other reason to make another jumpsuit since I have already 20 too many in my closet. But how can I resist the boxy 80s shoulders created by big pleats running from front bodice to the back? How? And the jacket lapels on a jumpsuit? I’m drooling. To top it off, this cool jacket top is paired up with tapered pleated pants with an elasticated back band – AHHH!!! This is a jumpsuit (wet)dream come true! Ok I’m probably using too many capital letters and exclamation points here, but I can’t help it – this pattern is the bomb!!!!
Fuelled by all that exhilaration while sewing this up, I accelerated through this project even though it was an involved make. Cutting up the fabric took some time because I chose a stretch cotton with a houndstooth print purchased at Cadena Online. The fabric was easy to handle and work with, but the pattern was an in-between size, and I didn’t know whether it would be worth the effort to pattern-match or not. In the end, I chose to do it because looking at it from a further distance, the print reads as stripes. So the pattern-matching took up some time but it was definitely worth the investment. Oh, and I bought this lovely fabric at such a great price during the end-of-year sale. It worked out to be about US$3 a metre – SWEET!
The sizes for this pattern run from XS-XXXL. I sewed up a size XS with only one modification. The pant legs were too short for me, and I extended the length by 1 inch by adding bias tape made in the self fabric. This hardly ever happens since I’m such a shortie at 1.6m high. If I wear the jumpsuit with the waistband hitting my low waist (or at my iliac crests), then the length of the pants would be perfect for me. But because I prefer the waistband at my natural waistline, which is about an inch above my belly button, then I needed a bit more length in the pants.
Besides this little modification, I sewed up a straight size XS. One fantabulous thing about Fibre Mood patterns is that they tend to fit me pretty well. The fit of the pants section is perfect for me; and the shoulders of the top square off nicely for my build. So I have no complaints about the fit and sizing here.
The only thing that I worry about with Fibre Mood patterns is that the instructions are sometimes slim in terms of guidance. I love the design of the Tulia and the drafting is superb, so it would be a shame if the instructions would deter or intimidate anyone who wants to make it. Especially with patterns rated for intermediate sewists, the instructions tend to assume some know-how and experience. As such, there may not be complete hand-holding throughout the process. Keep in mind that I was shown the preview version of the pattern, and corrections or improvements may have been made by the time the issue gets launched. Nevertheless, the following are some suggestions and notes if you’re an ambitious beginner, and want to sew up the Tulia anyway.
1) The most fiddly part of the construction of this pattern is when the collar is sewn onto the front bodice. I haven’t done too many of these lapels in my life, so this part of the make required some added concentration. According to the instructions (Step 3), in order to create the neat corners of the lapels, there is some snipping done to the seam allowance of the front top while sewing it to the collar. This snipping occurs when the garment pieces are still under the machine needle in the middle of stitching, just before pivoting the corner. I can’t accomplish it the way it’s instructed because I don’t own small fabric shears that are sharp enough to fit in the small space between the presser foot and throat plate. A very precise snip is required to accomplish the task, and without the right tool, it was awkward and clumsy when I tried to do it. So I simply snipped into the seam allowance of the collar first, and then pin it to the bodice BEFORE I take it to the machine. I also find it easier to sew these corners with the front bodice on the top (collar piece at the bottom) to make sure that I’m not sewing in any puckers into the front bodice. This step is repeated again in Step 5 when sewing the other collar to the facing.
2) When sewing in the sleeves (Step 4), the sleeve heads have to be basted with two lines of gathering stitches between the front and back notches inside of the seam allowance. This is the only way that the wider sleeve heads can fit into the narrower sleeve openings of the bodice. This step of gathering up the sleeve heads will help gather up the fabric around the sleeve head in order to set in the sleeves to be attached to the bodice.
3) After sewing up the top half of the jumpsuit, the facing has to be secured to the bodice. This step is missing from the instructions. This can be done by hand sewing some stitches to attach the facing at the seam allowances to the bodice; or sewing in the ditch of both (facing and bodice) seam allowances together. I also stitch down the back facing to the back bodice in a matching thread, following the bottom curve of the back facing.
4) The width of the required elastic for the back waistband is listed as 4cm, but I found that after edge-stitching or top-stitching the waistband, a 4cm elastic wouldn’t fit through the channel. Luckily, I had 3cm elastic in my stash, and that was a better fit through the channel in the back waistband.
5) There are supposed to be these lengthen/shorten lines on the pattern pieces if you have to make length adjustments to the jumpsuit, but these double lines are missing from the pattern pieces of the PDF print-at-home pattern. I didn’t have to make length adjustments at all, so it didn’t matter to me. Hopefully, by the time it launches, the lines will be there for anyone who needs them. And maybe these lines are not missing from the paper patterns in the magazine version.
Hopefully the above tips will be helpful. If you need any clarification, feel free to drop me a line in a chat or leave a comment below.
Finally, I figured that this pattern has another bonus – it is actually a 3-in-1! What I mean is that there are potentially 2 more garments that can be made out of this jumpsuit. The top and the bottom can be made separately so that you get a jacket top and a pair of cool pants. I’m going to try out these hacks as soon as I get a chance. But first, let me pounce on the other patterns in issue #13, which I’ve been waiting for launch day to snap up. I have my eyes on the Babette Trousers, the Debra Dress, the Mabel Top, the Marion Dress, the Paulette Ruffle Blouse and also the Rozan Blouse. Wait, did I just name all the patterns in the issue? Well, just about. After a Fibre Mood Magazine launches, my main complaint is that there is not enough time to sew up all these great patterns. I better crack on.