This is a story of perfect harmony. A story of what you are searching for appearing just in the nick of time. A story of throwing all your plans out, just to embrace a moment. This is a love story.
Okay, so I may be laying it on a tad thickly, but seriously, is there a better way to describe the feeling for a sewist when you find a gorgeous fabric, hunt for several weeks for a suitable pattern, draw a total blank, and then BAM! suddenly one of your favourite indie designers drops exactly the pattern you had been imagining into existence?
I am a pretty impulsive gal at the best of times, but I fully abandoned my sewing plans to make this playsuit in double-quick time. My Make Nine 2023 is completely out the window at this point.
Ever since I found this gorgeous Pigeon Wishes deadstock cotton poplin from Sew Me Sunshine, I have been thinking about how this fabric needed to become a vintage-style playsuit. This poplin is lightweight but with a very crisp hand, which means it is very suited for designs with structured elements like collars and buttonholes. I love the azure shade of bright blue for the background, and the slightly lopsided peach grid design with peach flowers and orange-y cherries overlaid. I just could not shake the feeling that a playsuit would be the best fit for this fabric for me! I had been musing about various 1940s playsuit sewing pattern designs, and trying to either find a vintage pattern or modern pattern that was exactly what I wanted was proving quite difficult…
Images from Vintage Pattern Wiki
Luckily, one of my favourite indie pattern designers Deer & Doe released their 2023 Summer Collection in early June, and I fell head over heels for the Eucalyptus Jumpsuit and Playsuit — I don’t think I have ever moved so quickly to buy a pattern 😅
The Eucalyptus Jumpsuit has a slightly relaxed fit, with a notched lapel collar, double darts at the waist, slant pockets, and a button-front. The jumpsuit is sleeveless with culotte-style trousers, whereas the playsuit has wide sleeves and cropped shorts. My favourite element of this design is the peek-a-boo back — it immediately takes the 1940s vintage styling into the modern day.
The recommended fabrics for the Eucalyptus are light to medium-weight woven fabrics, such as cotton, linen, viscose, and tencel. I think the playsuit design is more suited structurally to the more medium-weight fabrics, whereas the jumpsuit looks stunning in the more swishy, drapey fabrics. I am so tempted to hunt down some lavender tencel twill to make the jumpsuit next!
I sit bang between a Size 40 and 42 for Deer & Doe, so I usually look at the finished garment measurements and decide if there is sufficient ease to size down. In this case, I made up the Eucalyptus in a straight size 42, as I wanted this garment to feel light and airy for the summer heat. I made one minor fitting adjustment to the bodice, by making a 5/8″ narrow shoulder adjustment. I also added two more buttons to the bodice, just to feel more secure. I used 15mm self-covered buttons, which I find an oddly therapeutic activity.
This jumpsuit is classed as an ‘Advanced’ garment, which I would agree with; it is quite fiddly with the bodice facing, notch collar and button fly. While I have got a pretty good handle on a classic two-piece collar, notched collars remain my nemesis — I am happy with this one, but I can see there is room for me to improve. Apart from these fiddly elements, nothing was too tricky for me in the general construction; the sleeves are set in without easestitching first, so I did have to unpick a few tucks here and there. I think next time, I would pop some basting stitches in first to help ease the sleeve head into place. I did have a slight issue with the waistband, which was entirely self-inflicted; I sewed it into place, trimmed my seam allowances down to a scant amount, pressed them out… and then realised I had sewed them with the print upside down. Oops. I didn’t have enough fabric to recut these pieces, so I really had to do my best to muddle through correcting my mistake, so let this be a word of warning for anyone using strong one-way directional prints!
To say I am thrilled with this playsuit is an understatement — I adore it. I still can’t believe my luck that the exact style playsuit for which I was hunting was released by one of my top designers. I wore this playsuit to a work party in Madrid this week, and was bopping about feeling fresh in the 35°c, thanks to the cute peek-a-boo back and lightweight cotton. I am 100% certain I will be making another version of the playsuit, and I definitely want to make the jumpsuit too. Next time, I will place my buttons on my bodice a bit more thoughtfully; here at Casa Rose, we become impatient and a little bit slapdash when the end is in sight!
Deer & Doe Eucalyptus Jumpsuit and Romper
Size 34 – 60
Bust: 31 ⅞” – 57 ⅞”
Waist: 23 ⅝” – 49 ⅝”
Hips: 33 ⅞” – 60″