30 Apr 2014 • • by Heather Lou

Introducing...The Nettie Pattern

Introducing Nettie Dress and Bodysuit Pattern

Hello friends! I’m beyond excited to tell you that after a few months of laaaaaate nights, a mind-numbing amount of serger thread changes and more yards of jersey than I can count, my new baby is finally ready for your eyes and sewing machines.

Say hi to Nettie.


Nettie Dress & Bodysuit Pattern, Closet Core Patterns, PDF pattern Nettie Dress & Bodysuit Pattern, Closet Core Patterns, PDF pattern Nettie Dress & Bodysuit Pattern, Closet Core Patterns, PDF pattern

The genesis of this project started months and months ago. I was on the hunt for a bodysuit. I love how clean and modern they look under skirts and pants, and I hate having to constantly tuck in my shirt. I couldn’t find a pattern I liked, and all the vintage ones I tracked down were not designed for modern knit fabrics. I finally resorted to retail, and had a few moments of pure panic and body shame in dressing rooms, trying on leotards that basically cut my (prodigious) booty into the quad cheek nightmare that inspired the Bombshell pattern. They were either too high cut or way too short for my torso. Clothing shouldn’t feel like dental floss.

I love that my butt, and how to fit it into things, is the inspiration for so many of my ideas.

While I was bodysuit hunting, a few other sewing bloggers were posting about their DIY attempts at drafting them, or the relative dearth of available patterns. Logic followed that I take up the bodysuit quest, and draft one that would make all of our different types of bodies happy. So that’s what I’ve done.

In the process, I discovered that Nettie, with the addition of a skirt panel, makes one helluva knit dress (or t-shirt!), so I am thrilled to add that as a variation as well. Whether you make a Nettie bodysuit or dress, you will get to mix and match your choice of 3 sleeve lengths, two neckline and 3 back options for a Nettie cocktail perfectly tailored to your taste. You can go modest with a bateau neckline or show off some skin with a scoop neck and low back version. The bodysuit variation has a low cut bum to prevent those annoying panty lines, along with an optional snap crotch so you don’t have to get naked to go pee. The leg and neck openings are finished with the same stretch fabric you’re using to make the bodice, so this is a budget conscious project – you don’t need any extra notions unless you’re adding crotch snaps or a shelf bra.

Nettie Dress & Bodysuit Pattern, Closet Core Patterns, PDF pattern
Nettie bodysuit paired with By Hand London Flora skirt!

Nettie Dress & Bodysuit Pattern, Closet Core Patterns, PDF pattern Nettie Dress & Bodysuit Pattern, Closet Core Patterns, PDF pattern

This pattern can be made using a serger or a regular machine, and I worked hard to write instructions and draft illustrations that should make this a breeze to make. And the beautiful thing is, Nettie goes with everything! I love wearing her with jeans and wide legged pants, or a full skirt for a chic French vibe. The dress variation can be perfectly casual with sandals, or sexy and simple with a pair of heels. It’s my idea of the perfect pattern – easy to make, and infinitely customizable.

Nettie is designed to be made with 4-way stretch fabrics with good recovery and at least 50% stretch. My absolute FAVOURITE fabric for Nettie is a medium weight cotton-spandex. It’s perfectly clingy and has a little firming mojo. I’ve also had success making them with spandex blends like rayon and bamboo, but drapier fabrics may not have enough body to do the job. The Nettie dress can be made with 2-way stretch like ponte, although I don’t suggest using such fabrics to make the bodysuit since you won’t have any vertical stretching along your torso and will need to lengthen the bodice in order to be comfortable.

I will be hosting a sewalong in a few weeks that will walk you step by step through the Nettie process. I know some people get nervous about sewing with knits, but as long as you have the right needle on your machine, Nettie is your friend. I will also be covering how to hack your Nettie with different seam finishes like lingerie & stretch lace elastic. I plan on posting an exhaustively detailed post later this week explaining fabric in more detail so you will know what to look for.

Now that I’ve told you a little bit about Nettie, I'd like to get a little personal and explain the naming of this pattern, and all future Closet Core Patterns.

Nearly everything meaningful I’ve  learned about sewing has come from the blogosphere. There was a time when you relied on a home-ec class or a patient family member to show you the Singer ropes, but these days I open my rss reader and have a daily college level sewing class at my fingertips. It’s the highlight of my day.

I've been lucky enough to meet some of my fellow bloggers. Maybe we've talked on the phone, exchanged emails or racked up long distance phone bills gabbing about the craft. At the very least, we keep in touch and encourage one another through comment sections, Instagram and Twitter. You are a large part of why I sew, and are 100% responsible for why I decided to release the Bombshell last summer. I am so grateful to be a part of this inspiring, generous and creative community. Me? Wings. You? Wind.

This year I started thinking really seriously about where I wanted to take Closet Core Patterns. I had sketchbooks filled with pattern ideas, many inspired in some form or another by other bloggers; what they were making, what they wanted to make but couldn't find patterns for. Most of my ideas already had blog muses preternaturally attached to them in my mind. So it seemed fitting to name my new patterns after the people who get me excited about style, making and sewing, and who taught me so much about this craft; you folks in the sewing community.

So…. Nettie.

My muse for this pattern is Wanett aka Nettie; she writes Sown Brooklyn. Do you know her? You should. She's insightful, lovely, kind, creative, intelligent, a lover of reading and history. She has adorable children who take photos of her wearing the sorts of fun, modern, individualistic yet functional clothes you'd imagine a cool mom living in Brooklyn to wear. When I finally met her in NY this fall it was like meeting an old friend. And fatefully, she wrote a post about wanting to make a bodysuit around the same time I was trying and failing to find a pattern for one. Kismet... I probably wouldn't have started working on this pattern if it wasn't for bloggers like Nettie who told me I wasn't the only one longing for the sleek, no-fuss lines of a bodysuit.

So, this pattern is for Nettie, and all the other busy ladies out there who need chic, simple, flattering basics. This pattern has made getting dressed so much easier for me; I hope you find it as indispensable in your wardrobe as I do!

You can purchase it on my online store here. For those of you dedicated Paypal users, you can find it on Etsy here. Now, if you'll excuse me. I'm going to have a gigantic glass of white wine and exhale.

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