Our newest shade of Italian stretch mesh arrived just in time for fall; introducing, P L U M!
As the name suggests, it’s a gorgeously rich shade of purple, warm and autumnal, with the same soft and supple stretch that has made this fabric a constant bestseller. I started laying it next to my other laces and elastics to see how the color would inspire me, and once I saw this combination with the Great Waves lace in terra cotta and the ultraviolet elastics, I couldn’t get it out of my head!
A daring three-color combo like this gives me Dora Larsen vibes, and I took their bodysuits as inspiration for how I wanted my piece to look. I kept my idea simple: a sheer bodice, lace triangle cups, no wires, soft structure, no appliques or cut-outs or extra frills. Sure, those things have their place in the world, but I wanted something easy to make and easy to wear.
For my own bodysuit, I used a self-drafted bodysuit block. I like the amount of coverage it provides and how I’ve gotten the gusset snaps in just the right spot over the years of using this pattern. I copied it and cut a straight line at the underbust, and made sure this lined up with the back piece. For the cups, I turned to a simple triangle cup pattern that I’ve been working on, first making a test version to check for the fit.
For patterns that you can use, Studio Calicot has a number of bodysuit patterns in different shapes, Seamwork offers the Ariane bodysuit with additional cup shaping, Mood Fabrics offers the freeeeee Thyme bodysuit, and Made for Mermaids has the Loren Teddy. Or, what is a bodysuit but a bodice combined with panties? Halfmoon Atelier offers a tank top and panties pattern, So Zo has free tank top and panties patterns, Itch to Stitch has the free Lago top, and of course there are tons of other free panty patterns out there (the Noelle from Madalynne is a favorite of mine!). And then for similar cups, there’s the Jordy bralette from Emerald Erin, the Darcey bralette from Evie la Luve (Style 2), or the Kiwiki bralette from Fityoo (this one is free!).
Don’t forget to make a test version to get the length and fit right, and draft a snap closure if you’re on Team Snaps for your bodysuits!
Construction for my bodysuit was fairly straightforward, but I did write out all of my steps first to try to anticipate any possible issues with the order of the steps.
The cups are lined with silky microfiber in merlot, almost a total color match to the plum stretch mesh, but providing a smooth lining and some more opaqueness in the cups. (The kit also includes powernet for people who might want additional cup support!)
A bit of 8mm soft terra cotta elastic was sewn onto the edges as a way to join the lace cups and lining together, and stabilize the scalloped lace edges. I added the sliiiightest bit of tension when attaching this elastic, so the cups *hug* the gals a bit more snugly.
Then the underband elastic! This made me pause a bit. I wanted some underband support, I wanted to finish the edge of the top of the bodysuit, and I wanted it all to look nice and neat. Starting at the side seam, I sewed on the underband elastic to the right side of the bodysuit (11mm scalloped underband elastic in ultraviolet), plush side up and scallops facing away from the edge.
When I flipped the elastic towards the inside of the bodysuit, I pinned the cups in place on the inside of the bodysuit. I didn’t trim my seam allowance except to clean up a few parts where it peaked below the elastic. The sheer mesh is thin enough that the seam allowance didn’t add bulk, but it’s sheer enough that trimming it away would’ve looked messier.
The addition of the underband elastic here gives me just enough support, plus I adore the hint of ultraviolet that pops up between the cups and bodysuit!
It was smooth sailing after that to finish up: finishing the legs with foldover elastic (catching the gusset lining while doing so), installing the jersey press snaps, and attaching the shoulder straps.
And was it the bodysuit of my dreams?
Readers: it was the bodysuit of her dreams!
I put together this kit so that you can also make your own bodysuit. The kit includes a full meter of stretch mesh; this is a lot! I’m about a Size 40 (EU) and just barely fit my bodice from 1/2-meter of mesh, so I wanted to be sure that there was plenty for any size and shape of garment you wanted to make. And if you’re not into bodysuits, this kit is easily adaptable to all sorts of other lingerie sets! Add a hook and eye closure to make a soft bralette, add a bit more elastic for a pair of panties (enough for a waistband), or check out channeling, underwires, and non-stretch lining fabrics like sheer cup lining or bra tulle to make an underwire bra.
Or, you know, go crazy and add some boning, a long closure, suspender clips, stocking trim, and go for a decadent bustier with garter belt and Courlis Stockings. Isn’t that the most fun part of making your own lingerie after all? Doing whatever the heck you want!