I created the Nathalie because I simply adore bodysuits and I realized they have become a staple in my wardrobe. I literally pair them with everything, and I wound up making myself a ton of Nathalie's throughout the development and testing process that I have happily worn.
I also noticed a gap in the sewing community for a more form fitting shirt and I thought that the Nathalie lent itself to that sort of silhouette, so I quickly added it to the pattern file. There are tons of loose fitted tees, or oversized numbers, but nothing that figure hugs in a way that makes one feel like a total bombshell!
For this sewalong, I'll be doing the following:
1) I am releasing all of the sewalongs for all of the options at once. There is no rush to go through them all at once- I just wanted to have everything posted for any speedy sewists that might be lurking about/ wanting to go through the sewalongs at a quicker pace!
2) I will be following my instruction booklet as closely as I can so that you can flit back and forth between this sewalong and the drawings in the booklet with as much ease as possible!
3) I will continue developing supplemental material for this pattern as I can!
4) I am doing the Snap Crotch Bodysuit, Regular Crotch Bodysuit, and the Top sewalong simultaneously! I will include various techniques across all of the sewalongs, so feel free to skip around through each of them, picking up the pieces that are most beneficial to you in this process :)
Today, we are going to take on some prep work! And what does any good prep work start with? Supplies!
Check page 29 of your instruction booklet for my handy Materials Checklist
Download it HERE
Before You Start!
There are a few things I'd like to note before we jump in to your project!
1) If you haven't already, I highly suggest washing your fabric! Nothing is worse than finishing a project and then having it ruined come laundry day. I can't tell you how much I've regretted not taking the time to wash my fabric before sewing it up. So many cute items are now basically child-sized because they have carelessly been tossed into the dryer and they were never pre-shrunk.
2) While you are waiting for your pretty fabric to wash & dry, I highly highly suggest sewing up a toile. That way, you can be 100% certain that the bodysuit/ top will fit you EXACTLY how you envisioned before you cut out all the pieces in your pretty fabric.
Plus, you can work on some techniques throughout the process that may be tricky and find your favorite way to put everything together! And since we all are shaped differently, any part of this garment might lay on us imperfectly. Might as well work out those kinks while the fabric is tumbling away in the dryer!
3) The seam allowance for this pattern is 1/2" (1.3 cm) unless otherwise noted!
4) Remember to be easy on yourself and take lots of breaks! Sewing is supposed to be fun, so if you feel yourself getting frustrated, take a deep breath, tell yourself nice things, and grab a sweet treat! That could mean taking a TV break, walking around outside, grabbing a special cup of coffee, or opting for a quick nap.
Let's Get Started!
I always like to get all the little prep bits out of the way first. That way, when the major sewing begins, I don’t have to stop to change a bunch of settings on my machine- I can just dive right in!
1) Let’s start with our darts!
I like to transfer my dart markings onto the wrong side (WS) of my pattern. Generally I use tailors chalk, but sometimes I might opt for an erasable marker or pen. I just find that drawing the straight lines helps when I get to the actual sewing portion of things.
Sew your front bodice darts by pinching the right sides of your fabric together and matching up the notches.
Sew along your chalk-drawn edge to a tapered point, creating a triangle using a straight stitch. Do not backtack at the end points.
2) Tie off the ends of your threads at the dart point and press them down towards the waist.
Press your dart down & baste the edges in place. Set your garment front aside for now.
Skip to Step 6 if you are not adding a ruffle to your back neck opening.
3) For our ruffle (I will be using images from the Snap Crotch Sewalong as my top did not have a ruffle), we are first going to sew some lines of gathering stitches along the top edge. You’ll know its the top edge because there is a handy little notch at the Center Back (CB).
Using a long straight stitch, stitch 1/4” (0.6 cm) from the edge of your fabric on your ruffle piece. Sew a second line of long straight stitches 1/4” (0.6 cm) from that row of stitches.
4) Pull lightly on the bottom (bobbin) threads from one side of your ruffle to gather it. Pull bottom threads to create gathers.
*You may have noticed that I did not have you hem your ruffle piece. I personally feel that hemming such a small, delicate piece adds unnecessary bulk to the garment. Especially since knit materials are not prone to unraveling, I decided to omit this step. However, if you would like your ruffle edge to be hemmed, feel free to do so prior to gathering it!*
5) Now we can go ahead and baste our ruffle into place! With the wrong side of your ruffle touching the right side of your back bodice, pin your ruffle piece to your back bodice along the shoulder seams & curved neckline, making sure that your CB notches match and the raw edges are touching.
Feel free to adjust the ruffles to your liking as you pin your pieces together.
5a) Using a long, straight stitch, baste your ruffle piece to your back bodice piece roughly a 1/4” (0.6 cm) from the neckline edge. Don’t forget to baste along the shoulder seams as well!
You can now set your back bodice piece aside while we tackle the (very easy) neckband piece.
If you have a slightly more challenging fabric (like I did), you may need to iron your neckband flat prior to sewing it into a cylinder.
6) With right sides together, sew the short ends of your neckband together with a zig-zag stitch to create one continuous cylinder.
Trim your seam to help reduce the bulk and press your seam to one side.
7) With wrong sides together, press your neckband in half lengthwise (Like a hot dog!).
Baste both layers of your binding together using a long zig-zag stitch right along the edge.
By basting this piece together, it will be easier to attach it to the neckline later on.
Yay! You have officially finished all of the prep work required for your bodysuit! I hope you feel sure accomplished because you totally should- you just tackled a massive amount of work! If you are still feeling pumped, you can head on to Part 2 - Attaching the Front to the Back which is literally just one step. Otherwise, I will see you tomorrow !