I’m sure you all know that I’m a huge fan of I Am Patterns – I have made several of their designs (Irma, Rainbow, Cassiopée, Cinderella, Colibri, Perle and Hestia) and I am always excited when the lovely Blandine gets in touch to give me a sneak preview of their latest collection! ‘I Am Brilliant’ is their newest release and comprises of two versatile patterns – the Aura dress and top and the Helios, which can be made as a top, shorts, skirt or trousers OR combined to make a dress, playsuit or jumpsuit! Wowzers!
With the end of season ‘Dinner Dance’ at my hockey club on the calendar I decided to use the Helios pattern to make myself an outfit, envisioning a floaty jumpsuit that could be dressed up with heels or worn with a t-shirt underneath and a pair of flip-flops to make sure it won’t be a ‘one-wear wonder.’ I already had the perfect fabric in my stash – a pretty viscose from Saeeds Fabrics in Walthamstow. I thought the dark teal background would fit in with the expected sea of black outfits and the little orange flowers would make my outfit interesting without being too bright.
You know the drill, people – I’m not even going to pretend I didn’t need to do pattern Tetris to make this work! I cut the jumpsuit in the size 38 and apart from the inner waistband which I pieced together, I managed to squeeze everything out of 2m of 150cm wide fabric. I contemplated shortening the trouser legs, but after measuring the pattern pieces I decided that I liked the finished length and I left them as they were. I also wanted to extend the straps at the front and back so they could be tied as cute little bows as the shoulders, but I definitely didn’t have enough fabric for that – I will save my shoulder bows idea for a future version.
Although it looks complicated, the jumpsuit was pretty straightforward to sew. I actually started with the trousers rather than the bodice because I was waiting for the tri-glide sliders I ordered for the straps to be delivered and although there was a fair bit of hemming involved, the trousers came together quickly and easily. Likewise, the bodice itself was very simple to sew and it was only when I came to put the two together that things got fiddly! I think this was primarily because I was sewing with viscose (albeit quite a well-behaved viscose) and was nothing some extra basting stitches couldn’t keep under control.
After trying on the assembled top and bottoms I decided to take 2″ in length off the bodice as there was a bit too much volume for my liking and now I’m happy with the finished proportions. There are, however, a couple of things I wish I had done differently… firstly, I wish I hadn’t interfaced the facings – although I used a very lightweight interfacing, it has changed the way the neckline sits and I think it would have been better without. Secondly, when wearing the jumpsuit I didn’t like the way that the waistband folded over due to the two separate rows of 1cm elastic – I think I would have found one piece of wider elastic more comfortable to wear. The bonus is that these slight changes are easy fixes for next time!
OK everyone, the time has come to talk about my flaps…! It was the unusual, overlapped trouser pieces that initially drew me to the Helios pattern, but it was these beautiful, billowy ‘flaps’ that caused me a couple of wardrobe malfunctions last night! Standing in the garden posing for photos was no problem, but as soon as I walked out the front door and was greeted with a gust of wind, my entire thigh and I’m fairly sure some of my bottom was exposed for all my neighbours to see. I hurriedly got into my car, only to realise as I sat down that the ‘flaps’ had parted company and I may as well have been sitting my car in my knickers. Luckily, there were no further gusts of wind at the hockey club and I managed to sit down carefully in a way that kept my ‘flaps’ intact all evening, but had I been partaking in a few drinks I think it would have been a different story! I will be securing the trouser legs to one another prior to the jumpsuit’s next outing – hopefully I can do this in a way that maintains my modesty, but doesn’t spoil the design.
Right – that’s enough of my flaps. Please enjoy these last two gems from my garden photo shoot – Mog just couldn’t resist getting involved! A big thank you to I Am Patterns for gifting me a pattern of my choice from their latest collection – do give them a follow on Instagram and check out the #IAmHelios hashtag to be inspired by lots of gorgeous versions and see how versatile the pattern really is!