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Fibre Mood Moira- Barrel legs and balloon sleeves

Do you like jigsaw puzzles? In a pre-kids, pre-sewing life I enjoyed a good puzzle of middling difficulty. I was not one for those ‘plate of baked beans’, almost one colour excruciating puzzles. A bit more simplicity please.

When it comes to sewing, I’m a bit like that too. I usually opt for simple patterns from companies known for their clear instructions. I look for YouTube tutorials and sew-alongs as seeing what to do in action often helps my sewing.

Now, much as I love Fibre Mood patterns and am thrilled to be one of their pattern previewers, I have to admit that their patterns can be a bit tricky to navigate. I remember the first Fibre Mood magazine I bought, pulling out the patterns and being faced with what seemed like hundreds of coloured lines resembling a very complicated underground map. I have read several comments on similarly bamboozled people, not only stumped at the patterns but also feeling lost with the minimal detail of their instructions.

I believe that Fibre Mood patterns are so worth persevering with as their designs are really great, I’ve not yet been disappointed with a single garment I’ve made from their patterns. So in this blog I will include some  survival tips for sewing with Fibre Mood.

My first tip would be to spend time familiarising yourself with the pattern. Check out the pattern on-line to see how it looks made up. Study the instructions to understand each pattern piece and what it does. I was flummoxed by the front bodice piece for a while before I realised it folded in half to make a facing which was a clever move.

Secondly, remember to add the seam allowance. Fibre Mood patterns don’t include seam allowances but will instruct you to add usually 1cm. Occasionally, I can’t be bothered to add seam allowances and just sew a size bigger.

When you decide what size you need, you might find it helps to use a highlighter to trace over your lines, that’s my third tip. Fourthly, I also label each pattern piece as they are usually just numbered. It saves constantly referring to the instructions if I write on each piece exactly what they are.

Then tip number 5, just go slow and enjoy the process 🙂

And now on to this particular pattern, the Moira jumpsuit.  I knew this year I wanted to make a couple of jumpsuits, so I jumped at the chance to make it. The pattern is actually for a sleeveless bodice with optional sleeve trim. Being sleeveless it offers opportunities for layering. The sleeve trim adds an eighties feel to the garment.

Much as I like the sleeveless look, I felt that a jumpsuit with sleeves would just make dressing much more simple, just one garment, no need to find a base layer. Also, most of my base layers are black, I need more polo necks and t-shirts in a variety of shades, but that’s another story. So I decided to add sleeves.

I knew I’d make mine in denim as I had a 2m piece in my stash. I also had some denim offcuts and two half metre pieces. My mind was swimming with ideas of colour blocking with the different denim shades, of making a ruffle out of the sleeve trim. I’d seen so many amazing denim tops and jumpsuits/ boilersuits from Toast, Cos and Seventy Mochi, which was new to me .

In the end, I decided not to cut into my two half metre pieces but to keep those for a future skirt or shorts project. I decided to use my offcut piece to make the sleeves and belt which would make just a subtle colour change. I’m super pleased with this decision as it felt like the least wasteful, I just have a handful of scraps left.

The barrel leg is a style I’ve not worn and wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but I love it. The shape suits my legs I think and the length is perfect. I cut a size 14 bodice and graded out to a 16 hip and leg. I really wanted a roomy garment and my legs to feel free. I pondered dropping the crotch but I’m glad I didn’t as the fit is good as it is. The only little fit niggle I have is that it gapes a bit at the back across the shoulders. I’m not sure how I would fix that if I made another, making it too narrow might make the jumpsuit a bit more difficult to get out of in a hurry.

As for the sleeves, I decided I wanted something a bit balloon like and bracelet length. Having recently made a By Hand London  Marie blouse, I used that sleeve pattern, omitting the placket and sleeve trim. I wondered whether I would need to change the arm hole (arm scye) to make it fit better but I didn’t and it seems okay. I just gathered the sleeve at the head and then at the hem, keeping it quite loose, and stitched a narrow band to encase the raw edge. I really like this sleeve shape and feel like I want to add it to all my makes!

Another thing I love about this is the topstitching, which surprised me. I have previously avoided making things that require topstitching, but I embraced this. I think my current machine makes this much easier as it has more markings on the sewing foot and plate. I chose a more traditional gold brown thread over white which seems more “in” at the moment. No regrets there. I ended up unpicking the topstitching I did down the back bodice because I just couldn’t get it to sit right and it looked odd, maybe because I added sleeves.

There are so many seams to sew in this garment, each leg is made of four pieces and the bodice has side panels. So it lends itself quite well to colour blocking, with the patch pockets too. There was something quite soothing about sewing lengths of seams. Also, finishing seams on my overlocker still feels quite exciting and pro-like two months in!

Okay, so let’s talk snap fastners. This was only the second time I’d used them. The first time I couldn’t work out how to insert them and wasted a whole pack before conceding defeat and calling on my husband for help. This time I was determined to do it myself. I managed to install the first snap and then it went all wrong and I wasted two. Enter Mr King.

The truly galling thing is that after my dear hubby fitted all the snaps and I tried on the jumpsuit, the snap I installed fell off! Oh well, I am glad that my husband will enjoy this jumpsuit too, knowing he had a pretty important input!

There are a couple of things that I may change if I have time and energy, the belt loops and belt. I think both are a bit thin. I have seen some versions using thicker, shop bought belts and another with fatter belt loops and they look really good. We’ll see.

So, that’s it, a wonderful new jumpsuit has entered my life and I love it! The topstitch, the big pockets, the relaxed, comfortable shape, the sleeves all make this so lovely to wear. When I make garments, making them look ‘shop bought’ isn’t on my mind but occasionally I make something that looks like it came from one of my favourite stores and my tummy does a little flip. Call it skill, a gift or a super power, sewing your own clothes is just the best.

A little happy dance for your amusement!

Published by The Unpickstitch Papers

I'm a teacher, baker and own clothes maker. I like to read, I like to work out. I wish there was more time in the day to do life. I have 1 husband, 2 daughters and no dogs yet, though I'm working on wearing my hubby down!

3 thoughts on “Fibre Mood Moira- Barrel legs and balloon sleeves

  1. This is so cute! And I love how you styled it! Those sleeves worked out so well—it’s really an improvement on the original.
    I liked your tip about sewing a size bigger rather than taking time to add seam allowances. I might try that.
    Great job on this super cool jumpsuit!

    Liked by 1 person

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