The Cara Jumpsuit is a relaxed shape, with a drawstring waist and a choice of wide or narrow leg trousers. The method for making up is the same for both styles; here you will see the narrow leg version.
As with the Charlotte Dress tutorial, my aim is to complement the printed instructions and to add detail where it may be helpful. We’re in a rather chaotic house at the moment, with major building work under way, so please excuse me for the variable lighting and the variety of backgrounds. I have had to move around a lot to find good work spaces!
Having laundered the fabric, lay it out and pin/weigh down the pattern pieces and cut out, marking notches and placement lines in your preferred way.
Using very wide polyester crepe meant that I was able to adjust the layout, using only 2.5m of fabric. I find a roofer’s square (from a hardware shop or builder’s merchant), as seen here, very handy for aligning pattern pieces with the straight grain, especially the narrow ties and channels that are cut on or near the fold. Its weight also helps hold them in place.
From this point onwards, I’ll number the steps to match those in the printed instructions.
- Take the two neckties, fold them in half lengthways, pin and stitch along one short side and the long side. I used a 0.5cm seam allowance to make it easier to turn afterwards. Trim the corner close to the stitch line and turn RS out. I do this by using a large blunt needle, with strong thread, passed down through the tie and pulled through.
2. RST, pin and stitch the neck ties to the back bodice, following the pattern markings (tip: if you haven’t marked them, hold the paper pattern behind the fabric as a guide).
3. Place the front and back bodice pieces together at the shoulder line, RST and with the ties enclosed between them (tying the loose ends together might reduce the chance of catching the wrong part when sewing). Pin and stitch the seams.
4. Fold the neckline over so that it is aligned, WST, with the bodice.
6. Pin and stitch the front and back bodices (including the folded over facings), RST, at the side seams. Press the seams open and finish the raw edges.
7. Open out the bias binding so that it is more or less flat (running a fingernail along the crease can help with this). Starting at the side seam, pin it, WS of the garment towards you and WST, around the armholes, easing it as you go. Allow for a small overlap at the side seam, then cut the binding and repeat on the second armhole. As you pin, try to align the binding crease with your stitching line. Stitch in place along the crease. Trim the excess fabric close to the stitching line.
Fold over the bias binding to the inside of the arm holes – so that the seam you just created becomes the edge – and pin in place. At the side seam, fold back the right hand section so that the raw edges are tucked underneath and the fold aligns with the seam.
You might find it helpful to tack (baste) the binding in place, so that you are sure it will sit flat to the fabric. Having not done so, I found I had some puckering of the outer fabric and had to re-stitch several sections.
With the wrong side facing you, stitch the binding in place, close to the fold. The raw armhole edge is now enclosed withing the binding and gives a neat finish. Do take this slowly if you haven’t done it before!
8a. Turn and press in 0.5cm to the reverse side at both ends of the top channel. Top stitch in place close to the raw edge.
8b. With wrong sides together, pin and stitch the short ends of the under channel, using a 1.5cm seam allowance, to form a loop; press the seam open.
9a-9c. With the bodice right side out, place the under channel inside it, RS of the under channel to WS of the bodice, and with the under channel seam at the centre back. On the outside, align the top channel with the lower bodice edge, wrong sides together. The finished edges of the top channel should meet at, and align with, the centre front of the under channel. Pin in place and stitch with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Remove pins, open out and press flat. The edges of all three layers will now be enclosed and you will have the lower raw edges of the under- and top channels remaining.
10,11. Pin and stitch the front rise seam of the trouser fronts and then the back rise seam of the trouser backs. Press the seams open and finish the raw edges.
12. Join the trouser front and backs at the inside leg seam, taking care to align the rise seams where they meet. I use extra pins here. Press the seam open and finish the raw edges.
13. Join the trouser fronts and backs at the side seams. Press the seams open and finish the raw edges.
14. With right sides together, match up and pin the waist of the trousers to the top and under-channels, aligning the seams and notches. Pin and stitch in place, then finish the raw edges (I did this with all three layers together for neatness). Press the seam allowance downwards.
15. Neaten the lower edge of the trouser legs, turn, press and pin the trouser hems in place (the pattern allows 2cm, though you may need more or less to obtain the desired length). Finish with a blind hem, hand stitched hem or topstitching.
16. Join the hip ties at one short end, to make a long strip. Press the seam open. Fold lengthways and stitch as for the neckties, along one short end and the long side, then trim the corner and turn. Fold in the raw edges and slipstitch or topstitch them in place close to the end.
17. Using a large safety pin or bodkin (a blunt needle with a large eye for threading elastic and cord), thread the hip tie through the channel formed by the top and under channels. You have finished!
Disclaimer: I was given the printed pattern by Simple Sew Patterns for the purposes of writing this tutorial.