bodysuit inspiration, how to wear a bodysuit
Outfit Styling, Sewalongs


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.

(Sources above: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 )

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.

bodysuit inspiration, how to wear a bodysuit

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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).

bodysuit inspiration, how to wear a bodysuit

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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.

bodysuit inspiration, how to wear a bodysuit

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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….

bodysuit inspiration, how to wear a bodysuit

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

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!




  • Gah, this makes me want to sew up 100 netties! I have the pattern, and now I’m desperately trying to find suitable fabric – spent Saturday scouring every shop in Goldhawk Road for suitable fabric, but really struggled to find decent 4-way stretch jersey, especially any with nice prints, which is what I really want! How much stretch does it need to have in the other direction? Does it need a lot, or just a slight stretch? I also really wish only retailers would list whether their jersey is 2 or 4-way stretch, but most don’t seem to 🙁 I can’t wait to sew it up once I’ve finally found some though!

    • Just a bit of vertical stretch – 20-30% is enough. I listed some UK online resources in my fabric post! Maybe it’s easier to find something online? I found cotton lyrca prints really hard – that’s why Girl Charlee is the biziness. Maybe it’s worth it to place an order with them? The prices are dirt cheap and may offset the shipping costs.

      • Angela M.

        Yep, my credit card now has a nice extra charge on it thanks to Girl Charlee – not the first time I’ve been there, so unfortunately my order couldn’t help your blog (you said first time buyers only did, right?). I’m working on my first Nettie now, hopefully to become a wearable muslim while I’m waiting for some fun fabrics to arrive. It IS hard to find anything in the local stores….

        • Angela M.

          Well, not a wearable muslin. While the fabric does easily have 50% stretch it is simply too tight around my body, and I look like a walking sausage! LOL! I fall between two sizes and chose the larger, but will need to go up another full size anyhow. I think I will cut a version a couple of sizes bigger just to be sure, and then be able to make it smaller as needed. Obviously I can’t salvage my distinctly too small version, but maybe my daughter will wear it. She is 15, so who knows.

          We are going on vacation in a little under two weeks… I’m hoping to have a pattern that fits great and maybe make a top with sequins..I’ve never done that, so we’ll see how it goes. Nothing like trying new things!

          • What a bummer! It’s crazy how much knits can differ from one to another.
            You may find the fit is perfect with something stretchier, but no one
            likes a sausage casing. Keep me posted on your progress Angela!

            sequins… my advice is to go with a bigger sequin. Less of a pain in
            the butt to take off on the seamlines. I found the best method is to
            snip them off and removing them with tweezers rather than cutting the
            connecting thread since it can quickly unravel. It’s time consuming but
            the final product is TOTALLY worth it.

  • Sarah T

    Gorgeous inspiration shots!

    • Thanks Sarah! This was a fun post to write. An actual excuse to lurk on Pinterest for hours.

  • Canal Couture

    Great inspiration shots to add to the tons of ideas already in my head. I love your pattern!
    It will soon make its way onto my sewing table for sure!

    • Thank you! It was fun to brainstorm ideas.

  • Adrienne

    Oh you’re in Toronto! We just had a sewing get-together Saturday — had we known we would have invited you. Safe trip back to MTL!

    • I was only in town for 24 hours but I would have LOVED to see you! How long are you away from Sweden? Any chance you’ll make it down to MTL?!?!

  • I can’t believe how much you’re making me want to make a bodysuit. I just never thought those words would come from me. I’m absolutely not a negative ease sort of person, but you (and the rest of the blog world on your behalf) are really wearing me down!

    • Hahahaha, peer pressure is sometimes for the greater good. Negative ease can be your friend! It’s like wearing pretty spanx!

  • guess who just got inspired to cut her pretty leaf print in half and go swimsuit…

    • sallieforrer

      Oh my god I SO want you to do this!!!

  • sallieforrer

    Yes!! I was wondering what your thoughts are on adding a flared skirt – like a 1/2 circle or even a full circle – to the bottom of Nettie without adding a seam? This has been in my brain for weeks now and I just have to give it a go!

    • As usual, we’re on the same wavelength. I was thinking about doing a cut and pivot on the skirt to make a half circle. Totes possible!

  • Amy

    Back cut out! Mesh shoulders! yes, please.

    • Mesh wants to be in everything I make these days.

  • Angela M.

    Well then… I first I wasn’t going to buy the pattern because I’m not a bodysuit/close-hugging fabrics person… then I decided to try it… and NOW after his post I foresee many of them coming up soon!

    • Fear not the negative ease! Glad to hear it Angela!

  • Imakemanythings

    I received my order from Girl Charlee today and can’t wait to make my first bodysuit! Thanks for the amazing pattern!

    • YAY! I got anotehr Girl Charlee order in today. I’m in luuuurve.

  • Sownbrooklyn

    SO MUCH GOODNESS, HERE!! I’m planning a little Nettie power sewing for my long weekend ;o)

    • You are the greatest ambassador of all time.

  • ZoSews

    Uhh, how did you know what I was wearing in the 90s?!? Blossom hat not optional.

    • HAHAHA. I know my darling, because i was wearing THE SAME THING. I haven’t made a crushed velvet Nettie. Yet. But I may have to so I can remember what it was like to be 13 and in love with Eddie Vedder.

  • Latrice Smith

    I was completely thinking about making a Nettie crop top.

    • That’s because it’s a terribly amazing idea. Go for it Trice!

  • Julie Morin

    Great inspiration photos 🙂 Also good to know about the dbl knits and ponte! Btw, where did you happen to go on queen st w? I’ve been meaning to check out some new places down there the next time I’m Toronto…any tips?

    • Ponte hides sins. Fact. Regarding the Queen West district, I don’t know the area super well. I popped into Afforable Textiles (531 Queen West) and they had a pretty great selection of knits. The bamboo lycras were around $12 a meter but they had cehaper cotton blends.

  • Kelly

    Well I’ve made two so far, just straight up to make sure I have the fit right…now I am excited to start day dreaming about different variations! I definitely need a bow in the back. And stripes, color blocking, a dress with a full skirt…etc etc

  • Ivana Markovic

    Nettie is such a great pattern. Could you please suggest what pattern alterations should I take to make it off the shoulder with sleeves? Thanks!

    • I am working on a blog post for this, but what I would do is draw across the bust were you would like to cut it off, transfer that line to the shoulder and then cut pieces without the shoulder seam and sleeve cap. Sew them together and finish the now much wider opening with either elastic or the knit band!

      • Ivana Markovic

        Thanks for replying so fast! I’ll try to work out what you have sugessted. But I’m still looking forward to the blog post 🙂

  • Mary Elizabeth Moffett

    I love my Nettie (so completely), but I would also love a thong hack (so scandalous, I know!) – any recommendations on how to do that? I’ve cut up an old pair that I loved, but I get (ugh, overshare, so sorry), a ton of loose fabric in the crotch area if I line it up with the original leg openings. I know that was wrong, because this pattern has such a low rise in back – where should I line up the top of my panties? Thanks so much!

    • Hmmm. I think you might need to do a little trial and error here, especially because the crotch seam on this pattern is much further forward than it would be on a panty pattern. Can you figure out how much higher you need to cut based on how much excess fabric you had to deal with?

      • Mary Elizabeth Moffett

        Absolutely! Just one last (lame) question – does it affect the overall fit if I move the crotch higher to accommodate the thong? My full-butt (lol) versions fit great, lengthwise, so I’m having trouble wrapping my head around why a different back would affect it so much.

      • Nia Lorre

        You wouldn’t consider posting a thong hack, would you? Pretty please?