tops

Nettie Bodysuit and Burda Maxi Skirt

 

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

Since it is currently Me Made May 2017, I have a brand new outfit to share! It’s made up of a Closet Case Nettie Bodysuit with a few hacks and a maxi skirt made with a Burda pattern.

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

The skirt is made with the “Train Maxi Skirt 09/2014 #105” by Burda. The only modification was to cut the train off at the end. It was so beautiful, but not practical at all. This skirt pattern was drafted in a very interesting way, and it is unlike any skirt I’ve ever seen. There are two very long front darts that extend down to the knee, and there are no side seams. There are only the middle back and side back seams. From the front, the skirt looks like a maxi with a straight silhouette, but the back is very voluminous. I used a floral rayon challis from fabric.com that I purchased last year. It’s important to choose a lightweight drapey fabric for this skirt since there are no side seams, and the fabric has to flow over the hips.

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

For the neckline of the bodysuit, I used this tutorial posted by Heather Lou on the Closet Case blog to hack the nettie into an off the shoulder bodysuit. Instead of using a knit band at the neckline like Heather Lou did, I stitched 1/4 inch elastic to the wrong side of the neckline edge with a zig-zag stitch without stretching the elastic or the fabric. Then, I folded the elastic under to the wrong side and used a wide cover stitch stitching through all thicknesses. If you don’t have a coverstitch machine, you can use a wide zig-zag stitch for that part too.

To make the ruffles for the sleeves,  I drafted ruffles that resemble 3/4 of a circle in two different lengths for each sleeve. The ruffles are sewn on with a zig-zag stitch just above the sleeve hem.

 

nettie off the shoulder bodysuit and burda maxi

The fabric for the bodysuit is the white kaufman laguna stretch jersey. It is a spandex cotton blend and has great recovery. I have used this jersey in many colorways, and it is my favorite jersey to work with. It is so soft yet substantial, and it is easy to sew with. The white was a tad sheer, but the other colors/ colorways I have used before have not been. To account for the sheerness, I made the nettie two sizes bigger, and this seemed to help.

 

Have you done any pattern hacks lately? I’d love to know!

 

Esme Cardigan

The Esme Cardigan is a fun, fashion-forward cardigan pattern perfect for medium or heavyweight knit fabrics with minimal stretch. The oversized look and dropped shoulder seams are right on-trend, and this would be a great project for beginners!

Named esme cardigan

The cardigan is made with a black and white metallic boucle knit from Stylish Fabric. Sadly, this fabric is no longer available on their website. I think this cardigan would look best sewn with knits that look more dressy as opposed to casual. Heavily textured fabrics, wool, or wool blend knits would be great options. However, an Esme sewn in a casual cotton sweatshirt jersey or cotton French terry might look more like your grandma’s house coat and less like a chic cardigan. FYI, B&J Fabrics’ website has a huge selection of wool knits and textured novelty knits right now. They are perfect for the Esme. Stylish Fabric still has a few heavier knits in stock too.


My measurements indicated I was a size small by Named’s sizing standards, but I decided to cut out the extra small based on the finished garment measurements. This pattern has a lot of ease!

I made several small changes to this pattern. I shortened the length to hit just above the knee, and also made a slight high-low hem. The back is 2.5 inches longer than the front. Also, I eliminated the seam that originally joined the upper and lower front pieces, and I changed the pocket style from in-seam pockets to welt pockets. This particular Named PDF pattern has seam allowance and stitching lines marked which made pattern hacking easy.  For the welts, placket and cuffs, I used the wrong side of the fabric, and I love how it turned out! I wish all fabric had a beautiful wrong side!


My pockets are two inches narrower than the original in-seam pockets. I was able to use the same pattern piece for the pocket bag, but I trimmed the sides down to match the new pocket width. Sewing welt pockets in knits uses the same process as inserting welt pockets in woven fabric; just make sure you use interfacing made specifically for knits like a fusible tricot! Use a pressing tool, a clapper, to get a crisp, folded edge on the welt.


I hemmed the cardigan by hand using a catch stitch. It stretches nicely with the knit.


I used corded button holes on this knit for and added stability and because they look amazing on thick fabric. Larger buttonholes tend to appear wavy or saggy on knits after they are cut open even with the appropriate interfacing. The cording also gives the buttonhole more of a 3D look as some buttonhole stitching gets lost in chunky knits.

Esme cardigan named patterns
Come back next week for a tutorial on corded buttonholes! Until then, I’ll be enjoying this early Charleston spring weather.