6.01.2014

The dream of the 80's is alive in my sewing room

Why yes I did repurpose that song from a Portlandia sketch.  It was running through my head the whole time I was sewing the new Nettie bodysuit pattern. There's just something about bodysuits that remind me of the 80's. How else were you gotta show off your rad gathered yoke mom jeans? You don't wanna cover that ass enlarging design detail with a boxy tee. Bodysuit all the way.

But enough about my deep seated traumas about 80's fashion. Nettie is a modern take on the bodysuit designed by Heather over at Closet Case Files.  And you know that girls named Heather won't steer you wrong fashion wise.  We might band together to kill people, but we'll make sure you look good first. (Wait did the Heathers get killed in "Heathers"?  That's bogus.)
My first Nettie was made during a time crunch, so it had no fitting alterations other than combining the 10/12 sizes. The turquoise version is a good wearable muslin, but I wanted to have another go at the pattern before reviewing it on the blog.  It also seemed sensible to put some thought into how I would wear a bodysuit in a "causal" outfit.  To be honest I'd never thought about wearing a bodysuit again.  My torso is very short and with a low set bust I literally have 3" between my bust and natural waist. My natural inclination is to hide that fact with long shirts that visually lengthen the area.
But I loved how Nettie looked on so many other bloggers. They all looked like chic ballerinas playing hookie from the theater.  My brain started playing the theme to "Fame"* and I thought, "Hmmmm ballerina chic? That might work."

The stash was consulted for inspiration and it did not disappoint.  This rayon parrot print almost flew at me and squawked, "Sew me into a gathered skirt! That will look great with a bodysuit"  But parrots, I replied, I don't really like gathered skirts.  The parrots gave me the evil bird eye** and said, "Oh yeah? Why do you like that Anna/Emery dress so much then, you punk?"  Crap, the parrots did have a point and they looked like they might get ill tempered if crossed.  I took their advice/orders, attaching the Emery Skirt to a self drafted curved waistband to make a light swooshy skirt
Since the parrots were back and white, (fine ivory. Damn computer screen fooled me again) it seemed right to break out my other favorite neutral. That's right peeps, the color red is a neutral in this house.  So I "liberated" some Lillestoff from the kids stash and made myself Nettie #2. This time with fitting alterations!
Did I nail the ballerina chic? If so can I join the "Flashdance" gang?  Word on the street is that they run around dosing people with buckets of glitter.

Pattern
Nettie Bodysuit from Closet Case Files with enough of the Kitschy Lady skater bodice grafted on to mention it.
Bonus Pattern - Christine Haynes Emery.  No changes were made to this other than attaching it to a waistband.

Fabrics used
Lillestoff cotton jersey.  You can get a 10/12 sized combo out of a yard of Lillestoff and still have enough over to color block a T-shirt for your son. You know, if you feel any guilt about stealing fabric earmarked for him.
Pattern changes/alterations
My biggest fitting problem with Nettie was that the upper back width was much too narrow for my figure.  I felt constricted when moving my arms forward and the shoulder seams would pop up off my shoulders in an odd manner. There were two ways a girl could go about fixing this. Slash and spread, then make up a few muslins to check fit or use a pattern I knew fit me and trace off the shoulder/armhole position. I went the easy route and pulled out the Lady Skater to trace off the back dimensions.

1. Lining up the shoulder seams I traced the shoulder/armhole/side seam area of the Lady onto Nettie. This gave me 4 extra inches across the upper back. Awesome, that should be enough room for the sweet dowager hump I'm working on.

2. However, the change to the back meant that the front now had to be modified to get the shoulder seams to match.  I went the easy way and traced the lady skater front into Nettie.  This gives about 2" more width across the upper part of the bodice.

3. Then to complete my cycle of lazy fitting, I changed the neckline to the Lady Skater neckline and used the LS sleeve.
4. The LS sleeve did look a little big with the tightly fitted body.  I took 3/4" out of the circumference at the underarm sleeve and also made them a cap length.

5. The crotch length was reduced by 1" because it was a little long on me.
Confessions/Advice
1 - The directions are really well done, but I've been full of the "sewing dumb" lately. One of the crotch pieces/snaps got sewn to the wrong side of the garment before I noticed.

2. Guess who's still in denial about needing a sway back adjustment for all garments?  This girl. Next version will get one.

3. I'm pretty pleased with this version but would like to tweak the pattern a bit more.  Next version I'm going to lower the neckline back to it's original position and try the Nettie sleeve in the narrowed lady skater armhole.

4. Bonus skirt confession - I really hate cutting and sewing rayon wovens.  But wearing them is makes you forget all that just like childbirth.
Husband Comment
"You look puuuuurty."  Then later the same day he said, "What do you wear that bodysuit thing with?"  Ummmmm with a skirt.....like I was wearing a few hours ago.  He was distracted by the color red. It happens.
My Final Thoughts
Oh man, is this outfit comfortable.  I was really sad when the bodysuit had to be taken off to get some detail shots and, confession, finish sewing on the snaps.  Comfy and cute......I need 4 more.  Can I get a summer wardrobe staple alert. "BEEP BEEEP!"
P.S.  The necklace and earrings are from Bluehourdesigns on Etsy. I picked them up last month with some birthday money and couldn't be happier.

*The "Fame" theme song still makes me want to enroll in ballet classes immediately. Too bad I'm horribly uncoordinated.
** I'm sure not all pet parrots are evil spawns of satan. However every one I've met tried to take a chunk out of me for having the gull to enter their human's house.

46 comments:

  1. Hey there sexy lady! Loving this look on you! You look great in red- I say wear more of it! I'm singing the Bowie "Fame" right now because of you...

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  2. most excellent outfit. Lurve the shoes too (and I have also been bitten by a parrot - and one of the larger varieties, a blue and gold macaw, ouch!)

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  3. DId you take these photos back at the dentist nearby? (Or what was that place?) I like the fit of this one on you a lot - and your rock that red. I"m really close to buying the pattern to use as a snug bodice for knit dresses, but then I think - damn girl, you could just make a tight version of some other pattern... but then that never really works out! Whadya think - would I like a body suit?

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  4. That is one is one very lovely nettie. Impressed with your neat neckline and seams! The 70's are alive and well in my sewing room. It's all about high waists and flares here.

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  5. Fabulous outfit and the red is your color. Great job on the adjustments and can't wait to see the others you make.

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  6. I'm with you on the pet parrots. Paulie was essentially a horror movie.

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  7. Thanks Sonja. I'm going to admit to you stashbusting buddy that I ordered some royal blue knit. Then said screw it, I'm sewing up the red instead of waiting. Does that even out the purchase or what? ;)


    Also now I'm singing Bowie's Fame. The snake is eating it's self!

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  8. Thanks Sassy. Looks like I should listen to evil fabric parrots all the time. ;)

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  9. Thank you Colesworth. It's good to sew something that matches some shoes you already have once in a while. ;)


    One of the evil parrots was a macaw too. It was one of my Aunt's pet and the darn thing will sit in the corner of the dinning room and make threatening noises at you.

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  10. You're close, it's the Chiropractors office. I had great luck with the location again, so I might make it a semi regular haunt.


    In answer to your question I "think" you'd like a bodysuit. Here are my personal pros for the pattern.


    1. The lower leg cut gives you lots of butt coverage which makes it really comfortable.


    2. You can finish all the hems with bands if you want. It doesn't come with an sleeve band but that would be pretty easy to figure out.


    3. While this version has a slightly raised neckline, the original neckline is high enough to keep you covered. And it's tight enough that the neckline won't gap when you bend over.


    I like the pattern way more than I expected if that changes your mind at all.

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  11. Thank you Debbie. Have to say that Lillestoff presses very nicely which makes neckband insertion a lot easier.


    I like the sound of 70's styles in your sewing room. Still love a nice flared pant.

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  12. Thanks Lori. I've got plenty of the turquoise rayon left to make another with my fitting adjustments. Either that or a royal blue one are next. :)

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  13. Dude yes! And they live forever too. Not sure why you want a evil pet for your entire life.

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  14. The skirt is perfect with your Nettie. Rayon makes such wonderful garments, but I agree that cutting it is a pain. I like the childbirth analogy. :)

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  15. Thanks Laura. Man the whole time I was sewing the skirt my brain was yelling, "I hate you rayon." Gotta work on my rayon sewing matra.

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  16. i love this outfit! very flashdance. just knit yourself up some legwarmers and you are good to go!

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  17. Your Lady Skater Nettie looks so nice and the crotch so so neat. I'm thinking of making this pattern and you're convincing me.

    And about parrots... well, our little parrot is sweet 10% of the time, the rest he's just evil satan himself, we we love him nonetheless ;)

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  18. Thank you Jo. Ooooohhhhh legwarmers and little wrap cardigan for chilly days. Hee hee!

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  19. Thanks Elena. Come make bodysuits with me! The only part that takes some time is sewing the snaps one.


    P.S. Tell your evil parrot Hi for me. LOL

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  20. Love it! I was a little worried when a friend at work informed me that bodysuits were back in style. I also had bad flashbacks to 80s fashion. But this is nice...I may be convinced to try one again. Love the skirt too. I may have to steal that. I believe the evil parrots would be a good addition to my work ;)

    PS - can I get a bucket of glitter?

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  21. Lovely! I'm a big fan of the nettie and the parrot fabric. Just a thought: taking ballet lessons may improve your coordination (that's what I tell myself, anyway)

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  22. this looks awesome on you! dang it you all... convincing me i need a wardrobe of bodysuits and swishy skirts. i have a feeling if the right knit fabric ends up on my sewing table i'll go for it! love the husband comments, as always :)


    p.s. i covet your shoes! i'm on the hunt for cute sandals... i don't suppose they're new...

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  23. Hahaha. I have many deep traumas about 80s fashion as well. And OMG I didn’t even notice they were parrots
    at first. LOVE. You just can’t go wrong
    with black/white/and red. Lillestoff
    too? You went all out!! I bet that shirt feels divine! It looks great, you can’t even tell it’s a
    bodysuit – you know, the tight, downward pulling , wedgie giving monstrosities.

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  24. Yep, nailed it! Cue fifth position ballerina stance. Sad to hear it's too narrow, but love the way you made it work!

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  25. Rayon is a slippery, sneaky bastard! I used Mary Ellen's best press starch this weekend to cut out a rayon dress this weekend. It made it so much easier! http://maryellenproducts.com/Ironing-Alternatives/

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  26. Yes you can get a bucket of glitter. I'm sure your nephew will LOVE getting the bucket filled up.


    I must warn you that the evil parrots will bite anyone that isn't me. But I might have enough evil parrot fabric for some sort of shirt.

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  27. Thanks Laura. Despite being a pain in the ass to sew, I'm very happy with the evil parrot skirt.
    Pretty sure I'd fall over, embarrass myself and then never go back to ballet lesson. :)

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  28. Thanks Lisa, and sorry about adding to your sewing queue. I'm sure it's already a mile long.


    Sadly those sandals are about 3 years old. I'm kicking myself for not buying them in the navy color as well.

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  29. Thank you Kristin. You are right,! The Lillestoff bodysuit is soooo comfortable and with all the rear end coverage no wedgies. Hooray!

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  30. Woot! Thanks Heather. Don't worry a bit about the back being narrow on me. That's a regular fitting adjustment in these parts. My backside was very please that it didn't need it's regular fitting adjustments. Win.

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  31. Oh thank you so much for the link. I feel like I've got silk cutting down to a T, but rayon continues to plague me. I'll have to give this a try.

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  32. Thanks Momma B! I agree with you about Ms. Closet Case Files. Great patterns. :)

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  33. Very nice. I'm now having visions of you wandering around the house in just the body suit because why didn't Husband know what you wore with it?!

    Also: sneaky parrot skirt. Excellent.

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  34. Great outfit! You look awesome in red! I too was not sure about the bodysuit, but so many people are making it, and it looks great! Maybe I need to get this pattern....and I agree all Heathers steer you in the right direction when it comes to fashion (among other things *cough*cough*food*ahem). :)

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  35. LOL, Thanks Andrea. I'm sure my husband wishes I was walking around the house in just a bodysuit.

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  36. Thank you Heather. I'm really liking the whole bodysuit thing with skirts. Pants are still scary, but skirts are the bomb. So is there some tasty food I need to know about? I like food. Nom Nom Nom.

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  37. As a Heather (and a former Heather B. for that matter) I think we all must stick together. :). Love the outfit! Not sure I'm willing to go back down that bodysuit path but everyone looks fantastic in this one.

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  38. Hooray! Another Heather to join the club. I agree with you, everyone looks good in this bodysuit.

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  39. Loving this outfit. Especially the cute shoes! And the parrots are rocking my world. Your nettie looks quite renfrewy (in a good way). Excellent stuff as always

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  40. Thank you Amy. :) The evil parrots did come with good advice. Kind of wish They came in another colorway for more parrot action.

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  41. This is totally gorgeous! I have a pretty short torso as well, so I never tuck. But, you look great! Red is neutral in my house too. And, while I am swooning over your entire ensemble, where did you get those amazing shoes?

    P.S. Lillestoff is not just for kiddos. My hubby has asked for Ninjas boxers.

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  42. Lookin' good! I totally get the symbolism here. Fame song... parrots on the skirt... ;) (Ok I am kidding but it works right??)

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  43. Ninja boxers, that sounds wonderful.


    Yeah the whole tucking this in a bit of a concern. Don't know about you Melanie, but there are way too many photos of me with tucked in shirts that were then bloused out. Ughhhhhh.
    I think the shoes were a modcloth buy a couple of years ago.

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  44. LOL! Was there a parrot in fame? He probably told the kids to get to work or he'd give them a nip. :)

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  45. I was thinking more along the lines "I wanna learn how to fly... HIGH" ... lol. ;) Super lame...

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