Sleeveless Nettie Bodysuit

HelenHelen's Makes44 Comments

Sleeveless Nettie Bodysuit

This pattern was a total surprise for me. I have always admired other people’s versions but I never thought It was for me.  Enter Gillian with her sewing dares challenge! Gillian quickly saw the lack of body-con dresses in my closet and challenged me to step out of my comfort sack and into a Nettie dress. Well, thank you, Gillian, because I am loving this pattern!

Sleeveless Nettie BodysuitSleeveless Nettie Bodysuit

I’ve tried bodycon dresses in the past, like these cheap staple versions from H&M and American Apparel. I’ve always found that while I like the look in the mirror, I feel uncomfortable once I’m out in public. I am constantly aware of my posture and sucking in my tummy to make it work – not fun. After making my own version out of a soft, bamboo knit, I realized that my issues with this style were mostly due to fabric and fit.  The ones I had gotten in the past were too tight and the fabric would cling like crazy. With a more relaxed fit, I can feel much more comfortable and not be so focused on my lumps and bumps showing through.

Sleeveless Nettie Bodysuit Sleeveless Nettie BodysuitSleeveless Nettie BodysuitSleeveless Nettie Bodysuit

For this Nettie, I have left off the sleeves and finished the armholes and neckline with a thin band that has been folded in and sewn down. I left off the sleeves to make this more summer appropriate and because I loved the look when I tried it on for fitting before adding the sleeves.

Sleeveless Nettie Bodysuit Sleeveless Nettie BodysuitSleeveless Nettie Bodysuit

I opted for a high neck and high back on this dress. I love the look of the low back bodysuit, but I am a bit self-conscious of my back due to years of acne scars. I’m glad I went with the high cut on both sides because it makes me feel more comfortable in this look. I also added about 5 inches in length to this dress because I love the below the knee look in a body-con dress. 

Sleeveless Nettie BodysuitSleeveless Nettie Bodysuit

I am really enjoying wearing this dress. It stands out due to its fun shibori print, but it also works as a neutral for me. I can throw it on and feel fabulous any day.  Thanks again to Gillian for daring me to give this pattern a try! 

Now, can we talk about this rose for a moment? I love pink roses so much and this one is growing in my alleyway, covering this old garage with its beautiful blooms. Every year it gets bigger so I hope to take pictures here again next year and keep watching it grow!

Sleeveless Nettie BodysuitPink Roses Pink Roses Pink Roses Pink Roses

About the author


Helen Wilkinson is the designer and founder of Helen's Closet Patterns. She also co-hosts the Love to Sew Podcast! Helen is obsessed with all things sewing and strives to share her passion and knowledge with the sewing community.

44 Comments on “Sleeveless Nettie Bodysuit”

    1. Thank you! I am surprised how much I like it, and even looking at the photos I realized that a few lumps never hurt anyone, this is my body and that is that 🙂

  1. It turned out fabulous! You nailed the perfect amount of sexiness and coverage, I think. Great photo spot, too!

  2. You look absolutely gorgeous in that dress! The fit is awesome but I especially like the the way the armhole and neckline work together. (That sounds so weird. I hope you get what I mean.)

  3. I love it! I think the combo of demure neckline and length pairs perfectly with the bodycon shape, and that fabric was a brilliant choice. I’m so glad your sewing dare worked out! And those roses are amazing too!

  4. Bodycon dresses/bodysuits have made me very nervous for a long time, even though they look so good layered! You’ve made this style seem way more accessible now, so thank you! Also, those roses are to DIE for.

  5. VAVOOM Helen! You look gorgeous in this dress – perfect length and I too love the high neckline both front and back. It’s funny I bought a Tee dress in Hemp & Co (similar to Sill Eagle in Vancouver) here in Victoria last year that actually fit me really well made out of a bamboo and cotton. I’ve not worn it because I just feel too self conscious. 🙂 But seeing you in this dress…well it dares us all to reveal that sexy woman lurking inside!

  6. This dress looks great on you–I love the fabric. I’ve also had the experience of trying new-to-me styles in the dressing room and hating them, only to find that I can make them work by sewing my own. Yet another reason to love garment sewing!

  7. Those roses! How lucky you are. The dress looks great, and I’m glad you’re enjoying a new silhouette. I find that wearing a slip under these sorts of dresses also really helps me feel less self-conscious. It’s nice to really know the fabric isn’t clinging anywhere!

    1. That is a great tip! I was wondering how spanx would work – I have never worn them before but I imagine in a dress like this it would look pretty amazing! Do you just wear a normal slip or a stretchy knit underlayer?

  8. You look gorgeous in this dress! I love the look of these types of dresses but feel so self conscious when Im wearing them. I have some acne scarring on my back too but for some reason I don’t care about the back of my body as much as my front because I can’t see it in the mirror. Haha.

    1. Haha, I feel you. Usually in the summer I’m too hot to care. I feel most comfortable in this dress with a cardigan or denim jacket on top, that helps a lot with the self conscious feelings I find.

  9. What a great dress! I thought my body-con days were behind me, but I’m feeling inspired. Love the fabric – did you get it locally?

  10. The fit is great Helen, and this fabric is so cool! What a great style. I haven’t seen the dress version of this pattern made up as much, but man, this is a versatile pattern with so many looks! Those roses are to die for–I love old garden roses. I used to order the Jackson and Perkins catalog in college and faux wallpaper my room with all the roses!

  11. This dress looks amazing on you! It fits like a glove and is so flattering. I love the high neck and high back. You look beautiful!

  12. This looks amazing on you!! And a gorgeous location too. Makes me want to pull out my Nettie pattern and get cracking on a few new versions for myself!!

  13. That is the most perfect dress! And it looks amazing on you. I think if I were you, I’d make a closet full! Lol. Is that fabric local? I looooove shibori and also live in Vancouver.

    1. Thanks Megan! It is from Dressew! I’m not sure if they have this exact version anymore, but they do have other bamboo shibori knits. They are a bit pricey, but worth it!

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