The Carmel Jumpsuit was launched five months ago but I'm afraid to not much fanfare, as I went straight from its release into a couple of months of all-consuming editing jobs (my other business). But I've spent the intervening months dreaming of the myriad hacks this pattern positively begs for – and so this seemed the perfect post to restart my blog for 2023!
1. Shirred back or bodice
This would be a relatively easy hack with the strapless bodice if you’re comfortable shirring. I’ve already tried this out once – I cut the back bodice piece in half and created a shirred centre-back panel so the jumpsuit no longer needs a zip. However, it’s a little on the loose side so I want to experiment with shirring more of the back.
2. Tie back
I’ve seen a lot of dresses and jumpsuits with tie-backs over the last couple of years and whilst it might not be the most practical of closures, it’s perfect for adding some easy glamour to a holiday wardrobe.
3. Trouser frill – or trouser gather
Super simple! But it doesn’t have to be a frill from the same fabric of course – you could use a contrast or even something completely different, like an ostrich feather trim.
Gathering in the trouser cuffs with elastic could be fun – I haven’t tried it yet but you’d definitely want a lightweight fabric as those legs are wide!
You might want to reduce a bit of height from the top of the trouser legs as well as the bottom if you’re trying this – that will raise the crotch slightly which will be more flattering with shorts.
5. Tie straps or add a ruffle to the straps
Make four straps instead of two (that means cutting eight strap pieces in total) and tie them at the shoulders – you might want to make them even longer depending on how extravagant a tie you want or shorter and taper the exposed ends OR ignore the strap pattern and make long skinny straps!
If you’ve got the Park Lane pattern you could use the shoulder ruffle pattern piece to add a sweet little frill to the Carmel straps – I love mixing and matching pattern details.
6. Add a tie belt
Some makers have already done this – add a simple tie into the side seams and use it to cinch the waist area. Or you could insert channelling and elastic or a drawstring to the (empire) waistline, and draw it in that way.
7. Add a ruffle to the waistline or neckline
I am ALL about the ruffles, so would love to try both these options and maybe more… Is there anywhere I won’t add a frill?!
8. Add a button placket to the bodice
Draft a simple button placket by extending out the bodice from the CF foldline – and cutting a pair of front bodice halves.
9. Add sleeves
These could be very simple cap sleeves or you could use another pattern (with sleeves) to redraw the bodice armscyes to fit the sleeves of your choice.
10. Sun dress
Easy peasy – just attach a gathered skirt, mini or maxi, instead of trousers to your bodice.
So many ideas – and lots of possible hack combinations too! A ruffle around the neckline matching a ruffle around the trouser hem… A button placket and sleeves… A tie-back sun dress…
I’m planning blog tutorials for several of these hacks but if there’s one you’d like to see in particular, let me know!