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Tulia Jumpsuit: Matching Set Hack

I hacked the Tulia Jumpsuit by Fibre Mood into a matching set! This post shares how easily it can be done.

When I was working on my first version of the Tulia, I was thinking that this pattern actually has 2 other patterns secretly embedded into its design. It's a fine and unusual jumpsuit with boxy shoulders created by these big pleats, but the pattern can be separated to create a matching set of jacket and elasticated-back pants. The pattern launch revealed that others, like @sewitcurly on Instagram, were thinking along the same lines, and produced cracker jackets - which emboldened my resolve to make myself the matching set. The only thing left to make it happen was to choose the right fabric for it.

One of the big perks of being a Minerva Brand Ambassador is the task of matching fabric to pattern becomes such a rich and fun experience. There is a whole range of fabrics to choose from, and it really gives a big push to broaden my creative endeavours. It definitely ups my sewing game. So a BIG thank you to Minerva for this beautiful classic check twill with a polyester/viscose composition. I love a good check pattern and this one is woven into the fabric, which means that there isn't a right or wrong side. Reversible fabrics are jolly-licious! Also, from a distance, it looks like the colours are red, white and black, but on closer inspection, we can pick out lines of blue, green and yellow. That's completely adorable! I love how this fabric changes depending on how far you're standing away from it. There's a surprise element, and it intrigues you and draws you closer to reveal its true colours. Finally, it's the perfect weight for a matching suit/set.

This is truly the simplest hack evah! Basically, I just cut out fabric pieces needed for 2 waistbands instead of one. For a single waistband to create the jumpsuit, there's a piece for the back waistband (cut 2 on fold) and a piece for the front waistband (cut 4 on fold). Since a waistband is needed for the jacket and another for the pants, I cut out 4 of the back waistband and 8 for the front waistband. There was some indecision regarding whether I should create a new waistband pattern for the jacket, so that the jacket will have a straight waistband instead of the original curved waistband. But in the end, I went with the original. Since I was putting in elastic in the back channel, I surmised that the curved waistband might turn out to be a good thing. And also, I was simply too lazy to draft my own waistband rectangle. If you're going to attempt turning the Tulia into a jacket, I bring good news: you can stick to the original waistband pattern.

One thing that I really wanted to improve on in this 2nd Tulia encounter, is to make it easier to sew in the elastic to the back waistband. And since I had to do it twice this time, I had 2 chances to test out the idea of using the instructions from the Pietra Pants (Closet Core Patterns) to insert the elastic. I find the Fibre Mood instructions rather awkward for this step. The Closet Core instructions basically suggest sewing the elastic first onto one side of the back waistband within the seam allowance. Then a safety pin is pinned to the other end of the elastic. On the other end of the back waistband, the seam between the front and back waistband (on the inside) is left partially open for the elastic to be pulled through. After this step, the inside waistband is sewn to close up the channel, enclosing the loose elastic band within. By manoeuvring the elastic band across that channel with the safety pin, it can be pulled out from the other side and secured with a line of sewing. Lastly, the opening where the elastic emerged from can be hand stitched closed.

The sizing for this make remained the same as my first version. You can check out that post to see more pictures of what the Tulia looks like in its original form as a jumpsuit. I sewed up a size XS, and sizes for this pattern goes from XS - XXXL. Of course, this matching set will also work great as separates. The jacket will work really well with different bottoms; and the bottoms with a different top.

With the weather warming up quickly in Tel Aviv, I was thinking that I would probably need to wait till next season to wear this matching set. But good fortune brought in a sudden storm for one last cold, windy spurt before giving in to the true blossoming of Spring. This means that I will be wearing my Tulia matching set tonight for Passover dinner. My kids and I have been invited to my husband's best friend's home for the celebrations. My husband is not here with us to celebrate for good reason. He is currently in Spain leading the first performing tour for Mayumana since the plague began. There, this performance company, which was founded by him, is performing to real audiences on a stage, after a year of zero or virtual contact with audiences. This is one of the most important milestones for the company to date.

Here's a picture of Mayumana doing its thang on stage:

I am incredibly proud of him for leading his group through a very challenging year where the live entertainment business came to a jolting halt. We had to stay flexible and optimistic through it all. At times, the situation became hairy-scary, and we went through thin moments financially. But the performance company didn't just survive it, it thrived under his leadership, against all odds. I was working with him in the company but I had to be let go because of the circumstances. But I am not complaining here! The unemployment opened up the opportunity for me to dive into what I love to do - sewing and sharing about it. It led to the birth of this blog.

The tree outside my window has budding leaves on its bare branches. Israel is opening up with more than half of the population completely vaccinated. Mayumana is experiencing a renewal and a boost of energy by being able to return to what it does best - perform. Even though I am not Jewish, I appreciate and celebrate the essence of Passover: it is about moving from enslavement to freedom. Worldwide, this past year brought with it the communal experience of being locked down. We all experienced some level of loss. Personally, I lost my father to Covid-19 about a month ago. I hesitate writing about it here because I worry about how you, the reader will respond to this sudden announcement. But I ask for your patience. I bring it up not to be morose or self-indulgent.

Here's some background: my father and I were never close. I imagine it was hard for him to embrace being a father, so we never really had a relationship. It was one that was defined by his absence, wrought with failed expectations and repeated painful disappointments. Even though I felt like I didn't develop much affection for the man, when he died it was a shock how deeply the loss affected me. I was saddened that he had to die alone.

His death hit me like a train because I felt most acutely at that time how the relationship was already lost even before it had begun. And his passing brought with it some kind of finality - that the loss will never be retrieved. Mostly, I discovered I've been "locked down" by feelings of abandonment. I had "father issues" because I was carrying the burden of not being good enough for him. The most hurtful thing was that even in his death, I wasn't recognised as his daughter in his memorial. So I write this as my way of recognising him. I say here and now that Paul Kok who lived in KL, Malaysia was my father. And even though in my eyes he didn't fulfil his role as father, I realise he was doing his best in whatever circumstances he was facing. With his passing, it's time to release him, and all my feelings of not being good enough. These were working like invisible chains that I cuffed onto myself. So with these words, I unlock the chains and set myself free.

The Covid-19 lockdowns brought (and are still bringing), restrictions in many levels of life, the challenge for me throughout this past year was not to keep my spirit chained in, to affirm in myself that I am free in spite of prison-like conditions. And so I wish that we will all pass over from enslavement to freedom. May all of us have a good Spring, and a fruitful year ahead. Happy living, loving, laughing and sewing!

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