The Playsuit – Your Summer Staple

Playsuit

Good Friday was a very good day for me; I spent the afternoon at my sewing table watching Miranda, eating Easter Chocolate Nests and making myself a playsuit ready for Summer. It was nice to make something for me for a change as I know a lot of my posts lately have been gorgeous little presents for the little people in my life. The pattern is from Prima magazine – August 2012 (yes, I have an accumulation of patterns that have been saved for me from Prima…I’m finally getting round to making things from them!) I’ve seen copies of the pattern online so you can still pick one up if you want to make your own.

The playsuit was relatively easy to make and only took me an afternoon (I take my time so many of you will make it in a couple of hours…I was a bit distracted by the TV and getting up periodically to gallop – such fun! For my non-UK readers, my Miranda references will be completely lost on you, sorry! It’s definitely worth a Google!). You’ll only need a metre of fabric (140cm width). I used a printed spandex twill (a largely poly cotton mix). It doesn’t crease easily and the stretch makes it a good choice for a pull on item of clothing.

A word of caution when you’re cutting out – I managed to use French seams throughout, which has led to a really neat finish (I’ve also started looking at overlockers…the only thing stopping me from going out and buying one is where I’d find the space to store it!) If you decide to do French seams, there is a 1.5cm seam allowance included, but if you think you’ll need any more, make sure you cut your pattern accordingly so you have a little extra.

After cutting out my pattern pieces, I began by sewing together the side seams of the bodice and making a casing for the elasticated top. I would highly recommend trying your bodice on before you sew your elastic so you can check it’s the right tightness…not so much that it cuts off your circulation but enough that your top won’t fall down!

I then sewed the two front shorts pieces together along the centre front curved seam before doing the same with the back pieces. I then sewed the front and back together along the outside seams and inside leg seam. When I sewed my centre front seam, I got carried away and sewed the inside leg seam as well; it got me thinking about having a go at making a strapless, elasticated dress (but that’s a project for another day).

To make the elasticated waist, I sewed the bodice to the shorts (on my second attempt I even did this correctly so the pattern side was showing on both pieces and not just the shorts when I turned it!!) I pressed the trouser seam allowance upwards and sewed along the top to make my casing for my waist elastic – again, try this on before you sew your elastic so you can check it’s correct. To make the stitching look better, and give a more professional finish, I sewed either side of the elastic casing.

Lastly, I hemmed my short bottoms and I was good to go! This was my first attempt at sewing anything with legs, which was a new experience but I found it fairly straightforward so it’s given me the confidence to make more shorts and trousers.

Top Tip – I have to keep checking which way round I need to put my playsuit on – if I were making it again, I’d catch a short length of ribbon in the top seam when assembling the bodice.

For £6.46 of fabric, I have a staple item for the Summer that no-one else will be wearing…my Jackie O sunglasses are on standby; all I need now is that heat wave!

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