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Guest Blog on Helen's Closet Patterns: Jumpsuit Hack of March Top/Dress

When the March Top/Dress was launched by Helen’s Closet Patterns, the idea of a jumpsuit hack immediately came into mind. I love the roomy fit of the March Top/Dress, and even though I already own about 30 me-made jumpsuits, I didn’t really make one that has a voluminous feel. This jumpsuit hack would be a lovely addition to the jumpsuit collection, and stand out from the rest. In addition, I was already scheming fabric choices for top and dress versions because the sewing pattern lends itself to colour-blocking and print-mixing, which is totally my jam.

Then a serendipitous thing happened! Helen reached out to me to collaborate on a guest blog for a March Top/Dress Hack. Oh my goodness! When I received that email from her, I must have jumped up 10 feet high. I shrieked and screamed and made all these yelps of joy, which probably made my neighbours think I was in some kind of orgasmic state. And I actually was. Helen is a big inspiration to me, and being asked to collaborate with her is like winning the lottery.

What I admire about Helen is how she bravely, skilfully and seamlessly moved to being a pattern maker from an avid sewing hobbyist and blogger in a short period of time. I am a huge fan of her patterns because the designs are well-drafted basics that are completely hackable. And every design always has a unique detail or surprising flourish; and all designs are flattering to most body types. In addition, I am always learning something new from her pattern instructions. They are incredibly simple and easy to follow, and always catered to a beginner. At the same time, as an intermediate sewist, I can always count on nuggets of sewing tips and tricks that will improve my techniques and skills. She writes them in a reassuring and empowering tone, and having her guiding “voice” in my head encourages me in my sewing process, and removes any doubt that I may have from executing intimidating steps. It is pure joy working on any of her patterns. It’s not the first time that I’ve publicly waxed lyrical about her patterns, and this is probably not going to be the last time.

As I said, all her patterns come with hack suggestions which can be found in her sewing blog, and it is a ginormous honour and privilege to be invited to contribute there. If you haven’t visited yet, please take the time to see all the great hacks from different contributors and also from Helen herself. They are so informative, with loads of inspirational ideas to spark off your own creativity. And please take the time to go visit the tutorial that I wrote, which is a jumpsuit hack of the March Top/Dress. It’s actually a mash-up of 2 Helen’s Closet Patterns - the March Top/Dress and the Winslow Culottes. The latter happens to be the very first pattern that Helen designed, and if you haven’t already got the pattern, then take advantage of the special offer for the Winslow Culottes which is valid for the whole month of June. I am now making these Culottes, and I can’t wait to share them with you soon in a pattern review.

For the jumpsuit hack, it was really great fun sharing how I did it. The main changes made are matching up the waistlines of the March Top/Dress to the Winslow Culottes, extending the front neckline opening, adding a back keyhole opening, and adding extra closures like an extra pair of front ties and a button-loop closure in the back. In addition, I also added a pair of optional waist-ties to cinch in the waist. For full details of the hack, please go to Helen’s blog at Helen’s Closet Patterns.

I’ve made 2 versions of the hack and I love these jumpsuits for the summer. Made up in light to mid-weight cottons, they give me an airy, floating feeling. They provide enough sun coverage/protection under the blazing desert sun, but also enough spaciness for air to cool and ventilate. The best thing is that I feel absolutely free and uninhibited when I move in them. There are no tight or snug-fitting areas and I get to eat 3 bowls of noodles if I want and the resulting tummy bloating will be concealed.

I sincerely hope that sewists will try out this jumpsuit hack, and I can’t wait for feedback on it. It was an enormous learning process putting this tutorial together. It's one thing to do a hack, but quite another to explain it to someone else so that they will be successful in the making of it. Though challenging, the experience has been exhilarating. It’ll be a real thrill to see others in their jumpsuit hacks of the March Top/Dress. That would make me sew happy!!!

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