Choosing a knit fabric can feel overwhelming
Especially for something like the Talam Jumpsuit, which needs to fit and be comfortable on every part of your body. For Talam we recommend a light to mid-weight knit fabric with a nice drape. Choose a fabric that has a good recovery. Look for fibers like bamboo, viscose and modal. A jersey is a good option for warmer weather, and lightweight sweater knits or merino jersey would be a nice option for cooler weather. Choose a weight between 4 and 7.5 oz/yard and a minimum 50% crossgrain stretch percentage and 20% lengthwise stretch. If you choose a bulky fabric like stretch velour, lining the bodice with a lighter fabric will be more comfortable and easier to sew than two layers of velour.
I love sewing with knits because I always learn something new
Talam was no exception. I’ve made three different Talam Jumpsuits in three different knits and each has their drawbacks and their good qualities. For my initial sample, early in the pattern process I used an organic cotton jersey, which, while easy to sew, did not have quite the amount of drape and stretch we were looking for.
The second Talam I made was for Pam. I used stretch velour to make the version that she is modeling. The velour looks amazing, and is perfect for a party, but I would only recommend this fabric if you are very experienced with knits. It requires precision in cutting, to make sure that all pieces have the nap of the fabric going the same direction, and it is a bit fiddly to work with, especially for little pieces like the pockets, and for inserting the elastic. It is absolutely worth the extra time! I am so proud of that velour Talam. But be advised that it increases the difficulty. If you choose velour, I’d plan to sew your jumpsuit over multiple days.
The last Talam I made was my own, and I used a bamboo rayon jersey. I loved working with this fabric. It is a bit more slippery than a cotton jersey, but with the use of extra long pins, I had no trouble sewing it up. It is so soft and cozy to wear, with high stretch and great drape through the hips and inseam. I love my Talam, and feel really powerful when I wear it.
Our wonderful pattern testers used a variety of knits
Along with our friends from Stonemountain and Daughter, we’ve put together a list of great knit fabrics for the Talam
Sewing with knits is a fun challenge, full of new fibers and techniques to explore. If you want a little more practice with knits before tackling the Talam Jumpsuit, give our Stasia Dress and Tee pattern a try. The knit you choose will really depend on your preference, climate, and style. Whatever you choose, be sure to do a couple tests to pick a stretch stitch, and to practice inserting the elastic, even if you have used clear elastic before. Every fabric is a little different, and will require a different tension. Once you start, you might find yourself loving the process, and the jumpsuit, so much that you end up making more than one Talam!