I had started to build up quite a good sized handmade wardrobe for our summer holiday but I wanted to make one last item before we left. I had bought some ditzy floral viscose from The Sewing Cafe and wasn’t sure what to make with it when it arrived. It could have been another pair of travelling trousers or some kind of off-the-shoulder/cold-shoulder number. After a bit of searching on instagram and pinterest I settled on an off-the-shoulder Playsuit. I was going to base it on the jumpsuit from one of the Great British Sewing Bee books but hack it into the style that I wanted.
To alter the pattern pieces I shortened the legs but also added some width to them to make them more baggy round my thighs rather than the original which tapered down to the ankle. I didn’t change the cami top pattern pieces as I knew the size fitted me fine but I decided not to use the facing as I wanted to edge the neckline with bias binding. The main change I made was to extend the front frill and back frill so that instead of going under the arms they went over the top to create the off-the-shoulder look. I added on about 4 inches to both and changed the shape slightly so that they didn’t scoop up as much.
I made up the shorts first and then moved to the top. Once I had sewn up the basic cami I started on the frill. I pinned it together first and attacted it at the front and back with pins to a cami top I was already wearing. This helped me to work out how much to take it in by at the side seams. The inches I had added on the the pattern pieces was an estimate so I didn’t know how well it would work or how well it would fit. I ended it with quite a big seam allowance on the front, about 2 inches, only about 1 inch on the back. I then finished these seam allowances to make them smaller.
My next challenge was to attach the frill. I knew how I wanted it to look and thought I had the front worked out, binding the underarm and top of the frill separately from the point above the bust, then binding them together across the front ‘V’. It took me a while to work out how to then attach them at the back, but once I figured it out I couldn’t believe how simple it was. I effectively did the same on the back, by binding the cami and frill together across the centre back overlapping the binding on the underarm and top of the frill so all the raw edges were covered. I don’t know if I have explained that very well but it worked and wasn’t that complicated, however it did take a while as I had to do 6 lots of bias binding. I then attached the straps by machine stitching them on separately, this wasn’t ideal but it has worked fine.
The final bit was to put it all together, I attached a waistband to the shorts and then the cami, making sure to check the length so that it didn’t feel like it was cutting me in half but also wasn’t too loose. I threaded in the elastic and handstitched up the waistband and finally hemmed the shorts.
I am so pleased with how this turned out. It was a bit of an experiment with the neckline but I would definitely do it again, maybe just as a top. A Playsuit is a little out of my comfort zone for what I wear normally but is an ideal holiday outfit and so have loved wearing it!