Sewing for myself has been on the back burner for the past few weeks. With one thing and another I suddenly found myself with a pile of orders to fill for StaceyMade :-O which is no bad thing but did mean I wanted to knuckle down a bit and get stuck in.
Fortunately one of those orders was for a new pattern – a Nettie Dress from Closet Case Files
. If I’ve never used the pattern brand or design before I like to make a trial version for me first since I know my shape better than anyone’s. This way I can iron out any fit issues or strange sizing etc. before cutting into my friend’s fabric. Bonus here was I have been eying the Nettie Pattern since it came out. It looked like such a good basic design and although I doubt I’ll ever make the body suit up (maybe as a costume?), the dress can also be altered into a t-shirt so for only $10 or so you get a good basic dress, t-shirt and bodysuit pattern. When I had a friend after this exact design I rejoiced because now I had a reason to buy the pattern finally!
I won’t lie, part of the appeal of this pattern was the very low scoop back combined with a built in bra. I adore low backs, particularly in combination with long sleeves and high necklines – I think it is the epitome of understated sexiness. Add in fire engine red fabric and I think this is one hot dress!
|Ok maybe not so understated sexy from this side…
I cut a size 6 high neck, low back dress after a LOT of deliberation given the pattern is designed with negative ease and I am not a hugely confident stretch sewer. I have been dipping my toes into stretch sewing this year and I do love how quick and easy it is to sew up but I still struggle with fitting and sizing issues simply because my brain isn’t wired to think in stretch fabric terms just yet. The size 6 turned out to be a perfect fit even though the body measurements given for this size were slightly smaller than mine. I think it also depends on what sort of fabric you use so each new make will have to be individually assessed.
I used some cheap and cheerful bright red cotton interlock stretch fabric I bought in Melbourne at G & J’s fabrics (I think). It only just had enough stretch to make this dress but as it is a little heavier than a jersey it did help smooth out my silhouette lines in the final dress so :-).
I included a built in bra which I’ve never attempted before. The process was relatively easy although I wanted to insert foam bra cups to give a little more support than just the standard elastic + fabric set up. They look ok in pictures but in real life they are a little lumpy and poor fitting. I think the main problem is that between buying these cups and making the dress I’ve lost weight and now the cups are too big. I’m probably going to rip them out and see how it looks without them and if needed I’ll buy some smaller, lighter ones to try again with. This sounds quite tricky and there was a lot of mirror scrutiny time but the actual process of inserting the cups was quite easy – I followed the Nettie sewalong
on Closet Case Files site and the instructions were excellent and easy to follow for this step 🙂
Overall, this is a fantastic basic pattern that is quick and easy to sew up. I finished all the seams on my overlocker and top stitched the neckline and hems using a stretch twin needle. My only DUUUUUH! Moment came when I perfectly attached the neckband using my overlocker only to discover it was attached right side to wrong side! Cue cutting off that band and starting again. As a result of this the back neckline is quite narrow on the shoulders and has a tendency to fall off a little but I don’t think this will be a problem if you sewed it normally in the first place!
This was a great run through before making my final version for my friend – she was after the scoop neck and high back version of the dress and since we are the same size (yay) I could try this version on to check fit and there will definitely be a version of this in my life soon, along with a t-shirt version with the medium back using the left over scraps from this project. I’m actually planning a lot more Netties. They are quick and easy to sew up – great instant gratification sewing, they look great on and are super comfy to wear while still looking really polished 😀 wins all round!
It’s so nice to whip up some quick sewing projects 🙂 I love beautiful detailed makes but sometimes you just want a finished project right now!
Special special thanks go to my awesome Dad (Happy Fathers Day!) for taking these great photos – so much better than the goober shots I usually take on timer at home 😉