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Zadie the wonder pattern!
Written by PippaFabric
Category: reviews, sewing

I think we can all agree that I’ve had a lot of use out the Zadie jumpsuit pattern form Paper Theory.  I really is a wonderful pattern. Simple in it’s structure and always looks smart and feels/ is the complete secret pyjama pattern.

How it all began

I started with the full jumpsuit pattern and fell in love as it came together quickly.  ( There’s not enough time to loose interest)  I’m not generally a fan of jumpsuits due to the loo issue but having given it the benefit of the doubt, I reach for it as an easy wear now.  It’s a good summer outfit for me, if I have to remove more than one layer to go to the loo, it stays in the wardrobe.  The linen relaxes over time so it can grow a little baggy but once washed it pulls back to size.  This is normal for a straight linen fabric.  A stretch linen would hold its shape much better.  I’m considering a tencel version…

The Zadie Dress

Next I made a Zadie dress.  I’d wanted a green dress and although not the shade I’d been dreaming of, found this lovely soft green rami linen at Anglian Fashion fabrics in Norwich.  It has a full two widths of fabric (150cm each) in the skirt and feels really quite full.  It’s also quite warm.  A transition dress if ever there was one.  There is nothing lightweight about this version. Still, a useful dress and one that I reach for as an easy wear.  Sandals or boots, it works either way.

The Tops

I’ve made a couple of tops.  Both documented here- Cactus Zadie and Striking back with Zadie on the blog and in regular rotation with my wardrobe. I need to remember to lower the tie position so that it doesn’t ride up my ribcage.

A Zadie for soft summer days

Most recently I fell for some viscose from Croft Mill.  A beautiful emerald green.  If you wait for long enough, the perfect fabric does generally turn up.  If you have time to wait.  I washed it once it arrived and unsurprisingly it had shrunk a bit.  ALWAYS wash Viscose before cutting out.  There is a good chance you’ll loose some width / length or both.  I lost a little width but quite a lot of length.  I’d ordered 3m and although I didn’t measure it before cutting out, didn’t have enough for pockets or much left over.

Working it out

I knew I wanted a dress but not necessarily a wrap dress.  I cut the top and considered the skirt.  This fabric was much softer than the linen and I wanted to sort of replicate a favourite rtw maxi dress.  It had a tiered gathered skirt that I just loved.  I didn’t have enough for tiers though so I decided to use two lengths of the fabric.  1 metre each gave me ankle length with hems.  I fixed the top wrap and gathered the skirt onto it.  Because the pattern is quite relaxed I knew it’d have no trouble going over my head/ shoulders.  I wanted to elasticate the waist so I had added an extra 1″ onto the waist edge of the top for the casing.   I began to wonder if it would be too full but without making it up I couldn’t tell.

The metal quilting guide came in very handy.  That strange bent rod that’s in your machine accessories pack pops into the hole at the back of your machine foot.  Yes, the screw that doesn’t seem to do anything is there solely to hold this in.


Will I adjust it?

After putting the elastic in, I checked to see how it looked.  The jury is still out but I’m going to wear it a few times before I make a final decision.  The same with the length.  I’ve gone maxi but wonder if it’s too long, a little like my other dress which I shortened to midi length. If I shorten it I might do a small tier/ruffle.  If I take some of the fullness out of the skirt I might also have those pockets I miss. I’ve put a couple of stitches in the neckline to keep the v in place.  Now I’m wondering if I could make a softer jumpsuit Zadie with elastic at the waist…

There are other things to get finished or made before I start to go down that rabbit hole though.  Is anyone else reconsidering the practicality of elastics waists since lockdown.  At least there’s least been more opportunity for salads with the warmer weather finally arriving.  I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to fully fixed waists though.  How about you?


  1. Brenda Bowler

    Looking for a group to join for dressmaking Bit like knit and natter I suppose (but never knitted or been to such a session). Thanks

    • Pippa

      Hi Brenda,
      The closest think I can think of to a knit and natter is the Norwich Sewcials sew days or one of my guided classes. Keep an eye on the Sewcials newsletter for upcoming dates.


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