Musings on a Romper: Named Helga Playsuit

So my jumpsuit shyness only lasted about a month. I mean, I’d been attracted to the idea of them for long enough to have accumulated three (three!) in my pattern stash. But only some what-should-I-make-for-vacation contemplation tipped me over the edge and prompted this little make.

This is the Helga Wrap Playsuit from Named. It came out a couple seasons ago, before playsuits/jumpsuits/rompers (and particularly the Zadie) really hit the sewing internet hard, and so there aren’t too too many reviews that I could find for it. A couple on insta and this one.

Before the sewing deets, this make really crystalized something I’ve seen a lot of women in the sewing and fashion internet space writing about over the last couple years. Namely, how loaded the term flattering is. The thrust here is: I love this jumpsuit when I’m wearing it. I feel pulled together and very comfortable, and I think it looks interesting. Plus, look how well it handles a stiff breeze! 360 degree cooling without any embarrassing wardrobe malfunctions.

Still, it’s not conventionally flattering, if we take flattering to mean that an outfit brings our bodies in line with the hourglass ideal of the female form. It’s essentially ingrained in how I think about clothes, and I wasn’t hyper aware of that until recently.

Anyway, onto the sewing.

I made a few modifications:
:: I did a 1.5” FBA for this, because slim hips and smallish frame means I generally find it better to add at the bust than take off from everywhere else.
:: I folded half an inch out of the length of front bodice pieces to reduce the length of the front bodice. Named drafts for 5’8” ladies and this is where I’m ‘missing’ much of my height. (I’m 5’3″). That’s the only height adjustment I made. The shorts would be much shorter, proportionally, on a taller woman. I’m very happy with where they hit on me.
:: I made two rouleau straps rather than use cording for the shoulder straps. I finally figured out how to use that damn loop turner and I love them and now I want to put rouleaux straps on all the things.
:: I used bias binding made from 1” bias strips cut from the main fabric for my waist tie.

Otherwise, the instructions are clean and clear EXCEPT for I still don’t think I’ve got things exactly right about how you thread the waist tie. But this works!

Now for the fabric, with which I am obsessed. It’s a really great cupro/linen/viscose blend purchased from Emma One Sock. It’s basically my dream summer fabric: medium weight and opaque with the breathability of linen and slightly less prone to wrinkles. It has a really beautiful sheen on one side that looks a bit like silk, but wears much sturdier. I was a bit short on fabric, so I lined the bodice with some china silk gifted to me by someone who had it lying around and knows I sew. I feel like being gifted fabric or other notions without requesting them is a real sewing hobby achievement unlocked!

The pattern also calls for a non-fusible facing to be sewn between the bodice main and lining fabrics, which I did, with some stashed silk organza. I’ve got no issues with a wavy neckline, so I’ll say it was worth the step.

Oh, and yes, to go to the bathroom I essentially have to take the whole thing off and hang it on a peg on the back of the stall. What! This is fine for a shorts-style romper since I can step out of it without it touching the bathroom floor. But what are you people doing with your pants-length rompers in public restrooms?!

2 Comments

  1. it’s super cute and a perfect thing to wear on vacation. I’m just finishing a jumpsuit and as I recall from the first time I wore then you kind of roll the top part down so the whole thing doesn’t end up on the floor 🙂

    1. Ha! Got it. I wonder if the wrap nature of this is what makes it hard, then. There’s a lot of disassembly required to get to a point where you can pull it down and then it kind of falls! Lemme see if your tactic works the next time I wear.

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