Alright guys, here it is – the finale of #MeMadeFall2017. Some of you may remember that the third and final installment in this super fun collaboration was VELVET. The perfect transition from fall to winter, and such a trendy fabric this year, this was the perfect way to wrap up our project. Although I planned to make more than one velvet piece for the collaboration, life got busier than I’d foreseen, and I had to narrow it down to just one piece – so of course, it had to be a showstopper. And with that, let me introduce the velvet Nettie.
Although I’ve seen velvet fabrics out there in quite a range of colors this season, I kept finding myself drawn to the deep, jewel-toned hues. A fabric this luxurious pairs so well with rich tones. Originally, I found myself most attracted to emerald greens, but I quickly remembered I’d already created a piece out of that exact color with my December 2016 velvet project (which I plan to photograph and post about, eventually). So rather than showcase the same pretty color, I turned my sights to this beautiful sapphire blue, and I’m pleased as punch with the results.
The Nettie bodysuit was one of a few things from my #2017MakeNine that I just hadn’t gotten around to quite yet. I had originally planned to make one out of a green jersey for a more casual look, but the holiday season is such a great time to play up the low back and simple silhouette of the Nettie with this beautiful festive fabric. So this was the perfect opportunity to check off one more box of my make nine grid (there are still 3 that won’t get checked off this year – eek! maybe 2018)!
The Nettie bodysuit is meant for a fabric with 4-way stretch. While this stretch velvet from fabric.com certainly does have a bit of stretch in both directions, the stretch on the grain going across my body is significantly more than the stretch going lengthwise. Heather from Closet Case Patterns acknowledges the dilemma this might bring about in her pattern instructions, and suggests sizing up a bit if the fabric does not have great 4-way stretch. I fall right between two different sizes, so I sized up to the larger of the two. This size ended up being perfect – still form fitting, nothing feels baggy or oversized, but it still accommodates the lack of stretch across the fabric well enough.
This pattern sewed up super quickly. I wouldn’t call myself the speediest of sewists, and I was able to print, prepare, and cut the pattern, cut the fabric, and build out the bodice in a couple of hours one afternoon. The next morning, I attached the sleeves and leg bindings over about an hour and half, and then finished up my snap closure in about 30 minutes the next day.
This pattern would have sewn up in even less time in a more straightforward fabric. However, due to the slippery nature of my stretch velvet, I machine-basted every single seam with a long straight stitch before going back with my actual zigzag construction stitch. To someone who just wants to make things quickly (hello, soul sister!) this might sound time consuming. But do you want to know what is more time consuming, and will snap you right on out of the holiday spirit? Unpicking every seam because your beautiful stretch velvet fabric turned into a super wonky mess of a garment when you tried to sew it at ward speed without the proper preparation. If I were to use only one word of advice in regards to sewing stretch velvet, BASTE takes the cake.
Also, let’s take a quick moment to celebrate crotch snaps. First of all, they are a great way to use up tiny scraps of fabrics that were too lovely to throw out. Secondly, though they may not be the most glamorous piece of this project, let’s face it – they are the real heroes. No one wants to use the restroom in the nude. So, a big high-five to crotch snap bodysuits everywhere.
I’m honestly still debating whether this beautiful thing is destined for Christmas parties or the New Year’s dance floor. Either way, I’m excited about the versatility – great with jeans, great with skirts, and especially great for feeling like I’m wrapped up in some super slinky, luxurious winter pajamas!
This collaboration has been such a blast – I got to know my fellow hostesses, Irina and Charlie, a little better (guys, these girls are COOL. If you’re not already following them, you’ll want to check them out – start with their velvet Linden and Ogden makes!) and I sewed up a handful of really awesome things that I more than likely wouldn’t have sewn up on my own – and I actually really love each one. I’m looking forward to taking another look around Instagram later today to admire all great maxi skirts, cardigans, and velvet numbers that others sewed up, as well! If you participated, thanks so much for sewing along with us – leave me a comment and show me what you’ve created!
bodysuit: handmade by me
pattern: Closet Case Patterns – Nettie Bodysuit
fabric: Navy Stretch Velvet from www.fabric.com
- XX Elizabeth