Me? Mad!! May! Day Four: Trying New Things

Unfortunately, it’s Me? Mad!! May, so I have no choice!

I have definitely noticed that there are certain ‘types’ of sewing patterns that I’m automatically drawn to – casual, relatively clean lines, classic and versatile. If I don’t think it will go with many other things in my wardrobe, or unless it can be worn on it’s own, I probably won’t go for it. Other no-no’s include underwear (I think it will be too complicated/ require a ton of fitting/ too labour-intensive etc etc etc) or anything that I think is particularly ‘on trend’. (I should probably point out that it’s not because I think that being ‘trendy’ is beneath me or anything – I just don’t feel ‘cool’ enough to give it a try)

So, although Closet Case File’s new Nettie bodysuit pattern is casual and has clean lines and is classic and versatile, my initial thoughts when I saw it were ‘oh that’s really cool, but a bodysuit? It’s a bit too close to underwear for me, plus… aren’t bodysuits all trendy right now?’ (and sure enough, I just checked and they’re all over which is most definitely cool in my book!) So, at any other normal time, it wouldn’t even occur to me to buy the pattern and try it out – even though tucking my t-shirt in can be the bane of my life at times (my freakishly long upper body throws any RTW t-shirts for a loop)

BUT! It’s Me? Mad!! May! So I bought it!

After making the first few challenges really rather tough, I decided to give myself a little sewing break today – on the proviso that I worked on something out of my sewing comfort zone, and since Nettie was so newly purchased, it was top of my list!

I decided that since I was super uncomfortable and unsure, I would make a muslin, using some cream jersey I bought ages ago, when I can only assume I was ‘shrooming… I can’t decide if it’s properly fugly or just UGH… it’s got this weird abstract pattern all over it, which is okay, except that it’s in this yukky, baby poo greeny/brown colour. I chose to make the scoop neck with medium back (which is even more of a change for me – I never feel comfortable wearing anything with a low back)

I made my usual 1.5″ length increase to the bodice front and back and just waded on in there… whistling cheerfully as I cut out the pattern pieces (okay, not actually whistling – because I can’t. So, let’s say humming instead.) So I was cheerfully humming away when I realised that there were no neck and leg binding pattern pieces, and I hadn’t read the instructions properly, or I would have known that there aren’t any included. Which isn’t a big deal, because the length of each binding piece is given earlier on in the instructions, based on the neckline/backline combo you choose and your size etc. ARGH BUT I HATE JUST DRAWING MEASUREMENTS ONTO SHIFTY GODDAM JERSEY FABRIC.

Anyhoo… after having a little sweary hissy fit and then finishing up with the cutting, I got down to the sewing. The instructions are really straight forward, but I found basting the neckline binding on was a nightmare. Although my fabric seemed really stable and nice to begin with, the moment I started pulling on that binding, the edges curved like the dickens. I couldn’t even find a raw edge to line up with the neckline. By the time I was done basting the binding on, it was all over the shop, and looked totally terrible. So, I ended up just ripping all the basting out, unpicking one of the shoulder seams, and just going straight for the ‘stretch as you go’ approach with the serger, which would have been fine, except that in my hurry to ‘make up time’ for having cocked up the basting to begin with, I must have pulled too much, and even with a serious steaming and pressing, that neckline binding would not lie flat.

Normally, at this point, I think I would have thrown the offending garment into the corner of the room and stomped off in a huff. But! In Me? Mad!! May! we don’t run away from hard tasks! We relish them! (or, so I kept telling myself) So, I struggled on. The rest of the bodysuit came together really easily, although I got slightly confused with the snap crotch lining instructions, and needed to re-read the instructions a few times before I got it. Once the snaps were in, I tried it on with a little trepidation… and it fit! Kind of. I could NOT get the neckline to lie flat, and the shoulders of the bodysuit just kept sliding down. Next time, I need to take in the shoulders somehow both at the front and back (you can see my bra straps at the back), and probably raise the scoop neck just a little bit.

MMM 5 – Nettie Bodysuit muslin

I have to admit, I didn’t feel like this pattern was AT ALL flattering when I first put it on. I made me feel dumpy and weird, but after I stuck on my jeans, it looked a lot better. I started out sewing this pattern feeling a little belligerent, like I knew it wouldn’t work but at least I could say I tried, but actually, I think this is a pattern that could maybe work for me. Once I make the fitting changes to the neckline of the pattern, and bring in those shoulders a bit, I think I may well give this another go! I’ve worn the bodysuit for the rest of the evening, and out and about briefly, to go to the shop to pick up some stuff for dinner, and it’s actually really comfortable, and it’s nice not having to worry about my t-shirt riding up if I crouch down, or bend over at all.

The moral of this story – I should stop making snap judgements about what does and doesn’t work for me, and just dismissing patterns out of hand, based on stupid little rules that I’ve made up for myself! This doesn’t mean that I’m going to be buying every pattern out there (although, let’s face it… I would if I could afford to!) but hopefully from now on, I’ll give new things a bit more consideration!

It’s not as interesting, or as inspiring as the previous Me? Mad!! May challenges, but in its own way, it’s been just as fun and challenging!

So, yes. I think I will be making another Nettie bodysuit – but hopefully not in a fabric that has baby poo coloured smears all over it. What the hell was I thinking???


2 thoughts on “Me? Mad!! May! Day Four: Trying New Things

  1. Woohoo! I think this totally works on you! I've made two of these in the last few days. I'll be honest, I was really on the fence as I NEVER wear anything form-fitting. Like, I HATE it and feel naked. But there's something about the scoop neck that's really pretty and I kind of feel like a ballerina in it. I hate drawing on jersey too, so I cheat and hold down my 18″ x 2″ clear ruler and just rotary cut around it. I keep moving it down until I've cut the right length, and cut around the whole thing, then I trim off half an inch to get to the 1.5″ width. Much easier than messing around with chalk, if you have a rotary cutter!


  2. That is SUCH a good idea! I don't have a rotary cutter yet – but this idea alone makes it worth my while getting one!

    I can totally see you rockin' a Nettie, and I second the ballerina comparison, which I think is what won me over the most! It fulfills my childhood fantasies of being a prima ballerina playing the Sugarplum Fairy (before I learnt about the concepts of grace and poise – and the fact that I had neither! 😉 )


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