Steely Seamstress

Sewing for life


Sewing The Seventies: Make 2 – Denim Jumpsuit Part 2

Yes, I will admit that I’ve taken my time writing about my makes for Sewing The Seventies. Somehow the start of 2019 has been so busy for me. I’ve found some time to sew, but not a lot of time for all the blogging I’d intended to do.

Anyway, I’ve finally finished my jumpsuit! The jumpsuit pattern I used was a Burda pattern taken from their seventies vintage special magazine. My previous post describes the decision-making process for this jumpsuit as I deviated quite a bit from the original pattern. The pattern is designed to be made with jersey and lined, but I made an unlined jumpsuit in non-stretch denim. For this reason, I had to be very careful about making sure I could still move in my creation. I sewed the top and bottom of the jumpsuit, tacked them together and then did a lot of bending and stretching in the garment to make sure I was satisfied with the fit.

Cher Catsuit (V2-70)

Cher Catsuit (V2-70)

I made some changes to the pattern, I was concerned that if I made the pattern as it was in denim it would just look like the boiler suit Mr Steely wears for working on motorbikes! I thought the addition of all the top-stitching and the short sleeves took this it out of blue workmen’s boiler suit territory, until I put the finished garment on for the first time and Master Steely’s commented it was just like something a mechanic would wear. (Oh well, what does he know? He’s a teenager!) Perhaps I should have chosen a different colour, Mr Steely was all into the idea of a Kill Bill-style yellow suit. Really? I think I shall ignore that suggestion.

Kill Bill

Kill Bill – A yellow catsuit?

Anyway, I decided to make short-sleeves and used the sleeves from this seventies blouse as a substitute. I also decided to max out on the pockets adding patch pockets to the front and the back. The front pockets were taken from the Lander pattern and the back pockets from this seventies jeans pattern. Altogether this make was a real mish-mash!

Cher Catsuit (V2-70) – from the back

There is one thing I haven’t quite managed to do and that is create a belt for my jumpsuit. I’m still pondering what belt buckle to use, so the jumpsuit is still missing the belt loops and a belt, but at least I can wear it. Perhaps it just looks fine with the belt I’ve already chosen?

Bond villain pose?!

Bond villain pose?!

The jumpsuit was actually quite hard to make. The Burda instructions were essentially impossible to follow and this is the first jumpsuit I’ve made so it wasn’t easy to rely on my own experience here. I found the zip insertion instructions a complete nonsense and I probably over-manipulated the placket. It isn’t as tidy as I would have liked, but I’ll just have to live with that.

Cher Catsuit (V2-70)

Cher Catsuit (V2-70) – top.

I’m hoping that the jumpsuit can be worn with a long-sleeved t-shirt or jumper underneath in winter and on its own for summer.

Cher Catsuit (V2-70)

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Sewing The Seventies: Make 2 – Denim Jumpsuit Part 1

Don’t forget, it’s the Sewing The Seventies deadline tomorrow. It’s been such fun seeing all the cool seventies makes. I’ll be doing a round up post after that, featuring all your creations.

To be honest I have had some problems with my seventies makes this year. I had a disorganised start to the year and was away from home for about two weeks. I then bought a 70s pattern from Etsy that took an age to arrive. I’m not making anything from that pattern at the moment, because if I was never going to finish that before the end of March. So I embarked on a project for my second make than I would not have otherwise undertaken. That said, it is a fantastic make that I’ve really been able to get my teeth into.

Abba-esque jumpsuit


Line drawing of Burda “Cher” catsuit (V2-70)

I decided to make a denim jumpsuit. I had a pattern already for this. There is a jumpsuit pattern in the 70s Burda special. It’s called the “Cher” catsuit and is a rather Abba-esque all-in-one made from jersey. But it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind. I was leaning towards making a jumpsuit in denim. I took to the internet and pinned various images into Pinterest and here’s a compilation of the images that I liked:

In a nutshell, my aim was to create a jumpsuit using the Burda pattern, with a few key changes. I favoured short sleeves and pockets with top-stitching. The Burda pattern also includes making a lining for the jumpsuit, which I have done away with.

I chose some light-weight, non-stretch denim locally in Calico Fabrics. Yes, I know you’re thinking that this pattern has been designed to be used with jersey! It’s a dark indigo denim, which I always associate with a 70s look. I opted for the contrasting orange top-stitching.

The instructions that come with the pattern are truly awful. Yes, Burda strikes again, but they really surpassed themselves with this pattern and it was a challenge to sew this. I took to repeatedly reciting the pattern instructions out loud in the hope that they would make more sense… didn’t work.

I’ve never sewn a jumpsuit before and I was worried about how I was going to get the fit right, particularly given that the pattern is designed for jersey. I made the trousers and the top separately and then tacked the two together to investigate the fit. Wisely, I’d anticipated that once you get the zip in, a change to the jumpsuit would be very difficult. The fitting involved some interesting antics such as bending and touching my toes and curling up into a ball to be sure that the crotch didn’t cut me in half!

The pockets were taken from two other patterns. The back pockets from this Seventies pattern. I did some top-stitching on the pockets in two different colours. The effect is perhaps a little too subtle, since the two colours weren’t too dissimilar. The slightly darker top-stitching thread was a left-over from another project. The front pockets came from the Lander pattern.

I’m nearly there with this make now, but I’ve still got to add the collar and the sleeves. Actually, I haven’t even cut out the sleeves yet! I need to find some short sleeves, preferably with bands (that I can top-stitch).