Friends, my bodysuit dreams have come true! After four years of sewing, I can now say good things come to those who wait (and also sew with enough perseverance!).
Bodysuits might be quick but they are surprisingly involved. In addition to a decent knowledge of sewing and choosing stretch fabrics, a familiarity with using lingerie elastic and snap installation can make a real difference. I gained those skills with a long list of bodysuit failures. I’ve tried to make multiple Closet Case Netties and Seamwork Arianes, but nothing ended up lasting too long. Since bodysuits have long been on my wish list, I dove in early on, even though the fit and fabrics needed for a bodysuit were beyond my skills.
Some fell off my shoulders (back when I didn’t know how to alter a neckline on a pattern, oh, my younger years!). Some were hacked wrap styles with seams everywhere (seams which eventually popped). Then there was that one lesson in the precious, precious value of a four way stretch (that silver velvet body suit that had, um, a little too much lengthwise snug for my liking). They have all made their way to the bodysuit graveyard.
But, not this one! The V9298 came to be and made it into regular, comfortable rotation. The pattern was immediately on my hot list when it came out last year. Only on a whim, though, did I make it back in September. The style is super gorgeous. The plunge wrap style is balanced out by pleats which fall below the waist and the cover art, which features three sleeve versions, calls out to those of us who like to get mileage out of patterns.
However, if this pattern design fixes some bodysuit problems, it creates others. The best part of this body suit is the use of two contrast fabrics. The bottom bikini section is for a four way stretch and the top can be a two way stretch. This is a great idea for avoiding common bodysuit fit issues like length (which can here be easily modified). Also, there is lots of flexibility with fabric choice, since you do not need to choose only very stretchy knits, but can use a moderate stretch knit for the top and a very stretchy one for the bikini.
The plunge is another story. Oh, what an elegant, impractical neckline! If a serious plunge neckline is not in my list of things I wear, a semi-deep V is. I knew I’d need some sewing magic to make this pattern wearable. Since knit muslins aren’t much of a thing, I knew this project would be a fit-as-I-go.
But before I got to the fit challenges, I had the chance to test some fabric ideas. Although I wasn’t planning to sew this pattern when I did, I realized that I could pair my two different jersey leftover fabrics from my recent collaboration with Harts Fabric. (Thank you Shanui for the sewing leftovers inspiration and also the use of contrasting black and white fabrics!!) So, I was set on a mission to make this bodysuit work. I cut half of the pieces in a solid black jersey and cut the other from the checkered white black jersey for an asymmetrical style–all the while also hoping this would mix well with the wrap skirt I had made with the same fabric.
As the jersey has a lot of stretch, I formed the pleats in the top bodysuit pieces, sewed the shoulder seams, and draped the combined front and back pieces over my torso. At this point, only the front and back pieces were connected (no sleeves, nor bottom). Shoulders were sewn and sides were pinned, but the front pieces were not yet basted in place. The pattern indicates where the two pieces overlap to create the wrap effect.
I completely ignored this. Instead I decided on the placement of the front pieces by placing one over the other, pulling each pieces closer to my hip, to make the point where they cross higher. Once I got the v point where I wanted, I basted the pieces at the waist seam (where they would join the bikini part). Then, to account for the generous stretch I resewed the shoulder seam at a diagonal, going inwards from the shoulder to the neck and removing a good chunk of fabric at the neck of the shoulder seam. A quick and dirty method it was, but it also worked! Overall, I used a mix of my serger and sewing machine to complete this project.
After all my pinching here and there, the fit worked and I zoomed through the rest of the project. I finished the leg openings with lingerie elastic and hand sewed snaps for the crotch opening. I luuuv this bodysuit! It is certainty more of a Saturday night look than anything else. So even if I don’t expect it to get tons of wear, it will be savored!