Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Pattern review: Republique du Chiffon Paule Jumpsuit in Organic Cotton Denim

Has the amount of washing in your household dropped off significantly? Mine has, and I'm attributing it to Iso Uniforms.

During this stay-at-home time my family members have more-or-less adopted personal uniforms. A few key garments are in high rotation and that often means day upon day of wear without washing. We're not going anywhere much so we're not getting very grimy or needing to look pristine, are we? And the certainty of a 'uniform' is comforting in these uncertain times.

The staple of my Iso Uniform has been a denim jumpsuit. Two years ago I made a denim version of the Peppermint Magazine/In The Folds Jumpsuit and it has been one of my most worn me-made garments ever. Maybe the most.

I have thrashed that thing, year-round. It's still travelling well, and the denim has aged so beautifully, but is just a wee bit tight across the chest now. Ah, hormones. It's still very wearable but I got to thinking, perhaps I could justify a second denim jumpsuit.

Then we had some beautiful new Italian denims come in, and we like to test as many of our fabrics as possible... so?

The Paule Jumpsuit pattern by Republique Du Chiffon had caught my eye.

Once my panic-addled brain had regained enough focus, I bought the pattern, printed it and pieced it together on A4 paper at home. I made a full muslin to test it out. A good start!

I wanted to eliminate the shoulder ties. I think they look great but wouldn't work well in denim, or under jackets. Other adjustments I made:
  • Added length in the bodice (a first for me! I think this was a full bust thing).
  • Raised back neckline.
  • Added bust darts at armholes.
  • Raised armholes for more coverage.
  • Changed strap shape & placement a little at front.
  • Made a bodice facing, incorporating neckline and armholes, informed by the In The Folds/Peppermint Jumpsuit facing.
  • Added a smidge more room in the seat (by, er, flattening the curve a bit).
  • Whacked in an exposed zip down the centre front because I needed a way to get in and out after all my adjustments, and from experience this makes a jumpsuit extremely easy to wear.
  • Lengthened the legs a bit (original are kind of cropped).
I had some excellent help cutting it out.

All the adjustments took another couple of muslins/partial muslins and quite a lot of tracing and cutting and staring at pencil lines, but I'm super happy with where this ended up. Same sort of thing as my first one, but different enough to feel new.

Things I love about the pattern
  • Those pockets! I love the look of them, they're really large and useful and quite simple to construct.
  • The slightly closer-fitting silhouette and waist seams that help make this 'different enough' to my Peppermint Jumpsuit.
  • The fit 'out of the packet' was good and sizing accurate.
  • The method for bringing the crotch seams all together was new to me, and worked extremely well.

Things I love less
  • The instructions - mostly really good - were a little scant when it came to the original finish of the neckline and armholes, including the shoulder ties. This is an 'add your own seam allowance' pattern and it suggests 1cm everywhere except the leg hems. The armholes/straps/neckline are finished with bias tape, width not specified, to be stitched on at .5cm from the edge. The shoulder tie ends are squared off, but the instructions say to finish continuously with the bias tape, and there's no diagram. I wasn't planning on using the shoulder ties or a bias finish so I didn't persist, but if I had wanted to, I might have contacted the company to ask for a bit more explanation.
  • Also, it's a bit sad that my size is the top of the available range (46). I think this style would be great on many bodies.

The denim

This denim is 12&3/4oz Organic Cotton with 2% Elastane, made in Italy. This is the 'Everblue' colourway. It's a fabulous 165cm wide and that meant I could cut this whole jumpsuit from at least half a metre less than anticipated. It really feels like a rigid denim to me, although perhaps there is just a little extra 'give' in there. I love the deep, dark colour and I felt that between the fabric and the lines of the Paule pattern, it didn't need further embellishment. I topstitched in places to reinforce seams but just used construction thread rather than contrast topstitch. After wearing a couple of times I added rivets on the pocket edges to add strength to these stress points.

The fabric was great to work with and my vintage Bernina handled it easily using a Jeans needle. I overlocked all the inside seams. In a couple of places where there were several layers coming together, I trimmed the seams with scissors first so my overlocker only had to sew, not cut.
To reduce bulk at the pockets, I made the pocket facings out of some scrap mid-weight cotton/linen (navy with cranetrucks, an old Kokka favourite!).
At time of writing we have a little bit left of some of these Italian denims, and we eagerly anticipate ordering more when lockdown restrictions are able to be lifted in Italy.

Here's the jumpsuit after one 'garment wash', so you can see how it's settling in, and a picture showing the bodice facing.

Have you adopted an 'Iso Uniform'? I think the rise of the boilersuit - the next logical step from the jumpsuit - has probably come at a very useful time!

- Jane xx