Sunday, May 18, 2014

Polka Dot Nettie Overload! (Nettie Bodysuit by Closet Case Files - as a Top)

Polka dot Nettie as top (Closet Case Files Nettie)

The minute I caught word of the Closet Case Files Nettie Bodysuit and Dress sewing pattern, I knew I HAD to make one. A beautiful figure-hugging bodysuit with tons of awesome neckline variations (and even a dress option) named after my awesome and inspiring friend Nettie of Sown Brooklyn? Sign me up please!

I mean, I think it is well established here that I am a fan of negative ease and gravitate towards the snug-fitting rather than the relaxed. So yeah. I LOVE THIS TOP SO MUCH and I hope to make the bodysuit and the dress too.

It's comfortable, stylish and fitted and I am very, very happy.

Polka dot Nettie as top (Closet Case Files Nettie)

The basics

Pattern: Closet Case Files Nettie, cropped to a top a la Lladybird. The pattern has many variations—I made the scoop front neckline with the high back and short sleeves.

Fabric: A fantastic Riley Blake polka dot cotton/spandex knit blend (I bought mine in Austin but looks like it's currently on sale at they also have aqua, red and more). It turned out to be the perfect fabric for something like this — plenty of stretch and recovery, but not so clingy or thin that it shows the underpinnings. PERFECT combo of fabric and pattern.

Size: Based on Heather Lou's recent blog post, I made a size up from my measurements—the original pattern indicated I should make a 10, so I made a 12. And I did a cheater FBA Kadiddlehopper-style and cut a size 16 at the bust and front sleeve.

Instructions: The instructions were great, very thorough and well illustrated, and even had some entertaining asides. I've made many knit tops, but I still benefited from reading her tips. She also has a sew-along starting up now as well.

Modifications: Since I wasn't sure how the size would work out, I decided to test the pattern as a top. I cut it off at the line for attaching the skirt for the dress version. I think if I make it as a top again I will even make it slightly longer—I will likely usually tuck it in, and it will probably ride up less if it's longer (or if I had actually made it a bodysuit). Here it is tucked in today at a family trip to Legoland... it was riding up a bit and creating a bit of a line under the bust:

Me Made May 18: Nettie goes to Legoland

Construction notes: I made this in a few hours last night (whilst watching True Detective with the husband) on the sewing machine that has now been crammed into the bedroom to avoid waking our daughter. I used a narrow zig-zag for all seams, a long straight stitch to topstitch the neck binding and a narrow zigzag to topstitch the sleeve and bottom hems. Yes, I COULD have tried to drag out my finicky serger or unreliable stretch twin needle... but right now those are just Barriers to Sewing I cannot truck with.

To bind the neckline, I used my usually trusty Sarah Veblen technique for getting a custom flat neckband and shortened the provided pattern by an inch... which was a mistake. It looks great in front:

Polka dot Nettie as top (Closet Case Files Nettie) - binding view

But in the back... I really overtightened and it's pulling the shoulders in. ER. And I have NARROW shoulders—I often have to make a narrow shoulder adjustment to patterns.

Polka dot Nettie as top (Closet Case Files Nettie)

I still plan to wear this top to pieces, but next time I think I'll slightly widen the shoulders AND not overtighten the neckband. Polka dot Nettie as top (Closet Case Files Nettie)

Wear: All the time in various ways—this is such a versatile layering piece and creates no bulk under other items. I could wear it untucked over jeans or tucked into high-waisted skirts. It's good for work (as a layering piece—it is rather super fitted, so will probably wear a cardigan over it) or weekend. I'm wearing it here with a thrifted skirt but I bet it would play nicely with my Miette.

If all my makes continue to bring me this much joy, I think this ridiculous sewing bender is going to continue for a while yet!

Hurrah for Nettie!

Polka dot Nettie as top (Closet Case Files Nettie)

P.S. Please follow/like my Polka Dot Overload page on Facebook or follow me on Instagram if you want to see any in-between or behind-the-scenes photos as I go along... I am actually getting to the point where I'm struggling to actually blog everything I make as it's just another Barrier to Sewing!


  1. Yay sewing! I've stopped trying to blog everything... now I usually just blog it if it's a new-to-me pattern or something extra special. Otherwise the pressure to photograph and blog everything starts taking the fun out of sewing!
    Looks you had fun at Legoland!!!

    1. Yeah, exactly. I'm sure that is part of why I struggled to sew sometimes... I felt like if I didn't do a photo shoot AND blog it AND put a review on Pattern Review, it wasn't actually done.

    2. Which reminds me, I want to go review this on Pattern Review! ;)

    3. Now that I barely ever show photos of myself wearing things (I"m in such a slump and feeling so meh due to hormonal stupidities), I've come to terms with making things that I don't photo. You can still write a post, if you feel like it. No need to get gorgeous and take pics. And I too am nuts about this pattern. The minute I saw it I clicked on Buy. It really is suited to the boobs...

    4. I don't know if I'd go all the way into no photos, but I might do more quick Instagram snaps in crappy lighting in the bathroom! Even though the photos are a pain I enjoy doing them because it makes me feel fancy even when I am feeling BLAH ... it's actually the write up that takes me time.

  2. P.S. K. Line--your blog was one of the first places I saw the pattern!

  3. Oooh, this is so cute, and yes, it's so totally YOU! Love it! I'm totally overwhelmed by all of the totally awesome patterns coming out these days (for me and for the kiddos). I want them all, but then they pile up and I feel guilty about all the ones I've bought and haven't sewed. Why do I have to be burdened by the realities of making a living, keeping a house reasonably clean and off of "hoarders," etc., etc., blah blah blah. It's such a DRAG. :-) Anyway, this is one of those patterns I'm desperately trying not to buy right now, and you're not helping!

  4. Your Nettie turned out AWESOME. I love how it looks tucked in!


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