Sunday, July 23, 2017

DIY Sweetheart Strapless Tie-Front Cutout Jumpsuit + Tutorial

If what you want doesn't exist, create it! That's my wardrobe building philosophy. So when I saw my inspiration jumpsuit, I had to create a similar look. It wouldn't let me sleep! The retail ad I'd previously looked at followed me around the web. Then I saw two celebrities wearing it. I felt like the sewing universe was washing my face with this look. I was going to be creatively paralyzed until I got this out of my system, so I got started.

When I'm preparing to copy an inspired look, I study all of the details and look closely at the lines. This jumpsuit has a strapless, sweetheart neckline; tie-front, knotted bustier bodice; a cutout above the midriff; a high, wide banded waist and pleated wide legs with a center back lapped zipper.
Now, to achieve my look: first, the bodice. I have a bodice block that I created a while ago. So I could've drafted a strapless bodice from that. But in all honesty, I've never had a problem fitting a bodice from any of the Big 4 companies, so I opted to forgo the hassle and just modify a commercial pattern. I see this as no differently than cooking something from scratch vs buying something ready-made and doctoring in up. It's all about how much time you're will to devote at that moment.
For my bodice, I pulled Vogue 8849 from my pattern collection. It's currently out-of-print, but any strapless, sweetheart bodice with princess seams will work. What I loved most about this one is that it comes with cup sizing. That eliminates having to do a FBA.
I cut a size 14 - D cup bodice and modified it with the ties and the cutout.
This is how it looked with the added waistband.
The bodice is boned and it has bra cups.
For the pants, I used McCall's 7167

I had previously made the culotte jumpsuit, so I knew how these would fit.
Since I made culottes the first time with this pattern, I only had to add length and finish these pants with a 2 inch hem. And I finish the entire thing off with a center back lapped zipper. 

Here's the video tutorial:


  1. You just keep putting these designers to shame. Again yours is so much better than the inspiration piece. Your fabric choice is perfect and I know the construction is way better than the RTW version. This is just epic. Reign on queen.

  2. I have read your blog for 11 years but I rarely comment. This jumpsuit is breathtaking, and way nicer than the inspiration. Amazing.

  3. GREAT TUTORIAL. Thank you for it.

  4. Erica, your workmanship is impeccable as always. I've been reading your blog for several years and you have inspired me to learn to knock off my favorite designers as well. There are two things I really appreciate about your blog: First, you use a lot of big 4 patterns: because I don't care to make things unnecessarily complicated; and second, you don't dumb down your sewing, because there are loads of patterns/tutorials for beginners but not so many for intermediate and advanced sewers. Without challenge there can be no change. Please keep on sewing and styling.

  5. I agree with the others. Your version is WAY BETTER than the inspiration photo. Beautiful!

  6. Perfect! You look stunning. This is your "bestest" yet.

  7. Beautiful work! You inspire me to learn and elevate my much loved craft and skill level. Thank you.
    Treasa 😊

  8. Yours is better! No surprise there! 😊

  9. Fabulous, as usual!

  10. Another home run....This bodice is a game changer for me. I will definitely be trying this pattern many skill development opportunities:)

  11. Thank you Erica! This will be made ! I check your blog DAILY for amazing tips and tutorials.

  12. This looks great but since Vogue 1545 has been published, I have been waiting to see you make it.
    When I saw that pattern, I instantly thought that is an Erica Bunker pattern and am surprised not to have seen it by now.
    Is that a pattern you have considered making yet?

    1. It's on my list. I really only sew special occasion looks when I have an occasion or an event coming up. That's such a unique dress that I want to have an amazing opportunity to wear it. Thanks Angie!

  13. Fabulous!! as usual. :-)