Not So Pants After All..!

SO. I may as well start with the truth. Jumpsuits DON'T do me any favours. There. I said it. You may be the fashion-forward, don't-give-a-damn kind of person who wears them with pride - but I JUST CAN'T. Not unless I forget I have a rear view.

Yes, I know Beyonce looks hot in one. And yes, J Lo looks incredible. The Kardashians have thought of plenty of ways to rock theirs (BTW, did you know they're called 'romper suits' in the US? Let's try to make that happen here! Come on!!)

BUT! When was the last time you saw any of those hot women looking anything less than hot?
(*forgetting that triathlon episode for a moment...)

The point is, I don't have time to work out four hours a day, or the money to hire a personal chef; this is my body, my pledge is to work with it, and know it's limitations (this will likely be the subject of another post, body image is a fascinating subject to me). I digress - what I'm trying to say, in a very long-winded way, is that I won't be wearing an all-in-one jumpsuit any time soon. When I saw this Primark number for sale in a charity shop, I started to plan what I could do with it... apart from playing "Where's the ferret gone?", that is.

If you can open another window whilst reading this, today's blog post soundtrack is one of En Vogue's finest tracks (IMHO), and could easily be the refashioner's theme tune... Free Your Mind!

So, as you can see, it's XL jumpsuit (size 20), made from cotton, with a separate tiered 'bib' laying over the bodice.

Front and Back
It's a style I've shown before, when I refashioned my black and white dress last summer, and I really like it. I feel it's a flattering cut, and adds some interest to the waist area. So I decided to keep that element in my 'new' creation. Having decided I didn't want pants anymore, I set about thinking how to create a dress, or maxi skirt. In the end I opted for the maxi-dress, with it in mind that, should it not work out, I'd still have enough fabric to go with the skirt idea!

I started by cutting along the inner seam, from the ankle, up through the crotch, and back down the other side. I was left with two large splits through the middle of the front and back of the garment, with the side seams still intact.
*As seen in July 2014 edition of Cosmopolitan.

There are a lot of skirts with splits around in the shops at the mo, so I thought I'd purposely  leave some in this garment too...

I continued by sewing up the front and back panels, then put the 'dress' on, inside out, and pinned in new side seams. On the inside there are two labels; one being the care label - the other being the size/brand label - but there was also a thin line of elastic around the waist, which I decided to work with. The care label went with the rest of the side seam (I think I can remember not to wash it over 40!) - and I unpicked the shop label. Is it just me, or is this something other refashioners do..? I don't feel anyone can say it is their design, once I've changed it... and, from the other perspective, maybe they wouldn't want to take the 'credit' for my handiwork either..!

I always think there's so much freedom when you rework a garment that's a few sizes larger than you are. Owing to the width being a few inches too big, I didn't have to think about adding a zip, I just cut some of the elastic out - and sewed in a more fitted front panel.

I'll have you know, it's no easy feat, holding fabric with your teeth, whilst pinning the dress underneath!

In fact, talking of the top panel...

I thought it might be an idea to highlight the fact there are two layers...
As you can see for yourself, it's a very busy print, which obscures the layered effect - so I tinkered with the idea of adding a thin contrast trim, I have some bright yellow bias binding in my stash (from the bibs) that would've been perfect for it...
and then decided against it. The reason? The bias binding was far more stiff than the fabric of the dress, and made the panel stick up in a funny way... I considered making bias binding from a similar material, but I didn't feel this garment was worth it. That might sound strange, but the fabric's so thin and cheaply made, it would be like adding a luxurious brocade trim to a bin liner dress. Or something like that. And sew...

I finished by taking up the spaghetti straps - by tying them in a loose knot. They then seemed a little close together, and gave me 'swimmer's shoulders', so I repositioned them further out, by an inch, along the neckline.

I considered making the dress shorter, but in the end thought I'd leave it - and see how it 'wears'. I'm starting to realise with these refashionings that things come to me when I'm out and about, and it could be that I return to this, to make more alterations, but for the time being....

Worn with thrifted Kurt Geiger heels, floppy M&S hat & skinny metallic New Look belt 

Are you a refashioner..? Would you like to share a refashioning here, talk about what inspires you, how you work, and what drives your design choices..? If so, e-mail me! And if you have anything to contribute to the post I'm currently writing on body image, why we feel the way we do about our bodies, and your 'coping' methods in terms of battling with confidence, again - get in touch! In the meantime, I'm going to wear this number out and about, and very likely wonder if babies are the only ones who can truly pull off rompers with a devil may care confidence...


  1. A definite improvement Gema & can see why you couldn't part with that material - lovely colours! Another triumph of style and creativity over brand name loyalty. Andrew L (Pickle1959) ; )

    1. Thank you Andrew! Really pleased you like it :)

  2. I was out and about in Manchester at the weekend on my Nephew's stag night, saw lots of girls in flowery jump suits and dresses, guess it must be a sign of the times, a move away maybe from monochrome of austerity?

    1. Well... either a sign of the times, or something I've suspected for quite some time - northern girls wear more colours. And not just more colours, more vivid colours... That sounds weird, doesn't it? But it's something I've felt for quite some time! Especially in Liverpool... maybe that's where I get it from :)

  3. This is great! I love the print. How fun!

    1. Thanks Laura :) It's comfy too, which is the best bit!


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