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How to make a jumpsuit bigger

25th February, 2019   |   How To...Guides

One secret to making a jumpsuit bigger is to change the zip. Who knew?! By replacing the zip you can often add up to an inch of extra space which may not sound much but can make all the difference.

The jumpsuit

I spotted this Jean Muir purple satin jumpsuit at the Clerkenwell Vintage Fair and fell in love. The only tiny problem was having to choose between (a) doing it up or (b) breathing. Not one to be defeated by an item of clothing, I was down that central seam like a bolt of lightening, checking out the selvedge edge. I could see that it was wide enough to safely remove the zip and put in a new one without damaging the fabric so it came home with me.

The zip

I always like to give vintage a contemporary twist, whether it’s with accessories or by adding something to the garment itself. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to find a modern zip with cool teeth to give the back a bit of bite.

I found a chunky silver zip in Kleins in Soho that was a great match for the purple and enlisted Nana from Splendid Stitches to help me. I wouldn’t attempt this myself, it’s vintage, the fabric is delicate and I wanted this to be a real pro job.

Nana unpicked the original zip, neatened up the seam and attached the new zip within an hour. I popped a VV Rouleaux tassel on the zip itself to add a little bit of jaunt and I was good to go.

Making vintage clothes bigger

Don’t be put off if vintage clothes are too small for you. If they’re only one, or possibly two sizes too small, there is normally enough selvedge to give you scope for a conversion. Turn it inside out and have a good look – don’t forget, letting out a centimetre here and there can make something entirely wearable. You can find more of my tips on buying and converting vintage here.

Good luck and send me photos of any clothing conversions you’ve done – I’d love to see them!

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