Hot! The Glossy Jumpsuit | Adey Lim


Fabric: Black cotton with stretch and glossy finish from Shanghai US$19.70 for 4 yards
Patterns:  IMG_0309 McCalls 5366
Year: c. 1970s
Notions: Zipper US$0.70
Time to complete: 3 hours
First worn: February 2011
Wear again? Yes

Total Cost: ~$20.40

My family and I spent most of last week feasting and welcoming the new lunar year so I knew I wasn't gonna get much sewing time for this week's project.

I chose to sew a plain black jumpsuit from a 1970s sewing pattern.  Solid colored fabric is not very me as I've always preferred sewing with printed fabrics (see part of my stash below) which is probably why this fabric has been in my stash for the past four months. Given that I have only been sewing for 8 months, that's half my sewing history. The pattern has also been in my stash for around 4 months as it often got pushed aside when I see a new dress pattern. I can't help it, I just love sewing dresses!

With jumpsuits, you either love it or hate it. I have always loved them and didn't know why until I went through some old photos at mum's place last week. I practically grew up in them! Here's me in a red jumpsuit in the 1970s at granny's house. I have absolutely no recollection of this red garment but remembered that I wore quite a few shorter versions during my university days. Recently, I have also been wearing my Merry-Go-Round Jumpsuit a lot. I just love its fit and color!

The pattern is a typical 1970s jumpsuit with the full length of the jumpsuit cut as a piece- two front pieces and two back pieces, finished with a front centre zipper and tie belt.  I did take the sides in quite a bit for a better fit as this was a pattern that came with no darts. Having sewed four stand collar outfits for my family and I in the month of January, I didn't want to sew another stand collar and instead finished the neckline with bias tape and top stitching. The 'most complicated' detail on this jumpsuit is the gathers on the front, a wee bit below the shoulder seams. Thank God for this fast and easy pattern, now I have a project to share with you and  more time with the family.

I love the glossy finish on the black cotton woven fabric which has a little stretch in its width, it really makes this jumpsuit more elegant and wearable. 

A peek at my sewing room & fabric stash

My sewing room used to be my study but the computer has been pushed to a corner to accommodate all my sewing stuff. The two plastic containers on the desk contains my modern day and vintage sewing patterns respectively.

Sewing room
Oh, I heart prints so majority of my fabrics are made up of them. Here's just a few which I still can't bear to use.

Fabric stash
Fabric stash1
Do you prefer sewing with solids or prints? Are there fabrics in your stash you can't bear to use too?


Adey Sew Convert

A former kids' television channel manager turned stay home mum from Singapore, I hated sewing since I attended my first home economic class at the age of 14. In 2007, something miraculous happened when God blessed me with a second pregnancy. I discovered that I was expecting a baby girl. That changed everything. First I went crazy shopping for handmade clothes for her on etsy. Then I decided I needed to make something for her on my own. I was a month from my due date when I took an intensive 8-hour sewing class. In Dec 2008, I made a dress for my princess before she was born and have not stopped sewing since.


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  1. Great jumpsuit! I want to one day tackle one but I’m more scared to wear it than to sew it. :) I can’t get over that you’ve been sewing such a short time. Your technique is so great!

  2. I love that jumpsuit on you! It’s so elegant! I cannot believe you’ve only been sewing for 8 months! You are a wonderfully talented seamstress.
    I am a print girl. Especially polka dots and florals. I tend to sew with neutrals when I’m making a wardrobe staple, like a black skirt or a purple dress.

  3. You look fantastic !

  4. Oh my goodness, that peacock feathery print fabric in the last photo is AMAZING! I am always drawn to printed fabrics, but if you look amongst my purchased clothing everything, absolutely everything is solid. You look fantastic!

  5. LOVE the jumpsuit! It looks fantastic! I like sewing with prints (especially tweed and tartan) though I have a special place for solids! I’m not a big flower/quilting cotton person but do enjoy a print crepe or drapey fabric!

  6. Great jumpsuit! Very elegant!
    I’m also drawn to prints, the bolder and brighter, the better. I used one of your floral print, on the right of the first picture, in a dress I made last year! You can’t be shy while wearing a bold, fun print like that, that’s for sure! :)
    It’s funny how this is your stash-busting project, in basic black. The fun prints get used right away, but the basics sit around a while.. that happens to me too!

  7. I love your outfit … and am blown away by the quality of your garments, I have been sewing for a long time and am not nearly at your standard!
    I love prints also, but hardly ever wear them (something I am trying to change).


    I love your work!! always elegant! in my teens I always wanted a jumpsuit but never got one as I got older I just did not think it was something I could wear at my age, but I just got an 1983 Style pattern # 4091 and am thinking of making me one for this summer with some nice light denim, thanks for the inspiration!!

  9. I like prints but they tend to wash me out. Same with stripes, boo! Your jumpsuit is awesome. I too want to make one but have fear of wearing it :)

  10. As always very cute. I have a print that I just can’t bring myself to think what to do with except maybe a lining for a coat.

  11. Only 8 months?? Lady, you’ve got skills. The jumpsuit looks fantastic, the fabric choice makes it so chic. I am definitely a print girl- never met a plaid, pasley, floral or stipe that I didn’t like. The brighter the better! Again, great job.

  12. I’m with Mena. I fear the though of visualizing the way my butt would look in a jumpsuit. You, however, pull it off very nicely! The fabric you’ve used is gorgeous! I feel like black is no-fail, in every situation!

  13. Oh I do so love a jumpsuit! They remind me of reading 1970’s Harlequin Romance Novels. And they are so Charlie’s Angels. Sigh…This one looks lovely and I adore the fabric you’ve picked.
    I do believe I share your disease for not being able to use your fabrics. I just can’t bear to cut into them. I want desparately to make something out of them, but never do because I’m “saving” them for who knows what!

  14. I love that you made a jumpsuit! It looks great. And I also have several prints I can’t bear to cut into yet. Your peacock feather fabric is beautiful.

  15. Aw, you look so great Adey! The neckline on this pattern is really sweet, and ideal for a big block of colour to have the belt and the sneaky slit of the neckline to break it all up!
    I thought you’d only been blogging for a short time, not sewing for only 8 months! I’ve been sewing for 8 years (but only really good in the last 2!) and I agree with the comments above, you have such great technique and a really great style when it comes to sewing!

  16. That is so cool Adey! The neckline is so classic and the fact that it’s glossy makes it look so perfect for evening! I always go dress for special occasions, but now you have me thinking of going for it with a jumpsuit!
    And I have to echo everyone else – 8 months!?!? You seem like you have sewn for at least 8 years! I think that goes to show it’s about what you put into sewing, not the length of time you have been doing it. Your dedication shows in your finely made garments – way to go girl!

  17. Thank you so much! I always felt that if you love wearing pants and don’t feel self conscious wearing them, it’d be the same with jumpsuit:) Oh, thanks so much for the compliment, it means so much coming from someone who sews so well!

  18. Thanks so much Sarah! Yay to the prints! Now that you mention, I do use solids for all the shorts I’ve made too:)

  19. Thank you so much for saying that! I guess sewing weekly does help me improve bit by bit.

  20. A light denim version sounds great, perhaps with a shorter length too? Love to see your version!

  21. Thanks Sue! I’ve always liked the idea of a printed lining for a coat. It makes the garment SO unique!

  22. LOL! Indeed, the same dilemma… these fabrics were born for THE special future project.

  23. Thanks so much everyone. I’m feeling encouraged with all your kind words!
    @Veronica: Sneaky slit indeed:) I used a shorter zipper on purpose so it would create more of a V shaped slit- more flattering neckline indirectly kekeke. I love your super cute creations too especially the thought you put into fabric placement!
    @Sarah Gannart: Yay to elegant jumpsuits for the evening! It will stand out amongst all the dresses:)

  24. Sorry Sarah, misspelt your surname when I typed blindly. Should have been Gabbart instead. Sorry!

  25. Cute and elegant at the same time, I can not believe that you have sewn for only eight months, you have a great technique! I used monkeys in my teens, but it never quite fit with my look. However I really enjoy seeing them in others people .