Thursday, March 7, 2019

Thaw Jumpsuit-- Patternreview Lillian Dress and Closet Case Amy Mashup

It has been a crazy winter here in the Finger Lakes. Freezing cold days and whiteout snowfall mixed with periods of 50+ degree weather. All of that has led to a lot of freeze thaw cycles. On the edges of the lakes and the canals and inlets, the ice forms then breaks into intricate patterns. 

This jumpsuit was made for Round 3 of the Patternreview Sewing Bee. The challenge was to make a specific pattern, the Lillian dress, your own. 

If you've been reading the blog for awhile, you might have noticed that I haven't made any knit dresses lately, and I pretty much never make anything with a bib, other than overalls. 

So how to make this particular pattern my own? Well, I decided to convert it to a woven, and to make it into a jumpsuit. I stayed true to the pattern by using the style lines of the bib to make a sort of princess seam down the front, and I turned the neckline into a high cross front style. For the ease and shape of the leg, I used the Amy Jumpsuit pattern from Closet Case Patterns. 

Converting to a woven was relatively easy-- I sewed a size two sizes higher than my measurements. I also ended up having to cut and slash some more ease into the sleeves, since they were too restrictive when sewn in a woven. 

The wrap front worked out very well for getting in and out of the jumpsuit... no other closure is necessary. 

The fabric is hand painted, in a pattern that is inspired by the patterns ice makes when it thaws. 

My fabric was a white linen, and I painted it with very watered down speedball printmaking ink. I had this color sitting on a shelf, staring at me-- I had mixed it for a previous project, but ended up using a different color set. The color was mostly dark blue, with a little turquoise mixed in. 

The lines in the pattern are created using clear gutta resist... I had a tube in my stash that I had bought to try out several years ago. It worked beautifully! 

The speedball ink is very pigmented, so even the darker areas maintain a suppleness. I have not yet washed it, but I have high hopes that it won't fade, since getting speedball ink out of clothes where it has landed by accident is nearly impossible. 

I painted the cut pattern pieces before I sewed them, so that I could control exactly how the pattern fell on the jumpsuit, but the style lines created by the panels would still be visible. There was of course the risk of the pattern pieces stretching out of shape while they dried, but I handled them very carefully and this seemed not to be a problem. 

The front of the jumpsuit closes with a hidden zip. This was the part that took the most time... I had to figure out exactly where the facings needed to be so that my non-matching black zip wouldn't peek out. A couple of hook and eyes with thread loops keep the facings in place. 

The inside of the wrap is secured with a button, a trick I learned from the Highland Wrap Dress.

The armholes are finished with matching bias binding. 

The legs are hemmed with a machine blind hem. The insides, including pockets, are french seamed for a clean finish.

And, the finished jumpsuit! It is such a statement piece that I haven't found the right place to wear it yet. But I think soon, as we come to the big spring thaw, this jumpsuit will make its debut. 

You can read my contest entry here, and see the other entries here


  1. I loved all of your contributions to the Pattern Review contest. This is stunning!

  2. This is gorgeous! I love the hand-painted fabric. Great job :)

  3. Gorgeous look!!! Who you make this beautiful cloth? I just start envying you. Color combinations are really impressed. What color code you have used for this lovely dress? I will buy a similar one like yours. Can you please help? Front Closure Bras for Seniors