A Pantsuit to Jumpsuit Refashion

Do you remember the Refashioners 2017 Suits You challenge? That’s how long ago I started this pantsuit to jumpsuit refashion. Hell-bent on participating in this competition, I started this thrift flip with lots of enthusiasm. After a few days, the project got tedious, and I threw it aside, discouraged and defeated. When I unearthed this UFO (Un-Finished Object) last week, I was bummed to see how close I was to finishing this stupid jumpsuit. All I had to do was finish the armholes and buttons. I tend to give up too easily on myself. It’s a recurring theme in my life.

Here’s the before picture. Yes, I know it’s a completely different color from the after photo. This suede silk suit changes color in a different light. It also sucks up all the light, making it hard to capture the texture of the fabric. I was so disappointed with my amateur photography I almost didn’t post this thrift flip project.

In this post, I’ll go over step by step how I made this pantsuit to jumpsuit refashion. It’s not terribly hard, but some parts are annoyingly tedious.

Step 1: Chop the jacket

Cut off the sleeves and lower part of the jacket. I’ll use these pieces later to make the waistband. I made the bodice a little longer than usual to add vertical ease for movements like bending over and squatting.

Step 2: Remove the waistband

Chop off the waistband.

Step 3: Draft pattern for a wider waistband

I cut apart the waistband, traced around the pieces and added 1/2 inch + seam allowance.

Step 4: Cut out the new waistband from the leftover jacket

Sorry, I don’t have a picture of this. I cut out each piece twice – once for the front of the waistband and once for the back. Interface the front pieces.

Step 5: Sew the waistband together

Sorry, this is another picture I’m missing. Use your imagination.

Step 6: Sew the bottom and jacket to the new waistband

It really sucks that I don’t have pictures of this step because this is where everything comes together, so I’ll just show a closeup of the finished waist. First, I sewed the pants to the bottom of the waistband. For the bodice, I used gathers instead of waist darts to make the jacket fit the waist. Then I attached the bodice to the top of the waistband.

Step 7: Finish the back of the waistband

This is where I lost my sewjo, because I had to hand stitch the back of the waistband. I don’t mind a little bit of hand stitching, but this task was a killjoy.

Step 8: Finish the armhole

See picture from Step 7. I ran out of the silk fabric, so I used black lining to finish the armhole. Be sure to interface the armhole facing.

Step 9: Replace buttons with covered buttons

I planned on using the original buttons but accidentally lost them early in the project. I tried finding replacements at the fabric store but nothing matched. So I made covered buttons with scraps, which I prefer over the plastic buttons. It has a modern, cleaner look to it.

Here’s a view of the front . . .

And here’s a view of the back . . .

Final thoughts on this pantsuit to jumpsuit refashion

I have mixed feelings about this jumpsuit. I love the finished garment, but I hated making it. Most of the time, I prefer to refashion with sewing patterns as everything is pre-planned and all the steps are spelled out. On this project, I was making it up as I was going along, which makes me nervous. It’s still a worthwhile project as I learned how to bring the top and bottom together at the waist. Next time I do this, I’ll know what to expect.

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2 of 16 comments
  • M M on Sep 07, 2021

    looks great on you. congratulations for all your extra work coming out to fit you so well and make a good looking piece,.......iwas so impressed when I saw what you started with!

  • Shuganne Shuganne on Sep 07, 2021

    I hope this doesn't qualify for a dumb question, but if you removed the sleeves, and the top was lined, why didn't you just liberate 2 or 3 inches of the original sleeve lining, tack it back in and flip it for the arm hole?

    Here's another one: did you make your new waistband partially with straight grain fabric and partially with bias fabric? I'm trying to imagine how those worked well together.

    Thanks for your patience.