Hobbling Handmade’s Cara Jumpsuit hack

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For this month’s make I decided to get a little bit hack-happy, and turn the Cara jumpsuit into a pair of trousers – it was really simple, and took no time at all!

I’d had my eye on the Cara jumpsuit pattern for a little while, but have never really been one for a drapey neckline and so decided to take the bodice off entirely and make a nice slouchy pair of elasticated-waist trousers instead. Because the bodice connects to the trousers to create the jumpsuit, I needed to make one simple alteration to the pattern pieces in order to end up with the waistband that I wanted. I took the hip tie element away to make everything a lot more simple, and took the under channel pattern piece (number 8), measured and traced it so that it was double the width – my plan was that I’d just fold the waistband in half, rather than having an inner and outer channel and therefore a seam at the top of the waistband.

As I’d taken away the bodice, I was able to skip straight to the trouser construction element of the instructions, which tell you to sew the outside leg seams together first and then the inside seams at the same time, so as to create one continuous line of stitching. I hadn’t tried this method of construction before, usually sewing each leg individually and joining them at the crotch seam, but I really liked learning this new method, which actually ended up being much more straight forward than the method I was used to!

After I’d sewn the legs together, it was time to go off-piste with the instructions. At this point, you’re meant to join the bodice to the trousers, but of course I was ignoring that! What I did instead was attach one of the long sides of my single waistband piece that I’d drawn up earlier, leaving the other long side of the rectangle free. I then pressed the raw edge of the free side over to the inside by 1.5cm, and folded it over so that the neat edge that I’d just pressed was covering the raw seam allowances of where I’d attached the other side of the waistband and hand sewed this side down using slipstitch. Because I still needed to insert the elastic, I made sure to leave an open gap of about 8cm which I could sew up later.

Once I’d finished my hand sewing, I measured out and cut the elastic by holding some elastic up to my waist, pulling it slightly so that it was stretched a little bit and then added about a centimetre for overlap. I attached a safety pin to one of the short ends of the elastic and fed it through the waistband channel I’d created, making sure that the other short end was securely pinned just outside of the gap in the fabric that I’d left, so that it didn’t get pulled in too far. Once all of the elastic was in place, I overlapped the two short ends and sewed them together using a wide zigzag stitch (use a zigzag stitch rather than a straight stitch so that the elastic is still able to stretch freely).

The last things to do were to sew up the little gap I’d left, and sew the hem on my trousers! I did a short hem, but like to fold it over to create a chunky, rolled up hem.

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