Copenhague Cocktail Jumpsuit
Feeling utterly glamorous on my not-so-glamorous balcony after finishing my Copenhague Jumpsuit by Orageuse, which is a French pattern company. Don't ask me how to pronounce "orageuse", but it sounds like "orange juice" to me on google translate.
This is a tank-top-chino-pant combo with an invisible side zipper as a closure. Its best feature is a unique triangular cut-out in the back, which is the main reason why I bought another jumpsuit pattern. Very chic!
The waistband sits on the upper hips and there's enough strategic volume drafted in around the waist area so that I can tackle a whole tray of hors d'oeuvres at a cocktail party. Very clever!
The bodice is lined, and there's a peek-a-boo element through the cut-out so you can choose a contrasting fabric for the lining. Very cheeky! I chose to use the main fabric lining instead because I didn't have anything else that could match this cotton print Robert Kaufman fabric, gifted to me by mom. I was worried that the print was a little too "aunty" (don't be offended, Mom) for me and didn't know what to do with it as it sat languishing in my stash. Now it has a glam life, ready to be worn at any party. Mom did good. (Thanks, Mom! )
The choice of fabric is actually quite important for this to be a successful make. There's some weight and body in the cotton because of the gold print, and that helped with giving the invisible zipper some structure so that it doesn't balloon out or warp when it's closed.
The sizing for the Copenhague runs from S34-S46. I sewed up a S36 for the waistband and pants, then graded to S34 for the bodice. There's very little ease in the trousers, so choose wisely when picking out your size.
One might be able to wear a strapless bra so that it doesn't show through the cut-out. Or simply burn your bra and go without. Since the bodice is lined, and I'm not so well-endowed in the chest area, my bra is in the fire.
The pattern can only be bought in a downloadable pdf version, so get comfortable with your glue-stick and scissors. Or get it copied in A0 size at a shop. Instructions come in French and English. I can't judge what's written in French, but some of the instructions in English are not entirely reliable.
Example #1: There's a mistake (I'm pretty sure) immediately in Step #1. The arrows showing the direction of how the front pleats of the bodice should be folded are pointed the wrong way. They indicate to fold towards centre front, but that goes in the opposite direction of the corresponding pleats on the trousers, which is entirely weird, no? So I followed my instincts and folded the bodice pleats to match up with the direction of the fold of the trouser pleats. Fold pleats towards the sides (please see photos above)! But I did so only after 45 minutes of angsty hesitation and scouring the web for review pictures to confirm my suspicions. And this is Step #1 of the actual make! What a way to lower any confidence in the validity of the instructions.
Example #2: I was a welt-pocket virgin before the Copenhague. And going by the instructions alone, I wouldn't have been able to put it together. I went back and forth between various instruction videos on YouTube and the instruction booklet to get my head around the method that was recommended for the task. Then I did a practice welt-pocket on fabric scraps before cutting into the real thing. I highly suggest other welt-pocket virgins to do the same.
Example #3: At the end of Step#5 (Assembling The Waistband) - there's a recommendation to leave 2cm when attaching the internal waistband to the external waistband to make room for the installation of the invisible zipper. A great tip that is also crucial when sewing the lining to the right side of the bodice. However that tip was left out in Step#1.
Generally speaking, the instructions were uneven. Perhaps some things were lost in translation from French to English. Sometimes the instructions were clear, and at other times, scant and obscure. But I don't want to be whiny. The end result is quite lovely, although the process of getting there was mind-boggling in certain moments.
An adjustment I made was to deepen the back welt-pockets. All that work to create pretty pockets but the original pattern has pocket bags deep enough only to hold a name card cut in half, lengthwise. So if you want deeper pockets like mine, extend the length of pattern pieces #9 and #10. The other adjustment was using four Prym "Anorak" snap buttons on the back panel instead of regular buttons with buttonholes.
Overall, I'm happy I wrestled with the pattern. It made me stronger. And I'm so happy, I made another:
Orageuse has other great patterns that have very interesting designs. Check out the website and have a look-see.