Zadie jumpsuit dress hacks

If you recently took part in The Sewing Weekender you may have seen the session on how to hack the well loved Zadie jumpsuit pattern into a wrap dress. Bizarrely a little while earlier I had decided to do this myself – and decided that for the weekend itself I was going to make another one….

The first hack was the result of a request from my daughter in law for a maxi dress based on the following RTW inspiration

So the search was on – a fabric which had a border print and plenty of drape plus a pattern for a wrap dress.

The fabric I found was from The Textile Brothers. They had a number of suitable options . Nikki chose the one she wanted, and I of course weakened and bought some for myself too…

I spent some time looking though my pattern stash but a lot of the wrap dress patterns were for a knit fabric, or didn’t have the grown on sleeves I wanted. Plus I knew I needed a simple skirt to utilise the border print. I also wanted the pattern to be easy to adjust for sizing. ( Nikki is very petite )

Which is when I thought of the Zadie jumpsuit I had made myself one sometime ago so had an idea how to adjust sizing (the bodice is loose fitting so no complicated armhole adjustments/darts etc) and I could see no reason not to attach a simple set of gathered rectangles to make the border skirt.

I redrafted the bodice to take it down in size slightly, using the indications of where it was sized down for larger sizes as indicators of where to remove volume/ adjust sizing. I also changed the front neckline slightly to make this straighter as I wanted to use the border print along the front bodice wrap as a feature.

I toiled and trialed the fit on Nikki, adjusting the placement of the front bodice pleats to sit correctly.

The skirt was cut as 3 rectangles with the width being 1.5 times the width of the waist piece of the bodice and then simply gathered to fit the waist .And I added in seam pockets.

As you an see the placement of the pattern across the bodice, the hem and the tips of the ties worked well.

Following the success of the hack, I decided to make myself a midi version too during The SewingWeekender. I decided to use some stash fabric for this one – a satiny feel polyester border print purchased in January 2018 from Adam Ross Fabrics ( now Pound Fabrics) for the princely sum of £3 for 3 metres on a sale.

The process was identical, wIth one exception.I made a mistake cutting out the front bodice pieces. My mistake – the pattern piece I had drafted wasn’t quite long enough on the sleeve ( lack of paper ) and in the interim I forgot about the requirement to add a bit on when cutting ( lesson – write the instructions on the pattern piece in future) . To solve this I have added a cuff- which I actually love! It gives the sleeve a bit of weight which helps it fall well.

I haven’t used the border on the bodice this time as experimenting with some draping convinced me that it was just a bit much with this particular pattern.

I got a fair way along with making the dress on the weekend – enough that I could put it on the Sunday . The sun was shining brightly which makes the dress look a lot brighter yellow than it is in real life!

Since then I have finished all the hems etc so here is the final version without the bright sunlight !

The Sewing Weekender


What a great weekend! Well done Charlotte, Rachel and Kate for putting on another enjoyable event with such interesting speakers and great sponsors.

The highlight of my weekend was chatting to so many people who enjoy sewing – comparing experiences, looking at what they were making and of course admiring the many different clothes that were being worn ( spot the pattern is a great game to play) . For anyone who is nervous about coming to this sort of meet up – don’t be! Everyone is so friendly, and the shared interest is a great ice breaker.

The talks were really interesting and inspiring. I loved Frances of  The Maker’s Atelier approach to design and her unapologetic approach to delivering her design aesthetic through all elements of her business , without compromise. Karen’s of  Did You Make That talk on how to publish a book ( on sewing of course) was so knowledgable and interesting even though I don’t have any plans to do this! Shoena  from Sewisfaction spoke about her experience of setting up her own business, and pulled no punches about the hard work involved( having visited Sewisfaction at the end of 2017 I can say that she has done a great shop. Her shop is well worth a visit if you are in the Wokingham area). And lastly but not least it was lovely to have a different slant on me made clothes with Harriet from  The Clothing Care Co  talking about how to look after the clothes we have put so much time and effort into creating.

I caught up with Melissa( Fehr of Fehrtrade) again and saw her incredible “ made from coffee sacks” jacket in real life. I also finally bought her book-  Sew Your Own Activewear. I keep saying I should sew some active wear as I do some form of exercise nearly everyday so I’m likely to get my use out of a garment. The book is beautifully put together so it might inspire me to get started.


Imbetween  all the chatting and talks I did actually get some sewing done!  You may be surprised to see this comment, as ( you may think) this is what the weekend is about…..  Well last year I didn’t start sewing until half way through the first day, and didn’t even complete a very simple Scout Tee. This time progress was slightly better, partly because I “cheated” and did quite a lot of prep at home. At least I looked as though I had a garment at the end of the weekend rather than a pile of fabric shapes!


More  on my Sew Different Essential Denim dress in a separate blog when it’s finished!

I am still envious of seeing other people COMPLETING AND WEARING something they made. Somehow I don’t think that’s a goal I will ever achieve on a sewing retreat.


It was great to meet up with people I had met before

Great to see Kathy (Sew Dainty) again

And meet loads of new people too

Thanks to all the sponsors who gave us tea, coffee, biscuits, machines to use and of course the much anticipated Goody Bag ( Christmas coming early!)

If you are reading this and met me, please keep in touch! I didn’t get everyone’s Instagram/ blog / email addresses ( too busy chatting?) but hope to find you again somewhere out there in that digital world – or even better, meet you again in person.

Planning sewing for The Sewing Weekender

2268255B-E427-413D-B3D7-6028D84C3401I can’t wait for my weekend away in Cambridge indulging in sewing, sewing chat and admiring everyone’s makes.

But of course it means I have to decide what to make! Last time I tackled a Grainline Scout Tee – or more accurately I started one as I spent so much time chatting that I didn’t get anywhere near finishing it.

I don’t expect this year will be any different, but I need to take a project with me .

So I am planning to make a dress from the Sew Different range. I absolutely love the cocoon coat that I made after buying some of their patterns at The Knitting & Stitching Show. I blogged about that some time ago , and proudly sent pictures and a blog link to Laura ( the Sew Different owner/ designer) who I had chatted to at the show. Laura very kindly offered me a free pattern of my choice!

I went on to her web site and read through the section on which patterns suit which body shapes( I had just been on a body shape and style class which defined me as a petite rectangle) . I really liked the look of her Essential Denim dress with the opportunity to create contrasting panels . It’s not a new pattern but I haven’t seen many made up on line and I really liked her styling of it with tights and boots.



My first thought is to try to use scraps and existing fabric from my stash. Of course, whilst I think I have loads of blue fabric in the stash, when I pulled it all out most was unsuitable, destined for other projects or I must admit in some cases I just don’t like cutting into favourite fabric for a pattern I have not tried before ( anyone else have this problem?)

I have found a couple of fabrics which are possibilities.

These  may be supplemented by a third fabric as I am happily in Manchester next week which means I will HAVE to visit Abakhans


I will of course write up my experiences with the pattern and the weekend away.

Has anyone else made up this pattern. Any tips? Will need to cut it out before I go so please let me know ASAP!