Tilly and the Buttons Saffiya jumpsuit review

The sun is shining and I’m sitting here writing a blog post about a summer jumpsuit on my balcony. What could be a better way to spend a lockdown bank holiday?

When I first saw the Tilly and the Buttons Make it Simple book I knew I had to have it. It was the bright yellow Saffiya playsuit that drew me to it. With a v-neck, elasticated waist, and grown-on sleeve it looked just my cup of tea. I had even bought some yellow and white striped double gauze to make it before the book came out (currently sold out but other options here).

Before cutting it out I tested the size on some leftover atelier brunette viscose I had from making a shirt. I didn’t have enough for a playsuit so tested just the shorts part.

I made a size 4 in these and they came up a little roomy which is fine for pyjama shorts but I wanted them more fitted for my jumpsuit. (Shorts shown below with my Sew Over It Hackney shirt).

I decided to size down in my actual jumpsuit and make a size 3. I also decided to change from making the v-neck playsuit to making a jumpsuit version as I realised I had just enough fabric to squeeze it out.

The sewing process was straightforward despite the many silly mistakes I made. Anyone else find sewing with a fabric that doesn’t have a wrong size a pain? However, I realised when I came to try it on I could barely fit it over my bum. I ended up having to let the seams out an extra 0.75cm each side to even get it on. I’m not sure how much of this is due to viscose having more give than double gauze so the shorts felt bigger because of that or if its just the gap between the sizes is quite big but my first pair in size 4 was definitely more comfortable.

It still requires some serious wiggling to get it on but I can forgive it that as once it is on it is comfortable. I’m not going to lie and say it is super flattering without the belt as unfitted things never look great on me, but I do know it looks pretty damn good with the belt. Plus the crotch is low enough to make them comfortable sitting down to.

I also took the opportunity to slow down the process and give it some extra detail with patch pockets on the front decorated with a fancy machine stitch on my Pfaff 2.0 (not an ad, just a great machine). I used the patch pockets from the Olive dress in the same book which worked perfectly.

I also added the same stitching to the straps. I had moved these straps slightly in as I’m narrow shouldered but I should have moved them in a bit more and shortened them as they fall off.

So in summary this is what I did differently to the pattern:

  • Took out the side seams 0.75 cm
  • Moved the straps in 0.5cm
  • Added pockets
  • Decorative stitching on straps and pockets
  • Shortened trousers an additional inch

If I were to make it again I would do the following things differently:

  • make the size up (size 4)
  • sway back adjustment as I find it bunches on the back
  • shorten the straps (1cm) and bring them in slightly (1cm) as they fall off my shoulders.
  • bias bind the bodice instead as I prefer that as a finish to facing
  • bigger patch pockets
  • buy enough fabric to make the tie

Overall, I love this pattern and will definitely make more. I have a playsuit version of the strappy bodice planned next which I think will be perfect for summer. I’ll even give the tie a go this time.

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