I mentioned in my last post about my Silk Georgette Maxi Skirt that I was going to write a separate post about the Nettie Bodysuit I was wearing with it so I could go into more detail about the pattern. I actually made a couple of these in tandem using the same black bamboo jersey from Mood Fabrics for both and they've both become a wardrobe staple! I had originally intended to make just the one but I had 1.5 yards of the jersey and whilst laying the pattern pieces out to cut I realised I could just about squeeze in two so I just kept cutting!
I was a little slow on the uptake with this pattern as I've never thought of bodysuits as something I need in my wardrobe (all I can remember is wearing them as a kid so it seemed a little odd to return to that!) but as usual seeing lots of other bloggers absolutely rocking theirs persuaded me to give it a whirl. And now I'm not looking back! I'd spend the far too brief UK summer months wafting around in floaty skirts of preferably maxi but also midi and mini length too if I could and do so as much as I can. But I always end up a little stuck for tops to wear with them which will both suit the style of the bottom half, tuck in smoothly and stay put. Enter Nettie to solve all these problems and also help with the additional one of summer skirts combined with draughty tube station escalators!
The pattern comes with two neckline and three back options as well as three sleeve lengths. The one I am wearing with my maxi skirt is the scoop neck and mid back with short sleeves. I love this sleeve length for wearing the summer and the scoop back is gorgeous. It's just the right height to wear with a bra although I will admit to having a bit of trouble keeping bra straps from poking out of this one and preventing it from slipping off the shoulders. I think with the higher neck the scoop back would sit more securely in place (and vice versa) and also part of my problem is being caused by the bodysuit being a little long and so the shoulders are not pulled taught enough.
My second version has the high back, scoop neck and long sleeves. This one is so comfortable it's like wearing a hug! I love the snug fit of the sleeves and combined with the super soft and smooth bamboo jersey it's just dreamy! I briefly touched on this in my last post but if you are yet to give bamboo a try you must find a reason too. It's both lovely to wear and sew with, it recovers and washes well and presses and stitches beautifully. I'm yet to struggle to achieve a nice neat finish with bands made out of it.
I'm still not 100% confident sewing up knits so approached this project with mild apprehension. I feel like it's going to take many more knit projects to get me used to how different stretch fabrics behave but I did find Heather Lou's instructions and sew-along for this pattern to be really informative. I have, however, found my preferred construction technique which I adopted for both of these. I sewed all the seams on my regular machine with a narrow zig zag and then finished them on my overlocker. I find this makes for strong and accurate seam stitching whilst still giving that professional look to the insides which I love. I used the twin needle on my regular machine to hem the sleeves and also along the neckline and leg openings after attaching the bands as I like that finish and method for keeping the seam allowances in place. I don't want to tempt fate but I think I've really cracked how to get my twin needle to behave now!
I did skip the snap crotch feature on both of these. I'm not overly bothered by the hassle of going to the toilet in a bodysuit, I think it's as much of a faff to try and get the snaps done back up to be honest! Also there's just something about the snap crotch that seemed a step too far back towards my childhood wardrobe! Now I know how much I love wearing these though I think I will give it a try next time, more for the experience of sewing one than anything else.
The only other thing I'd change next time would be to shorten the suit by 1.5" at the lengthen/shorten here line on the front and back (unless I was using a knit with less two directional stretch). I'm really pleased with the fit in general, not too tight or loose but when I first completed them they had no where near enough vertical tension. Worth bearing in mind if you too are on the petite side. I took out 1" on the double at the crotch seam to combat this and now they fit much better but it's not an ideal alteration and they could probably do with a bit more. I'm 5ft3" and quite short in the body so probably should have thought about this beforehand but with limited knit experience I felt like a duck out of water with this style so chanced needing to write it off as a learning experience if sewing it up as drafted was a total disaster. I probably should have made one before cutting the other but I was too tempted by the speed of sewing one alongside the other! The sleeves are just fractionally long, I'll remove 1/2" next time.
I've got some of this same jersey in a delicious purple waiting to be cut and definitely need to get my hands on some more neutrals to sew up into Netties and wear with an assortment of colourful skirts. Next up is a short sleeved version with the high back and let's not forget there's a dress variation to try yet too!