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What I Made: Veda

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I’m still on a bodysuit kick and I don’t know why. It could be the weather. I want something to wear under my sweaters and dresses that is warm(er). I’m one of those people who is cold all the time. Or maybe it’s because bodysuits are elusive to a lot of people, and I want to show that they aren’t. Miley Cyrus’ bear themed bodysuit and Iggy Azalea’s futuristic one-piece are not everyday pieces (hopefully), but there are plenty of wearable options.

The purpose of this bodysuit was for it to be both innerwear and outerwear. I don’t think I achieved that completely. In theory, I could wear this out at night – definitely not to work – but I wouldn’t because I’d be too damn afraid that there would be some visible boobage at some point. Thanks but no thanks – I’m not about that kind of cleavage.

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INSPIRATION

Veda is inspired by, more like a replica of, a bodysuit from Urban Outfitters. I have more success and learn more when I duplicate a RTW style rather than using a commercial sewing pattern. I’ve written this before and this project was just another confirmation. What I liked most about this piece, in addition to the mixing of innerwear + outerwear, was that it mixed woven and stretch fabrics. I hadn’t worked with a woven in a while, and it was certainly a challenge.

FABRIC + TRIMS

Veda is almost entirely Philly made! Except for a few trims, which came from Bra Making Supplies, everything was sourced from Fleishman’s Fabrics. Fabric Row has undergone a major transformation in the past decade, and Fleishman’s is one of the few stores that has stayed. Even thrived. Tricia and her staff are always welcoming, and they are huge supporters of my workshops.

Front bodice: The main fabric is white, silk chiffon that has a cutout pattern. It is underlined and lined with white silk chiffon for modesty (read: no visible nipples – try to keep it PG here).
Back bodice: The same white, silk cutout chiffon, but no underlining or lining.
Front and back panty: Light grey Lycra
Crotch lining: Cotton jersey
1/4″ fold over elastic at leg opening
3/8” picot/plush elastic at top back
5/8″ fold over elastic at waist seam
1/4″ strap elastic + 1/4″ sliders
3/4” rings

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PATTERN + CONSTRUCTION

Cutting and sewing wasn’t easy. It has probably been a year since I worked with a woven, and it wasn’t like riding a bike. With stretch fabrics, there is a forgiveness in the pattern and the fit. Negative ease means that the pattern is smaller than the wearer’s actual measurement, and will stretch out when worn. This allows for you to get away with errors and hides many mistakes. Error and mistake might be the wrong words to use – what I’m trying to say is that things that would work on a pattern meant for stretch fabrics wouldn’t work on a pattern meant for a woven. Yeh, that’s a better way to put it.

Believe it or not, but this is my 4th sample (with lingerie, I usually sew 2 samples). The first didn’t work because first samples never work. They are trials where mistakes are allowed and accepted. The 2nd and 3rd samples didn’t work because I was looking at the pattern from a stretch fabric mind frame.

Other construction notes:

  • The bodice was pre-shirred at the waist and then sewn to the panty. The seam allowance was then finished with a 5/8” fold over elastic. I experimented with finishing this seam – serging the first sample, pressing the SA down on the second and then covering with elastic. This method was by far the prettiest and certainly was the cleanest. The only downside, and I’m not sure if you could consider this a downside, is that it is “floating.” It’s not secured but left free hanging. Also, I wish the FOE was 3/8″, but this width is what I had in my stash.
  • At every step while sewing the bodice, I cross-checked the garment against the pattern to make sure it didn’t stretch out of shape, and when it did, I recut it. Chiffon is a very tricky fabric to work with – if you’ve sewn it, I’m sure you know – and no matter how careful you are, how steady your hand is or how exact your cutting was, the fabric will shift. Guaranteed. We’re only human, and that’s okay.
  • I have a hard time sewing FOE, does anyone else? It’s like topstitching in that any shift is very noticeable. I have resorted to using spray adhesive or a glue stick to press it in place just before sewing the second pass. Anyone have any tips?
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COMMENTS

So, this is a work in progress – a wearable muslin until I figure out how to make it more wearable, if that’s even possible. If you have any thoughts or opinions on how I could, let me know! I always love reading your feedback!

Veda was made using my new Spiegel’s 60609 sewing machine. Click here to learn more about the machine + my partnership with the retailer.  

13 Comments

  1. Reply

    embroiderpiccies

    Madalynne – it looks very pretty. Wish I could wear something like that.

    • Reply

      maddie

      Believe me, I am not wearing this out. In theory, I could, but it hasn’t happened and I don’t see it happening. Beautiful piece, but not so wearable.

  2. Reply

    Regan

    It is very pretty, elegant in a very modern, forward way.
    I have a sewing question–is there any reason that you always zigzag stitch when sewing elastic? I usually zigzag the first pass but when I turn it under I use a twin needle. It stretches, and I like the way it looks. Just wondering if there was a reason you zigzag. Thanks!

    • Reply

      maddie

      You use a twin needle for the second pass and the stitches don’t pop/break? I use a zigzag stitch because it stretches; I thought a straight stitch doesn’t. I’ll have to give it a try!

  3. Reply

    Charlene

    This is beautiful Madie! Did you use any specific measurements to come up with the shape of the bodice?

    • Reply

      maddie

      Than you! I got the bodice measurements by rubbing off the pattern of the UO bodysuit. I bought it, then took it apart.

  4. Reply

    Erin Tucker

    Wondertape! It’s a double sided tape that is supposed to wash away. It doesn’t make your needle sticky either. I use it on the first half inch to one inch, so I can start my sewing and make sure the foe doesn’t go anywhere on me.it allows me to stretch out if I need to or if I don’t I can use wondertape on the entire length if I want to.

    • Reply

      maddie

      Oh wow! Neat tip! Just to be clear – you use Wondetape for sewing FOE?

      • Reply

        Erin Tucker

        Yes. I use it for a lot odd sewing. Making sure bias tape doesn’t move, when I have a seam that is slippery and needs to match.I first heard about using it for sewing zippers in. It works for pretty much anything you want to stay put. I’ve even used it with my serger with no problems.

        • Reply

          maddie

          Hmmm… I’ll have to give it a try. Thank you!

  5. Reply

    Summerflies

    Very pretty!

  6. Reply

    Cristal

    It’s lovely! Maybe wear a cute short cover up/lightweight shrug with it. I have to ask what is FOE?

  7. Reply

    Beth - Sew DIY

    I’ve had problems with FOE too. In the last year I’ve taken to using a glue stick for anything that I need to stay in place like pockets or zippers. The wonder under is a great tip and I’ve heard good things about it.

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