Boiler suit: Timeless, stylish and comfortable
In the Time to Shine! capsule wardrobe there should be a jumpsuit. A timeless piece of clothing. And if you look beyond the discomfort of this item when going to the toilet, it is a super easy outfit (you don’t have to coordinate it with something else), fits great (especially if you make it from a stretchy fabric) and is stylish (love it).
There are quite a few patterns available for you to choose from. I was eyeballing a couple of boiler suits or (c)overalls. A boiler suit is a jumpsuit that is usually a loose fitting and is made of non-stretch fabrics.
I went looking for a pattern that I could raise the waist to elongate my short legs. Knowing what works for your body is helpful when choosing the pattern. This left two patterns:
When you search Instagram #blancaflightsuit or #intrepidboilersuit it is easy to see how the pattern fits on different bodies. So it became clear to me that I would go for the Intrepid Boiler Suit. In the examples found, it seemed as if the waist was slightly higher. After ordering the PDF pattern, I read in the received description that the pattern is drafted with a 3cm seam allowance at the waist to allow for adjustments. Yes! This ‘loose-fitting’ but not ‘baggy’ pattern can also be made with stretch fabrics. I chose black stretch crepe with a beautiful drape. For the boiler suit I also used Seraflex from Mettler and my BERNINA 590 Crystal Edition
According to the pattern directions, my size needed 3 meters of fabric. Now I had only 1.80 meter for this project. Time for a solid example of pattern Tetris. The boiler suit pattern includes seam allowance, so you can lay the pattern pieces tightly next to each other. For me the length of the trouser legs always has to be reduced quite a bit, which saved a few centimetres of fabric. I cut the sleeve in two parts. I adjusted the collar to a stand-up collar, which I had already thought of beforehand.
The pattern is fairly loose around the waist, with a belt you can tailor it nicely. For this you stitch a belt casing on the outside. You can also thread a wide elastic through this. I went for the option of adding darts at the back before the casing was attached, so you get a nicely fitted boiler suit. All these options are clearly explained in the pattern. If you want to show more of your belt, you can simply reduce the casing or add loops instead of a casing. I made the end of the casing coincide with the front pockets.
Before actual sewing, you need to do some preparations. I baste all important markings on the pattern pieces. I reinforce the shoulder seam with seam tape for stretch fabrics, the seam in front of the zipper is reinforced with seam tape without stretch. Easier for inserting the zipper.
This boiler suit has a number of pockets. Two chest pockets, two front pockets and two back pockets. The facing of the pockets is also included in the pattern. After the facings have been reinforced, sew the short sides and press the seam allowance inwards and fold right side out. Then iron all seam allowances and secure with basting thread. After that, all pockets are attached to the marked places of the pattern pieces. First with pins then stitched with Edgestitch foot # 10.
With all the pockets in place, the boiler suit could be further assembled.
The upper part of the boiler suit has a yoke piece at the back. You cut this twice, so that you have neatly finished seams on both the inside and the outside. In the description of pattern the pattern they do this with the ‘Sandwich method’. I used the ‘Burrito method’. I advise you to google this and follow a video explanation.
When the top is basted to the pants, it’s time to try on. 3 cm of seam allowance was included on both ends. I took off 3 cm from the top and used the full 3 cm from the pants, so that the waist is a bit higher. Then I sewed the waist seam.
Most boiler suits have a zipper. Make sure to have a supple zipper otherwise it can bulge weird. The zipper that goes in this boiler suit is 50 cm. Nice and easy to get the boiler suit on.
Because I have reinforced the seam with a non-stretch seam tape, inserting the zipper is easy. The stretch in the fabric is not an issue anymore. At the waist you cut the seam allowance as shown so the seam is nicely flat.
Then pin and stitch one side first. Mark where the waist is on the other side of the zipper and pin and stitch the other side.
I slide my quilting ruler into the boiler suit to make it easier to pin the other side.
With the edgefoot 10 again I sew the zipper neatly.
Change the foot at the bottom of the zipper to carefully stitch over the zipper.
After inserting the sleeves, the belt casing is attached and so is the collar. Then just hem and add a cool belt (thrift shop treasure) and it is time to shine!. The crepe with stretch makes it super comfortable. So happy with it!
Oh wait, the basting threads were still there. Which I secretly like a lot. Just sharing a photo of this, also because you can see better where the pockets 😉