After a frustrating couple of weeks sewing, I’m really pleased with my latest make, the Simplicity New Look 6446 jumpsuit. Jumpsuits have been big news for a while now and their popularity doesn’t show any sign of waning just yet. And why should it – as far as I’m concerned, jumpsuits are the perfect wardrobe staple – flattering and comfy with inbuilt colour-coordination! Whack on a statement necklace and you’re good to go.
I’d been after some red culotte-style dungarees for a while – then the Closet Case patterns Jenny overalls came out with the main photo showing them made up in red. I was transfixed! But I knew that pattern wasn’t for me – I’ve got an F cup bust and the bib part wouldn’t have looked right. Then I came across the 6446, and although it’s a jumpsuit it definitely has more than a slight dungaree vibe.
Simplicity New Look 6446
I’d picked up some red seersucker polycotton at Walthamstow market and I knew it’d be perfect for this pattern. I think it was £1 a metre!
Advanced beginner. This pattern has plenty to build the skills of a newbie sewist – pockets (the construction of which is mega clever), an invisible zip and the bodice is fully lined.
Were the instructions clear?
Hmmm. I struggled with the lining part and I’m still not sure that the illustration was that helpful, as it seems to show the right side of the main fabric rather than the right side of the lining (I think!) I did some googling – fortunately for me this pattern has been well reviewed by other bloggers – and I found the correct method of lining the bodice nestling deep in the comments of Handmade Jane’s review. Phew!
How was it for you?
It was a great experience to boost my confidence after my last unsuccessful make, a pair of In the Folds Peppermint wide-legged pants which I rendered unwearable thanks to messing up the zip fly. ☹️
What have you learned?
The main skill I learned from this was how to do a large full bust adjustment (FBA). I had researched this when I made my Bettine dress but that pattern didn’t warrant one. I knew this jumpsuit would need one, but when I started following the many online tutorials for an FBA my pattern piece distorted beyond all recognition – basically because I was adding too much for it to cope (9cms). I needed to know how to do a large FBA!
Thankfully the Curvy Sewing Collective stepped in again. They have a whole load of tutorials to deal with fitting problems arising from a full bust, including dart splitting, which is what I ended up doing, rotating one to the bust in addition to the waist. In the end I reduced the FBA from 9 to 6cms (so 3cms on each bodice piece) and I must say it’s wonderful to have a garment that fits nicely on my waist without squashing my bust. I should mention that I made a couple of toile versions because I knew I would have to experiment to get the fit right – but it was so worth it, because I will use this basic bodice block on so many other patterns now. I also grew to love my toile version – so I got two jumpsuits for the (sort of ) price of one!
How did it fit?
Oh Simplicity, when will you sort out your ease?!? The amount of ease in these patterns is nothing short of ludicrous. Being a beginner sewist, I dutifully followed the universal pattern-maker’s advice to forget my high street ready-to-wear sizing (which is reliably top half 10-12, bottom 12-14) and use my actual measurements.
According to the pattern, my measurements made me a size 14 on top (with an FBA), 16 waist and 18 hips. Fine, I thought, I’m not vain (blatant lie), I will make it up in this size.
Of course, it was MASSIVE. It’s stupid to include so much ease, this jumpsuit is obviously a fitted style so it looked ridiculous. Thankfully this was my toile version, which I’d made up in some yellow polka dot polycotton which I ordered in a ‘what were you thinking” moment. I cut it down to a size 10 bodice, 12 waist and 14 hips, and lo and behold, a perfect fit. So my High St RTW size, then? *Humph*.
In all seriousness, it’s ridiculous including so much ease that makers have to disregard the packet sizes and make a guess – it makes nonsense of the whole point of tailoring clothes to fit your unique shape.
The other small fit adjustment I made was on the advice of Lizzie B, who suggested dropping the crotch down to the lowest mark (a size 18). Since I was making this garment for comfy house wear, avoidance of wedgies was more important than pert bum accentuation!
Did you hack it?
No, I love it as it is. It’s a simple silhouette which I think suits my figure.
Would you make it again, and if so what would you do differently?
Yes, I definitely would, and I’d make the bodice with other sundress patterns now I’ve cracked the fit. I’d also chop the pants and use them as a standalone.
And finally…will you wear it out?
Yep yep! It’s perfect for the current heatwave here in the UK. Here’s me catalogue posing on my balcony.
I’m super proud of this jumpsuit – it’s the first thing that I actually envisaged and the end product came out as I’d hoped! It’s only my fourth make (fifth if you count the toile) and after so many mistakes and unpicking with the Bettine dress and the Peppermint pants, I was starting to feel like all my practicing was getting me nowhere. But with this make I could see improvements in my sewing – my cutting, measuring and stitching was more accurate, I made fewer mistakes and I coped better when things did go wrong (which they do, no matter how experienced you are). I suppose I’m saying this to any newbies reading this – stick with it, you’ll get better!
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