Sometimes I buy patterns and they get made up instantly. Other times, there’s a delay. This is one of the latter.
I bought the Blanca Flight Suit pattern last year. It appealed to me instantly on release, but I wasn’t too sure when I’d wear it or what fabric to make it in. Then, gradually, more and more versions popped up on Instagram and I started to be able to picture myself in it.
During the Sewing Weekender, I realised that the discount code for Sew Me Sunshine could potentially be used to purchase some linen to make a summer version. A quick browse showed me this gorgeous purple enzyme washed linen and suddenly I was pressing Add to Cart and whacking a discount code on.
The fabric is a lovely, mid weight linen. As usual, it creases like hell, but that has the benefit of meaning it presses perfectly when you need it to.
It turned out, though, that I should have ordered slightly more fabric. I usually have a reasonable amount left, as I’m a stingy cutter, but this time around, I could not get the front pockets on my fabric, no matter how I manipulated things. With hindsight, I should have cut the under collar out of a contrast fabric, as I did the back waistband facing, but I didn’t realise I was struggling for space until I’d partially cut things out. As it happens, I don’t think it matters too much, but it was a bit of a shock to realise I’d run out!
The pattern, as with every Closet Core Patterns garment I’ve sewn, is beautifully drafted and the instructions are clear. There are the niceties such as clearly marked CF, hip notches etc which make things much easier when making adjustments.
I chose to make view B, which has a tie belt, cropped legs and short sleeves. I fell across 3 sizes and there are a lot of pattern pieces, but I blended across them anyway, starting from a 10 at the top down to a 14 on the hips. I added 1/2″ at the waist and 1″ at the hips, as well as making my usual full bum adjustment, adding 1.5cm to the centre back seam. The fit is very much as I expected, so I’d say the measurements on the packet are very much accurate.
Although there are lots of pattern pieces, this is a totally manageable and very enjoyable sew. Tasks can easily be broken down into small steps to do on an evening and each section of the construction is satisfying to complete.
As I mentioned earlier, I used a contrast fabric as the inner back waistband facing. I used the same, quilting weight cotton (a fat quarter I’d had for some time which happened to go beautifully) for the pocket facing for those gorgeous front pockets which double as belt loops.
The front fastens with a standard dress zip. I was a little nervous of this, as I’m far more used to an invisible zip, but again, the instructions were really clear and I’m very happy with the finished result. I’d definitely recommend making sure your pattern markings are clearly in place, they make things easier, and in many cases I did some extra marking of where the seam lines should be to make things easier. I also hand basted the zip in place, as well as the sleeve heads when I got to that stage.
The only place in which I ignored the instructions was on the collar. The instructions follow the method I’ve seen most often, which is to assemble the top collar and under collar and then attach the finished item to the body of the garment. I find this really fiddly and annoying and much prefer the method explained by Suzy on Sew Sarah Smith’s blog. This involves attaching the under collar to the garment, then the top collar to the under collar and then topstitching the top collar to the garment. I definitely get much better results this way, but if you’re doing the same, make sure you extend the under collar past the centre front of the bodice by the 5/8″ seam allowance.
Anyway, I think you may have worked out by now that I really enjoyed sewing this up. Involved enough to keep me entertained, but not so challenging that I couldn’t break it down into 15 minute chunks in an evening when necessary.
And the finished garment? I adore it! It may be a little in your face, strolling about in top to toe purple, but I really don’t give a stuff. Purple is my favourite collar and it’s surprisingly hard to get nice purple fabric, so I will be enjoying this lovely, deep colour as often as possible, whilst contemplating fabric options for a winter version….
Pattern Closet Core Patterns Blanca Flight Suit
Fabric Enzyme washed linen (135cm wide)
Bust : 36″
Waist : 31.5″
Hips : 41″
Size cut 10-14
Adjustments made Graded between sizes from 10 at bust to 14 at hips. Added 1/2″ at waist, 1″ at hips. Added 5/8″ to centre back seam
Future adjustments? No, it works well like this
Make again? Love to! Possibly a heavier weight version for winter