Two things for me!

After the disappointment that was the orange vest/waistcoat non happening I decided to go back to a pattern I had tried and liked recently – the Karen Drape dress. No. Yes. No. I’ll make the Nettie bodysuit. No. Yes. Oh, you get the picture.

I had altered the pattern for the dress I used last time to make it a little closer fitting which helps to keep the ‘drapes’ in place. I still tend to think I am bigger than I am – not small, but not as big as I think. I think it is an improvement. See what you think.

Maria Denmark Karen Drape dress

Karen Drape dress front – original fit

Karen dress altered

Karen Drape dress front- altered fit


I bought two metres of polyester lycra from the discounted table at Barry’s at the same time as I bought the cloque for the last dress with the intention of making the Nettie bodysuit but I had decided that I wanted to try the altered dress pattern. Anyhoo, after spending a ridiculous amount of time trying to match stripes I realised I would have needed to buy another half metre for it to work BUT if I disregarded stripe matching I had just enough to cut the dress AND the bodysuit. Score!

Karen Drape dress

Karen Drape dress front 

Karen Drape dress

Karen Drape dress back


I think that the pattern suggested not using an obvious stripe but I was happy to have the stripe going off at an angle on the top of the front. I suspect if it had been a very regular stripe it may not have looked quite so good. As you see the back is just all horizontal stripes and I’m happy with that too. I actually much prefer this version to the original I made – I think the fabric suits me better.

I used a strip of lycra to bind the neckline this time and I am happier with the fit and shape – I definitely pulled the elastic a bit too tight on the last version. I can now confirm that this pattern is a keeper ladies.



Closet Case Files Nettie Bodysuit


On to the bodysuit. This is by Closet Case files and I have seen lots of these on various blogs and really wanted to try the pattern. I was perhaps a little hesitant as I can remember wearing these when they were popular in the eighties. Did I really want to go there again?

Since trouser waistlines seem to be heading upwards again, and tops are being more regularly worn tucked into the waistband I thought it would be good to try – you can’t fault a bodysuit in keeping you neat (unless you are Patsy from Ab Fab!).

As I had just enough to cut this out provided I made the sleeves short I got on with it. I graded the pattern out one size over my (lack of a) waist and just went ahead on faith. It is a pretty good fit – the lycra isn’t straining anywhere and isn’t looking too clingy. I would be happy wearing this as it is but I shall be allowing a little extra space on the shoulders next time (yes, there will definitely be a next time) as the sleeves seem to want to climb upwards since there is very little width on the shoulders. Apart from that I am very happy, and since the pattern offers lots of variation (including making it into a dress) I can see this pattern getting quite a lot of use.

Not a bad result from 2m of fabric!



34 Comments on “Two things for me!”

  1. sewbussted says:

    That dress is SO flattering on you. Wear it everyday 😉 It really does look so lovely on you.
    I was always a big fan of bodysuits. Even as a teenager wear low slung hip huggers, I never liked for my mid section to show. Love the security.

  2. The dress is fab, and the bodysuit looks good…I’m unconvinced though as I was always aware of the cheesewire effect of the ruddy things lol

    • I forgot to add links to this post to show the pattern picture but the body suit is actually very comfortable – not a g-string type back. I’m 5’4″ tall and the body length is great for me. Taller ladies may benefit from a bit of extra length

  3. mrsmole says:

    Cool Save! Your new dress is stunning and I like the bold black line running down the front and the gentle curve of the stripes…WOW! Bodysuits…loved them back in the old days and if I ever find my waist again, I may just whip up a few too…that’s a big “IF”. Pants finding their waistline again is a welcome relief though as fashion and low slung fads have moved on. Now you have to be on the prowl for more striped knits and go for it, Kim.

    • I’m really happy with the way the stripes look on this. I will be very fortunate if I find another fabric I like as much for this style. I was a bit concerned about my lack of waistline for the bodysuit but I’m going to brazen it out 😉

  4. Looks great and what good use you made of the fabric! I too often find I make things a bit too big for myself. Especially as I have now shifted a few kilos but am still using my old measurements ☺

  5. Fadanista says:

    Two fabulous makes. I love the stripes on the dress – I think that it’s cool how the are on the bias and then straighten out. Also love the Nettie – can’t go wrong with it, I say!

    • Fadanista says:

      I forgot to say that I have the same problem with the narrow shoulders on the Nettie.

      • Thanks Sue. Sometimes it’s good to break the stripe rules and it really paid off this time. The shoulders on the Nettie did seem very narrow – I’m glad it’s not just me. I will make an adjustment to the pattern and then probably make far too many more! ( Have you seen Carolyns hack into a cardigan? It’s lovely)

        • Fadanista says:

          I’ve had a black and white irregular stripe earmarked for this dress so was pleased to see yours. I like the Presto Popover as a cardigan hack, but I have seen Carolyn’s (in the flesh!) and it is lovely.

        • Oooh! So jealous(I have long wanted the opportunity to steal Carolyns wardrobe – and dog!)

  6. saturdaysewing says:

    Both so lovely but I especially love that first dress, I want one exactly like it!

  7. tialys says:

    Both dresses look great on you but, from what I can see in the photographs, the stripes really make the most of the drape effect.
    I remember wearing a leotard as a bodysuit occasionally – back in the day – the worse thing was going to the loo. Does the Nettie have an ‘escape hatch’?

  8. sewbusylizzy says:

    The dress is fab – and personally I love a bit of wacky stripe action! I must make some of these for winter.

  9. Leah says:

    I won’t be going the bodysuit route any time soon; I’m too thick in the middle and very self-conscious about that. Not happy to hear about shirts being tucked in again. Oh, well, I don’t have to follow the trends! LOL

    The alteration on the first dress made it much more flattering. It’s a really good cut for you. The second one, with the angled multi coloured stripes is fantastic!

    I envy your ability to alter. I can cut and sew from a pattern, but if it doesn’t fit, I don’t have a clue what to do about it. One day, I may take a class. Will that be after I learn Italian, study photography, learn embroidery, and learn to cut my own hair? Oh, the list is too long!

    • Is everyone over ambitious or is it mainly confined to we creative types?😉 Take a sewing course, and then you will look fabulous when you visit Italy to practice the language.

  10. fabrickated says:

    It’s funny how we are so unsure about what size we really are (I miscalculate often). I really love the striped version especially, but also the first version re-fashioned. It is a very attractive dress and I am tempted either to get the pattern or alter my dress block to make something like this. Thanks for all the detail Kim.

  11. Sewniptuck says:

    Go you thrifty Sewist you! I think the recut of your dress is a definite improvement, a much lovelier silhouette. Wondering which neckline option you used on the Nettie? I really must dig this one out of my hard drive!

  12. Thimberlina says:

    Love all 3 on you but the stripy dress is really something else! Amazing! And the nicest thing I’ve seen you in since I’ve been following you 😃😃😃😃

    • Thanks for such a positive comment! I feel really comfortable in it. No doubt more will be made. The Bettie is brilliant too but horizontal stripes probably weren’t the best choice of fabric with my mind section 😕

  13. sewruth says:

    Really cool striped dress, proving that horizontal stripes can be very flattering.
    Jury is still out on the bodysuit – not yours BTW which looks to be a great fit – but I do remember them being stretched to their limit on me back in the day. Patsy always springs to mind and it is a hard image to erase…..

    • The horizontal stripes on the body suit aren’t ideal but it enabled me to test the pattern. Going up a waist size made it pretty much perfect apart from the too narrow shoulder. If people are realistic about sizing this is a really comfortable make.

  14. sew2pro says:

    Oh my, those colours and gorgeous and the dress especially is amazing. One of my favourite things you’ve made. The kind of ‘hit’ that proves making your own clothes is worthwhile.
    Thanks for reminding me of that Patsy moment. I remember watching the first episode of Ab Fab and was nonplussed till that happened and I became an instant convert!

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