It’s been about 18 years ago since I last wore a boilersuit, my younger self had one in Levis denim that I wore for work at the advertising agency that I worked at on Regent Street. I thought I was cutting edge because boilersuits were not a thing and I didn’t care that other people probably thought I had arrived at the office to unblock the sinks in the ladies toilets.
I wore my denim boilersuit for a few years before I got tired of it and gave it away to a friend. But I have thought about that boilersuit many times since and it’s one of the few things I have regretted parting with. Just like my first car, a little green Mini that I wish I still had today.
So it wasn’t that the boilersuit/jumpsuit is now bang on trend that made me want to make one, it was my deep longing for something I once had and because Toya found a FREE PATTERN from the Rational Dress Society. BOOM!!!
Battle of the Stitches
So, Toya and I are back again with Round 6 of the Battle of the Stitches. A head-to-head, non-violent battle of sewing prowess. We both made a jumpsuit. Well actually Toya made 3 but that’s just showing off.
But the lovely thing about this battle is that we consulted each other along the way from choosing the size to choosing the fabric and everything else that comes before the sewing process. Then we sewed them up together on a cheeky little sewing weekend in Ramsgate in December last year. Although Toya finished her Jumpsuit in December, I didn’t finish mine until April.
Is that what you call fast-fashion and slow-sewing? 🤔
The Rational Dress Society
I’d never heard of the Rational Dress Society, but Toya enticed me by showing me these and I was fully on board.
Even if you don’t love Jumpsuit, you can’t help but love the fun element and radical ethos of the Rational Dress Society…
WHAT IF YOU NEVER HAD TO PICK OUT AN OUTFIT AGAIN?
What alliances might be formed between JUMPSUIT-wearing individuals? Just as we reject the mini-mansion in favor of the city, refuse the automobile in favor of the train, JUMPSUIT offers a way to forego the insular logic of self-expression in favor of forming communal bonds. We embrace our neighbors. We reject the signs of class, race and gender that are inscribed into our daily interactions. In the future, we will be brothers and sisters together in JUMPSUITS.
JUMPSUIT is an ungendered, multi-use monogarment to replace all clothes in perpetuity.
I mean nice idea, but I’m pretty sure if everyone wore Jumpsuit, there would be colour and fabric envy. And before long people would be hacking the jumpsuit into a two piece and heavens forbid – a dress!!! [insert emoji of yellow face screaming in fear, depicted by wide, white eyes, a long, open mouth, hands pressed on cheeks, and a pale blue forehead].
What the Rationale Society say about Jumpsuit and what I say.
The construction of JUMPSUIT adheres to the following standards: durability, functionality and practicality.
Definitely all of those things. I feel like I could do anything in this Jumpsuit. Handstands, fix my car, paint the walls and go to a fancy(ish) restaurant for lunch (all in one day).
For increased range of movement through the arms and upper body, a raglan sleeve design was used.
The sleeve is the one part I wasn’t so keen on. Unless you’re happy to look like you’re wearing a WW1 nurse’s cape, I think the sleeves need narrowing by a couple of inches. So I created ‘a feature’ and add a single box pleat to pull the sleeve in. I think it has added a slightly feminine touch to an otherwise ungendered garment.
A standard convertible collar and front-fly closure with a heavy-duty zipper provides ease of use and a sensible style.
I love the fly front closure in Jumpsuit. It’s very neatly constructed, functions perfectly and the video tutorial made sewing it a breeze.
Two diagonal-seamed pockets and two back-patch pockets allow for convenient storage.
Yep, both a good size. But it got me thinking, is it only men that store things in their back pocket? Could this be the difference between men and women?
Both pocket types have been reinforced with additional stitching for augmented robustness.
The amount of topstitching on this garment is insane, if you like topstitching you will be in topstitching heaven. But if you need to make any adjustments, unpicking is a nightmare and tears will become part of the sewing process.
The use of reinforced tucks and pleats are engaged for comfort and range of motion.
The loose fit in itself allows for range of motion but the pleats and tucks give Jumpsuit a very professional finish.
The flat-felled seam, the most durable of all modern seam finishes, has been used throughout the garment to reinforce points of wear and stress.
You can climb a mountain and ride a horse in Jumpsuit and it still wouldn’t come apart. It’s probably great attire for any physically taxing profession. Think oil rig worker, prison guard, stuntman…
Topstitching and other foundational strengths are utilized throughout the RDS monogarment.
This is what makes Jumpsuit an exceptional garment and a glorious sewing pattern. I can hardly believe it’s a free pattern.
I really hoped I wouldn’t have to make any adjustments to such a loose fitting garment. I’m jealous that Toya was able to sew hers straight out of the tin. But I had to make the usual extensive alterations to compensate for my hyperlordosis and ample gluteus maximus* muscles 😉
I curved the waistband and in effect created a yoke. Added more pleats/darts and shaped the whole posterior* area so that the garment sits nicely against my lower back, curves round my bottom* and blousons out above my waist.
I used the reverse of a cotton twill which I bought from Saeed fabrics. The metallic gold is pretty fancy, but I was more interested in a matt black finish.
Full-on sewing skills are required to make Jumpsuit but the video tutorial makes things accomplishable even for a beginner.
Making Jumpsuit took a considerable amount of time and fabric, if you are thinking of making one, it’s probably only worth it if you are going to wear it past the trend. And perhaps only if you are sure it will not result in a ‘what was I thinking’ moment.
Jumpsuit is an extremely comfortable garment, if you like your first one, you’ll probably want to make another.
Now jump on over to Made by Toya and see how different the same pattern looks in a floppy green sandwashed fabric.
Comments welcome 😉