February 15, 2020

Think Happy Jumpsuit Thoughts as You Prep for Spring Sewing

Towards the end of last year, we posted on our 2020 goals on Instagram. January 1st marked the beginning of our third year in business, and from everything that other small business owners have told me, year three is an exciting one. We set goals to expand our fabric offerings and to start exploring standalone boxes. On January 15, we launched our first set of standalone boxes - our Jeans-Making Boxes and our Blouse-Making Boxes - which will be available for order until March 15. And we've slowly been adding more fabrics to our store (it's just me and a computer over here at Needle Sharp HQ). So we're off to a good start, I think!

In the same post, we also asked what you're looking for in box themes for the upcoming year, and you gave us some great feedback. And one of the pieces that popped up was the Woven Jumpsuit. You asked; we listened.

Last year, we featured a knit jumpsuits, but we've always wanted to do a woven version too. Woven jumpsuits are about as versatile as they get. In darker fabrics, they can be worn like a one-piece suit, allowing you to go from work to play without having to change your outfit. In brighter colors, they are an instant way to brighten up your wardrobe and they totally fit in the "dress like a crayon" Instagram topic that was floating around last year. And finally, in prints, they are statement pieces, the all-in-one, confidence-boosting outfit when you want to feel like your best, a force of nature, a woman on top of her game.

There are quite a variety of woven jumpsuits out there, from more casual offerings, like the Yari Jumpsuit from True Bias and the Anza Jumpsuit from Itch to Stitch, to the suit-like options, such as Acacia Jumpsuit from Orangeuse or the Sierra Playsuit from Papercut Patterns, to the straight-up boilersuits, like the Intrepid Boiler Suit from Alice & Co Patterns or the Jean-Paul Coverall from Ready to Sew. It was quite the process to narrow the them down to our current options, but we had three requirements in mind for our patterns: versatility, ease of sewing, and wearablity (aka, looking great on a variety of body types). We think we've found a set of fabulous patterns that fit that bill, and we hope you do too. So let's take a look!

Sew Fearless Box: Olive Jumpsuit from Untitled Thoughts

When I first started looking for easy to sew, easy to fit jumpsuit patterns, I had several options on my list, but I kept coming back to the Olive Jumpsuit. To be honest, I can't quite put my finger on what exactly I find so alluring about it, but then again, maybe that's the appeal. There's something ineffable about the simple styling, the subtle details, that make this pattern rise above all the others I was sorting through.

If I did have to put it into words though, I'd definitely mention the way the camisole style top blends beautifully with the loose-fitting, but understated pants, the way the simple drawstring waist defines some shape without constricting. It's a jumpsuit that just looks lived in, comfortable, and effortless. And isn't that the description of most things we, as sewists, want to make in our wardrobe? 

With that in mind, I chose three fabrics that are subtle and stunning, so why not take a look?


  • Marigold Cotton Gauze - The best inspiration comes out of the blue sometimes, and such is the case with this fabric. Scrolling through Instagram, I saw a double gauze jumpsuit and I couldn't stop thinking about utterly amazing it must be to wear. Soft and airy, cotton gauze is like wearing a baby blanket, in a good way. And, so, this fabric option came to fruition. With its deep saturation, this earthy, warm orange color is bold yet not brash, and it will become a simply stunning (and wonderfully soft) jumpsuit. We see it as the perfect option for the beach, for running errands, even for lounging around the house. It can become whatever you want it to be!
  • Green Fern Rayon Poplin - I can't deny that I love a botanical print. Evocative of tropical climates and sandy beaches, the print puts me in a good mood, even when I write this from a snowbound house in the middle of February. The beauty of this botanical in particular is its muted tone. The greens are softened, the shadows faint. Even the background is a calming, light cream. A jumpsuit in this fabric will make you think of relaxed vacations and long summer days, exactly what you need as you work on your sewing projects this Spring.
  • Denim Blue Brussels Washer Linen - There is little more classic than a blue chambray. It's part of the American psyche; I swear we have genes for jeans. So it was a no-brainer to use such a fabric in our boxes. This lighter wash chambray is a linen-viscose blend, giving it structure and lightness, breathability and softness. And the color is so serene. I can feel myself grow calmer just looking at this fabric, so I can only imagine wearing it will do! 

Sew Confident Box: Mila Jumpsuit from Pauline Alice Patterns

I've been trying to use Pauline Alice Patterns for a while now but for some reason or another, it hasn't happened. But the Mila Jumpsuit was too good to pass up this time. It's part of her most recent collection, which focuses on "cocooning." As she put it on her blog, the collection is "about it as mix between loungewear and streetwear. . . simple, comfortable and enveloping shapes, natural and soft fabrics, peaceful colors." This description encapsulates everything we love about the pattern and why we chose it for this box. 

The key to this pattern is the waist tie which can be knotted in the front or the back. It can accentuate the waist if you tie them tight or create a more casual look if you let them loose. It's a simple, yet sophisticated element that makes this jumpsuit look as much like workwear as it does secret pajamas. And with this blend, it's the perfect pattern to create a look that can go anywhere you do in life and in fashion.

So let's take a look at the fabrics I chose to capture this day to night balance.

  • Dark Gray Tropical Melange Suiting - It's no longer just about the little black dress. Now, you can also have the perfect black jumpsuit (PBJ, if you will) This dark gray suiting is almost black, but with a subtle heather finish, almost like a wool suiting. The fabric is soft and supple, exactly what you want for this pattern. Your finished garment will be elegant and ready for whatever you throw at it - sandals and a bold necklace for a lazy weekend or heels and a blazer for that important meeting at work. This jumpsuit does it all, just like you!
  • Blue Tropical Floral Linen Blend - This print is a showstopper. Large scale chrysanthemums and lotus float on a navy background, suggesting aloha shirts and tropical caftans. This fabric will really shine with the minimal style lines of the pattern and will make feel like you're on vacation even if it's still 50 degrees in April. If you're looking to create a bold and beautiful jumpsuit, this is the pick for you!
  • Mustard Viscose Linen Woven - There have been too many mustard jumpsuits floating around lately for me to ignore the trend. Bright colors are the name of the game, and I'm ready and willing to play. This rich mustard comes in the form of a linen viscose blend, meaning not only is the fabric bold, it is also soft and textural, everything you want in a fabric for this more architectural pattern. The saturated color will really show off the twist at the center and it will create a great palette against which you can play with jewelry and layers, scarves and footwear. So many options!

Sew Curvy and Sew Indulgent Boxes: Zadie Jumpsuit from Paper Theory Patterns

You probably knew this was coming. It's absolutely impossible to do a Woven Jumpsuits theme and not include the Zadie Jumpsuit. It would not be an exaggeration to say that this sewing pattern may have, well, if not started, then definitely stoked the jumpsuit craze of the last year or so. I remember looking for jumpsuit patterns when I first launched in 2018 and not finding many, and now, thanks in large part to Zadie, they are everywhere.

I think the ubiquity of the Zadie pattern is in its design. With a wrap front, the pattern requires no zipper, no elastic, no extra trappings. It's a quick and simple sew that pays off in spades. The wrap front also means that it's easy to fit and can flatter a variety of body types which is why we've decided to use in both the Sew Curvy AND the Sew Indulgent Box. The pattern comes in two blocks, sizes 6-20, and sizes 16-28. In the Sew Curvy Box, we'll be sending the 16-28, and in the Sew Indulgent, you'll get the sizes 6-20, though, if you fall in love with a fabric, you can always email us to request a different printout.

Another added benefit of the pattern? It works for so many fabrics - you could even make it with a knit with some adjustments. That opened up a world of possibility and I think I've come up with some great options that will let the pattern shine.

Up first, the Sew Curvy Box options:

  • Denim Embroidered Border Print Chambray - At a sewing retreat last May, on of the attendees sported a Zadie Jumpsuit that used a border print fabric to colorblock the bodice and since then, I cannot get it out of my head. That's why, when given the opportunity, I chose this lovely embroidered chambray for the pattern. With embroidered flowers along the border and solid chambray in the center, this fabric opens up a whole host of possibilities in cutting. Put the floral on the pants hem for a boho feel or use the floral on the wrap bodice for an impactful colorblock look. Or even create floral sleeve while keeping the rest of the jumpsuit a solid blue. I can feel my creative juices flowing just thinking about it...
  • Black Double Crepe - Double crepe feels like a luxury fabric. Slinky, with good body, and a creped texture, it makes you think of high end dresses and expensive suits. And it's perfect for the draped look of the jumpsuit. If you're looking to make a dressier version of the jumpsuit, one that can be work appropriate or even frocktails appropriate, this is the fabric for you. Create your PBJ (Perfect Black Jumpsuit) and get a jumpsuit that will be as beautiful as you are.
  • Hunter Green Cupro Bengaline - Cupro, a form of viscose, has a lovely, dry hand that is soft but not sheer, making it ideal for this jumpsuit. The deep twill lines of the bengaline add great texture and a slight sheen to the fabric. And that green?! You make have noticed that I have a soft spot for deep, jewel-toned greens, and this hunter is no exception. It's rich and verdant and effortlessly elegant, and it will make for an equally elegant jumpsuit you'll want to wear all the time.

Next up, the Sew Indulgent Box fabrics: 

  • Black Check Viscose-Polyester Woven - Feeling this fabric is believing, which makes it a bit of tease that I'm telling out about this on a blog and not going house to house letting you feel this viscose woven. Amazingly plush, it's lofted, almost like a gauze and has a brushed feel. That touchable softness contrasts wonderfully with the straight lines of the plaid. It's a fabric that will make your secret pajamas look like sophisticated workwear, and honestly, that's all I look for in clothes whether I make them or not.
  • Emerald Green Linen - Did I mention I love green? This hue, a deeply saturated emerald, comes in the form of a washed linen that is incredibly soft and delicately textured. This jumpsuit screams to be made in a cool linen, and when a pattern is that adamant, who am I to deny it. A Zadie jumpsuit in this fabric will be simply stunning, no ifs ands or buts about it.
  • Printed Linen/Navy Tencel Colorblock -  I've fallen deep, deeply in love with this printed linen. Two different blues make up the leaves of the botanical print, with orange citrus fruit and melons add a pop of color. It's large scale and unusual and I can't stop thinking about it as the bodice to this jumpsuit. We've paired the large print (which is a little too light for bottom weight) with a lovely tencel twill that will drape nicely from the waist. Together, you have a jumpsuit that looks like a two piece outfit, without all the extra work.


Whew! I love these boxes so much, and it was a joy to put them together. I hope you find them as enticing as I do (seriously, I want to make every one of them - how many jumpsuits is too many??). But, fear not, if jumpsuits aren't your jam, we've got our Culottes Boxes from last Spring in our Classic series. Light and loose-fitting, they are a great addition to any wardrobe and a super handy piece for the transitional weather of early Spring.

And with that, I bid you farewell til next month.

Until then, happy sewing!



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