As I sit down to write this post about the Fibre Mood Riva jumpsuit, I’m struggling with keeping things positive.
My Riva jumpsuit turned out cute, but the path to completion had me shaking my head in disbelief. I found myself saying “DUUUUUUUUUH” every day I worked on sewing this garment. Dumb-dumb mistakes all over the place. Like, a comical number of missteps.
Let’s chat about what went down as I stitched up the Riva jumpsuit.
My Riva Jumpsuit Specs
I discovered the Riva jumpsuit as I wrote a post about Fibre Mood, the Belgian sewing pattern mag. Riva was my favorite pattern, and I was hot to sew it for the Sewing Together for Summer challenge, wherein sewists across the globe sew the same type of garment by the first day of summer (June 21). This year, jumpsuits were the challenge subject.
I sewed a size 36, and the fabric I chose is a light-to-medium weight linen-rayon blend from Joann. I’ve been please with Joann’s linen-rayon blends, and I thought its drapey quality would shine in the jumpsuit’s cut-on sleeves.
I made the following modifications:
- Turned the back bodice into two pattern pieces to accommodate a zipper. I struggled to smoothly pass the jumpsuit muslin over my hips, and a zipper gave me (literal) wiggle room. (Upon further review, I probably should have graded up in the hips.)
- Cropped the leg length to increase cuteness.
- Shortened the sleeve length to make the jumpsuit more summery.
- Added inseam pockets, because pockets are life.
- Brought shoulder seam forward. This seam didn’t feel balanced on my shoulders.
RELATED POST: Work in Progress: Sewing a Jumpsuit BTS
How My Jumpsuit Construction Went Sideways
I started working on this in May or June, hoping to finish by the challenge deadline. Then I got burned out on my Boundless Style dress, had tragically low sewjo most of the summer, and didn’t feel particularly motivated to get in front of my machine.
Skip ahead to much later this summer, and I’m finally making a muslin. The thing is, I didn’t take great notes on the muslin, and when it was time to sew the real deal, I forgot some key info — such as the hems of the sleeves didn’t match (something I could have fixed as I cut the fashion fabric pattern pieces).
Don’t be like me; please take good notes on your projects before you walk away from them!
I believe in treating mistakes as learning opportunities, so that’s how I choose to review all the things that didn’t go as planned when sewing my Riva jumpsuit. Here are my lessons, in no particular order:
Try on the muslin one more time.
If I had tried on the muslin one more time before cutting the pattern pieces in fashion fabric, I might have been convinced to make bodice 1/2-1 inch longer. I’m long waisted, so it shouldn’t surprise me that when I slide my long torso into this jumpsuit, the bodice portion pulls a little too much on the pants portion. I’m not living with a major (or even minor) wedgie, but a bit more length would increase my comfort. Maybe this is the way of jumpsuitery?
Double check all pattern pieces.
Grainlines. Notches. Various construction notes. They’re all on pattern pieces for a reason; read them with intention! Unlike me! For example, I cut one of the back bodice pieces off grain. I also forgot to add the center back seam allowance to the back bodice pieces, even though I MADE A NOTE ABOUT IT (!!!) on the pattern piece. (To mitigate this error, I recut one of the back bodice pieces, adding all the omitted seam allowance to that pattern piece. Then I installed a lapped zipper, hoping to distract from this mistake.)
Consider edge finish before inserting the zip.
I started the top of the zipper too close to the raw edge of the jumpsuit, which meant I needed a neckline finish that rose a touch above the top of the zipper. To avoid a simlilar error, think: Where is your seam allowance? Where is the REAL top edge? And THEN place your zipper accordingly. This was an easy mistake to make because the pattern doesn’t call for a zipper and doesn’t have a zipper marking on pattern pieces.
Add inseam pockets pockets in a smart way.
Two things about inseam pockets:
1.) If your pants are fairly tight around the hips, when you add inseam pockets, the pockets will/may spread. Consider adding a touch of width at this point to decrease spread.
2.) Think about whether you want contrasting pockets or matching pockets and stitch accordingly. I wanted matching pockets, but I didn’t think through how to assemble the pockets/pants and ended up with contrasting (wrong side out) pockets. To make the contrasting pockets look like a design feature, I sewed the belt with the wrong side out to match. Clever, yeah?
In the end, it was no harm, no foul. I probably, though, could have avoided these issues if I had made the muslin with inseam pockets. Related: Anybody have fab tips for sewing inseam pockets that don’t spread?
Sometimes pattern pieces are wrong.
The neckline bias pattern piece for the jumpsuit was waaaay too short; it was maybe half the length it needed to be. If you’re going to finish the neckline of this pattern with a bias strip, go long. Measure the neckline and add 10 percent to be safe.
Because the weather’s turning cool in my part of the world, I probably won’t wear the Riva jumpsuit until next spring (unless there’s a tropical vacation in my future I don’t know about). I’ll better understand and have stronger opinions about this garment after I’ve worn it a full day.
Over to you: Help make me feel better about my boo-boos and tell me the last silly mistake you made. I’d also like to hear how you take notes on your sewing projects if you take time away from them. And — do the bodices of all jumpsuits feel like they’re pulling ya pants skyward? Please sound off in comments! Thanks for reading!
P.S. In case you missed it, here’s the previous post: Work in Progress: A New Sewing Video Series. Yeah, baby, I’m posting every week! Woot!
P.P.S. If you’re into behind-the-scenes vids, here’s a BTS on this jumpsuit: Work in Progress: Sewing a Jumpsuit BTS.