Hi pals! I am currently taking a much needed mini-break away from Montreal (read: blowing raspberries on my nephew’s belly, dipping into my by brother’s ice cream collection and surprising one of my oldest friends with a sneaky baby shower). However, the ol’ noggin doesn’t really turn off when I’m supposed to be “relaxing”; I’ve been brainstorming some outfit and pattern hacking ideas to get you inspired for the Nettie sewalong we’re starting this week.
I didn’t realize until well into the testing process how freaking flexible this pattern is. Simple knit shapes always are. There is a reason they tend to comprise so much of our wardrobe – they’re easy and comfortable to wear. My Me Made May (say that 5 times fast!) has been pretty Nettie-centric. I can’t get enough. I even bought 3 new bamboo knits today while walking down Queen Street in Toronto with my brother since I don’t have nearly enough and at this point I can make one in a couple of hours, blindfolded, tipsy and petting a kitty at the same time.
How to wear a bodysuit? Children of the 90’s will remember pairing them with overalls (one strap undone, natch) or with a pair of Guess mom jeans. Probably with a Blossom hat and/or a scrunchie. But that was then. This is now.
Why not pair one with a full circle skirt for a flirty French vibe? Baguette optional. The braver among us may reach for something slightly sheer (I still pine for a skirt Elisalex made years ago). Paired with a maxi it’s covered up and sexy simultaneously, and it’s a sleeker alternative to a t-shirt when paired with jeans. I’ve been wearing mine with high-waisted, wide legged Katherine Hepburn pants to the office.
I’m really excited to see how people modify and hack this pattern. Why not mix a solid body with lace sleeves? Or line the lace and blow minds like Maddie in her cream beauty. Cut a clean line off the top and show off your shoulders. Play with seam lines and add a sheer mesh panel. Combine several fabrics for colour blocking fun. Embellish with applique or beading. Divide the Nettie in half for a fun swimsuit, something By Hand London showed in their Sewing Indie hack last week. The option to make a marijuana print 2 piece is completely up to you (ask Oona to tell you the story about accidentally buying 2 yards of the aforementioned fabric, thinking its was just pretty leaves).
I’m loving these back hack variations. Add cutouts, a sliver of mesh, sweet bows or buttons, or drop the back even lower for some drama-rama.
And then there were crop tops. I seriously can’t get enough of these right now. Cut Nettie off at the waist and you have the perfect summer top to pair with high waisted skirts or pants. That little sliver of exposed skin is surprisingly flattering on a wide range of figures; seductive without trying too hard.
ed: Deepika from Pattern Review just mentioned to me that the Nettie would make a great sari top! I really hope I get to see Nettie paired with some extravagant Indian textiles….
The Nettie dress will be fun to play with too. If you’re a little shy in a bodycon silhouette, use a thicker ponte or double knit – they’re surprisingly forgiving. Clingier knits glide over the body if you’re wearing a slip. Go from Sunday casual to bombshell by playing with length, fabric and styling. I love the idea of using swimsuit lyrca or sequins for something evening approriate; striped cotton is perfect for day.
I hope this gives you some ideas for making Nettie your own. I’ll be back in a few days with some instructions on choosing your size and making pattern adjustments. Have a great week!