Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Summer Crafting: Finished Object (Nettie Bodysuit x3)

Oooh... Have a gander at my new rainbow pretties!

Three versions of the Nettie Bodysuit: Animal print and blue modal are 3/4 sleeve and coral is short-sleeved 
(On a side note, does that first sentence make me sound vaguely like a mid-century Cockney washerwoman or a Disney character?)

Honestly, could these things be any more fun? Like if I tried?

I have written quite a tome about it already, here. But, darlings, we've only just begun. Cuz I have so much more to say...

For the record, these Netties are, essentially, a hybrid: the top portion of the Lady Skater (or, should I say, the top portion of the Lady Skater as altered to match my T shirt sloper) merged with the Nettie pattern bodysuit bottom.

What I'll Do Next Time(s):
  • For sure, next time, I will alter the neckline, just for kicks. I think a lower scoop could be just the thing for summer evenings - though I wouldn't wear it in the sun (and really, a scoopy scoop neck runs the risk of being rather risque on me). I also think I'll make a sleeveless version, which I could easily do with a solid half metre of 60" wide fabric.
  • I will also experiment with changing the leg line. I believe that something higher (or at very least not banded) would work a lot better under clothes. The leg on these is vaguely visible under skinny jeans. That's not a win, in my books. I see some picot elastic and a little redesign in my future.
What I Can Say About Fabric Choice and Grain:
  • Well, I ran the gamut with this project. I used a thick modal with great recovery, a thin rayon jersey in a solid print and an in-between, animal-print rayon jersey. What's my take? I know it's not rocket science, but if you have anything to hide, go with the thicker fabrics. Note: prints also hide a multitude. In a best case scenario, go with a thick t shirt fabric that has a good amount of Lycra. It will recover optimally and will cling without highlighting bumps. A substantial rayon jersey is also fine, unless you're really aiming for camouflage. I can't emphasize this enough: Some (albeit very cute) painted-on pattern, mid-weight cotton with mediocre recovery is probably not going to do the trick. This is the time to spend if it's in your budget.
  • I felt no compunction about going crazy cutting along every possible grain line (given that I was working with ends of stash fabric). Sure, I took the greatest number of liberties with the fabric which should have been most carefully considered (the coral, thin jersey) - and I knew that wasn't wise - but it was a calculated risk. And you know what? On slender days, or with a cardigan, that coral one is going to work just fine. What I'll say for the coral is that the recovery is very good.
  • In terms of the crotch construction, I recommend that the stabilizing piece (that against which one applies the snaps) be made of very durable, not overly fussy or luxe fabric. I suggest it should be something with NO mechanical stretch. This piece needs to keep its shape in order for this garment to last because you're going to be tugging at the snaps every time you hit the washroom. And, on the topic of the snaps, I urge you to get the kind that hammer together. Sew in snaps will likely give, eventually, on a part of the garment taking this amount of stress.
A Bit About Each Version

Jewel Toned Modal: Well, this was made from the fabric of the century, which is no doubt why I discovered 2 tiny holes (one more of a pull) in the upper arm (thankfully back arm by armscye). Why is it that the likelihood of fabric booboos is inversely proportional to one's love of a particular fabric and one's inability to replace it? I darned the holes (the existence of which is a complete mystery, those holes weren't there when I cut the fabric, I'm sure). It was too late to recut a sleeve though I had enough fabric. Unstitching a serged seam from the bodice (which was cut to size by the serger during the first sleeve attachment) would have likely left me with more issues than simply fixing the holes. I don't think anyone will notice them but I do. And I'm irritated. Other than that, this fabric was a dream to work with and the relatively dark and saturated colour is figure-flattering.  

Coral Rayon Jersey:  I do like this short-sleeved version more than I thought I would. And, given how willy-nilly I cut this thing (some on bias, some on straight, some on cross grain), it's a miracle it's wearable. But I can feel the fit issue in the back bodice, which isn't as stretchy as the front bodice. Furthermore, the end result is just a bit too flimsy to call it excellent. Interestingly, this jersey wasn't too flimsy for the Issy Top, which I also made with this yardage. But it is for a garment that's exceedingly fitted and doesn't have any distracting features to call attention away from one's body in all of its gorgeousness. Oh, and word to the wise, light colours really do highlight imperfection.

The Animal-Print Jersey: This one was cut on cross and straight grains, but not haphazardly (I had more of the fabric in a better format than in the case of the coral version). It's also a stretchier rayon jersey than the coral, and it's got more heft. Add this to the fact that the pattern both highlights good features and somehow yet distracts and, I have to say, I think I like this version best. I wouldn't have thought that this garment would be better in a print than in a solid but I can really see how it ups the excitement factor (and tones down the form). If you've got a serious rack or if you're an old-school professional in a conservative field, making this garment using patterned fabric could be just the thing.

As I intend to wear these often, as soon as the weather permits (which, dubiously, could be much of the summer - I wore the jewel toned version today with a cardigan?!), no doubt there will be photos of me wearing them. This batch may be a bit harder to style than I imagined because the leg opening bands are observable under some of the bottoms I favour. So I would recommend, if not first go around, then second time you make this: Consider altering the cut of the leg openings and/or the method of binding them.

And that's this project. For now. Thoughts or feelings?


  1. Wow you were really on a roll!!! I'm still cutting out my second one. Heather from Closet case files suggests using lace or fold over elastic for a less bulky line. Ps ..the animal print is my fave :)

    1. I know - it was kind of crazy, to be honest. I just got scrap happy. I'm going to reread HL's post on other leg finishing techniques. Thanks for reminding me.

  2. They are all beautiful. You didn't mention, but did you extend the shoulders.

    1. I did inasmuch as I tailored it to my preferred neck and shoulder (from the Lady Skater). The shoulders are quite narrow but the sleeve heads are relatively tall (IMO). Effectively, to get things to work on my frame - and it's pretty narrow - I had to take from the sleeve head and add to the shoulder. I think this is designed for a willowy frame - but we can redesign to suit our gorgeousness!

  3. these look great! i'm looking forward to giving this pattern a try.

    1. You'll look terrific Lisa - but consider altering the leg finishing technique off the bat.