The lovely ladies at Deer and Doe reached out to me not long ago to do a review on their newest pattern, the Sirocco Jumpsuit. At the time, I was feeling incredible overwhelmed and on the brink of putting my machine away for a few months (more on that later), but something told me to go forth and sew! And girl, I’m so happy I did because now I have this sweet ensemble:
Not A Cliche
Let me start by saying I have nothing like this jumpsuit in my closet. It’s actually something I never considered to be my style – too proper, cliche looking, etc. I’ve seen so many versions on the internet (the whole, “wardrobe must have” thing) that I assumed every girl out there is wearing something like this. A trendy fad. A cliche staple.
Alas, I was wrong.
Turns out, I haven’t actually seen very many people in real life dressed like this at all. It was all in my head – or on Instagram & Pinterest, rather. I tend to get turned off from something when everyone’s got it, cuz you know, girl doesn’t want to be like everyone else. But imagine, I almost missed out on this amazing look because ultimately, I was concerned about everyone else.
In my quest to not be interested in anything that everyone else has, much to my surprise, I actually like the way this jumpsuit looks on me. I really thought it wouldn’t quite suit me. Yep, yet again, I was wrong. Side note, as I get older, it appears that I’m consistently wrong about everything I thought I knew. Anyone else?
To me, this jumpsuit is one of the most chic items I’ve made and now have in my closet. It looks just like something worth an obscene amount of dollars at the store, but I suppose I shouldn’t have expected anything less from a French pattern designer, you know?
I also love how flattering it is. See, I have a small backside (which hey, power to the little battie gyal dem), but this jumpsuit gives me some shape. It also accentuates the waist, which is a nice little bonus. Then add some high heels, and pow:
Pattern & Construction
At first glance, this seemed like it would take a long time to construct and have some level of difficulty. But quite frankly, this is one of the easiest patterns I’ve ever used. The instructions are clear, diagrams even clearer and it helps when your serger is on your side.
As it was my first time using a Deer and Doe pattern, I wondered how it would fit and my my my, the sizing was actually accurate! I can’t tell you how many patterns I’ve used where the actual finished garment is NOT the size it said it would be. In my own personal bias, I sort of assumed that because Deer and Doe is from France, the sizing would be precise, to which I was right 😎. For me, the length from base of the neck to waistband was perfect, which never happens.
As it pattern currently is, the legs are too wide even though they are tapered. It’s also much too long for long for my liking – even the designer photos show the legs rolled up, so it looks a bit frumpy. One suggestion would be to shorten the inseam length to just about the ankle and taper the legs in to give a more feminine shape, which is exactly what I did.
I also brought the shoulders in using a 5/8 seam allowance rather than the suggested 3/8. Beyond that, the waist and hip fit just right with just a little taking in at the underarms/bust!
One of my favourite things about the Sirocco Jumpsuit is that there is no zipper. Though I’m pretty good at inserting zips, any opportunity to not have to do it is fine by me! The jumpsuit just pulls over your hips and shoulders, so that means your stretch sewing skills needs to be on point, otherwise the threads will break every you pull this baby up.
Otherwise, my only real quam was with the waistband. The tension from the neckband and amount of layers hidden in the neckband, back darts and front pleats causes the waistband to tug differently across the band, causing it to look a wee bit amateur. I re-did it a few times and had the same result, so I’m of the belief that it’s because of how thick the material I used is.
This will definitely not deter me from making the Sirocco Jumpsuit again. I’ll just make a belt with a fabulous buckle to go with it, which I think will only amp up the look.
This is a stretch knit I got from Michael Levine Fabrics in downtown LA for some ridiculously low price like $5/yd. Unfortunately, I’m the worst at keeping track of fabric details, so I don’t know exactly what type of stretch knit it is. Womp, promise I’ll do better in the future!
Anyways, the pattern calls for jersey knit, but this beautiful darker mint-ish/sage coloured fabric has some weight to it. Even though it’s a thicker stretch knit, it’s still fluid enough to have some flow and movement to it. All that combined with a little bit of textured sheen really gives this jumpsuit a look of value. I debated using this material for this project, but once I determined that I wanted to the avoid the classic black or grey, I knew this was the right way to go!
Sewing Doesn’t Suck Anymore
What I love more than anything about this jumpsuit is that it re-ignited my love for sewing. I was really forcing myself to sew over the last few months and to be honest, I wasn’t too happy with what I was creating. My favourite hobby was starting to become a chore that was taking up my time and making me feel stressed out. So I actually put my sewing machine away – tools, thread and all and had no intention of sewing for at least a few weeks.
And then Camille reached out to see if I would do a review.
At first, I hesitated because I needed time for myself and didn’t want to ruin sewing even more for me. But then I decided to think of it as ‘I GET to sew/review this awesome jumpsuit for a company on the other side of the world’ rather than ‘I HAVE to sew something’.
Talk about game changer. With that attitude, my focus and attention was on point and the jumpsuit came together with such ease. Now I’m looking forward to what I *get* to make next!
I’ll keep this short and sweet: Try this jumpsuit out. It’s an easy make and the work around for the waistband is as simple as making a belt or a waist tie to cover it up. I feel incredibly chic in it and I know others think the same thing. As soon as they see it, their immediate response is just awesome – they’re shocked that it’s not store bought, which is always my favourite reaction to anything I sew 😀
Photos by D. Lau