Friday, April 6, 2018

In The Folds / Peppermint Jumpsuit in Japanese Selvedge Denim

I posted about my first version of the Jumpsuit pattern designed by Emily of In The Folds for Peppermint Magazine, back last spring. I've had a tremendous amount of wear from it, both on its own and layered over t-shirts. (As an aside the Outback Wife barkcloth is holding up extremely well.) The idea of a denim version has been building in my mind's eye for a while. And you know how we like to selflessly test out our new fabrics for you, don't you? The new Japanese 'Nep' Selvedge Denim wasn't going to test itself. So a denim jumpsuit came to be.

A few minor changes make this version more kind of overalls/workwear style:
  • Zip changed from centre back seam to centre front (I used a shorter zip which ends at about my navel, as the roominess of the jumpsuit still makes it easy to get on and off). 
  • Snap tab added at top of zip.
  • More patch pockets, five in total.
  • Topstitching on leg inseam, neckline and armholes.
  • Small triangles of leather reinforce stress points at underarms and centre back neckline.
  • Optional tie belt omitted. 

The only other change from the pattern was as per my first version, with 1.5" removed from the bodice and 1.5" from the legs at the lengthen/shorten lines.

I topstitched in orange and cream and added rivets to the pockets, for strength and, let's face it, because adding rivets to denim is just incredibly satisfying!

Zip is a sturdy metal YKK brand from The Button Bar. I used a couple of different tutorials - mostly this Papercut one - to work out how to insert it in the 'exposed zip' style. I thought a zip shield on the inside might be needed to protect my skin from the back of the zip but so far, no discomfort. Some sort of button or snap tab for the top was part of my orginal vision. When I miscalculated my zip insertion and the top ended up a couple of centimetres shy of the v-neck edge, well, it became a necessity! You know, we sewists like to call it a 'design feature'. Snap was from my stash, but Adelaide Leather and Saddlery have quite a few of these kinds of things, as well as the rivets used here. (Sold in packs of 100. Rivets on all the things!) They also have Tiny Anvils, which just might be the sewing tool you never knew you needed, until now.... #enabler

Since the outer leg seam of the Jumpsuit is too curved to be placed on the fabric selvedge (for look-at-my-selvedge cuffs), I featured the denim selvedge on a couple of the pockets instead.

Other than the zip and my extra embellishments, construction was pretty much as per the instructions. I had to add a seam allowance to the front facing and cut it in two pieces instead of on the fold, and the reverse for the back facing, because I swapped the zip from back to front. When it came to attaching the all-in-one facing, I was pretty sure the pattern's clever burrito method wouldn't quite work with the bulk of my denim. I used the method but stopped sewing before the narrowest part of the shoulder, and started again on the other side of the shoulder, so that stayed open to help me pull the fabric through. Once all turned, the remaining seam allowances were then quite easily tucked in and topstitched. Even so, a few stitches at the centre back V ripped with the effort of wrestling all that fabric through small openings. After hand-stitching it back together, I decided to reinforce this point with a scrap of leather. It's rather neat how many denim details - rivets, topstitching, bar tacks, button tabs etc - are born from a need for durability and function, but also serve as attractive visual features.

After a couple of days' wear, one of the side seams was showing stress at the underarm, so leather patches went on there as well.

The denim was lovely to sew with: not too thick, very stable, presses beautifully. After a few wears I gave it a machine wash for the sake of fabric research. (It wasn't really dirty and one of the things we love about denim is its infrequent washing needs.) It has softened up beautifully, and the slight fluffy/hairy appearance of the surface has become more apparent. Dye bleed was minimal, shrinkage little to none and the indigo colour has lightened/brightened just a touch.

I'm ridiculously pleased with this jumpsuit; it was one of those visions with a slightly uncertain outcome, because I strayed quite far from the fabric recommendations for the pattern and fiddled about with it a bit, but I couldn't be happier! Unlike traditional overalls, the coverage of this style means it doesn't always need a separate top underneath. In our current variable autumn weather I've been wearing it (ahem, a lot) alone and layered. Is there such a thing as too much jumpsuit? I may have to be the guinea pig for that research.

PATTERN: Jumpsuit (free downloadable pattern) by In The Folds for Peppermint Magazine.
FABRIC: Japanese 'Nep' Selvedge Denim, 3.1m x 120cm wide.
ALTERATIONS: shortened by 3" total, changed invisible zip at back to exposed zip at front, added patch pockets, snap tab, leather patches and topstitching.
COMMENTS: Pardon me if I wear this at least every second day for the forseeable future.

- Jane & Fiona xx


  1. I've just downloaded this pattern and am so excited to give it a go. Thanks for reviewing it and sharing (both of) your wonderful versions. The details of your denim one make it look like a truly sturdy and authentic piece! Well done.

    1. Thank you! It really is such a great pattern and a fun one to customise. I hope you love it too!


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