December 15, 2023

February is the Perfect Time to Sew the Ultimate Base Layer, a Cozy Bodysuit

Need a little breather after tackling some technical projects in January? Jeans and Quilting are no joke and can take a lot of time to make. That's why in February, where the days are short and the month is even shorter, we're keeping it easy and cozy with Knit Bodysuits

Now, I know you may be having early 90s flashbacks with these styles (if you're old enough). I definitely did when I first saw some patterns pop up in the sewing world. But lucky for us, this trend isn't a rehash of bad fashion, but rather a modern take on an old style. The rise of shapewear like Skims and Spanx has given new life to the garment while better knits and more breathable fabrics have made the look much nicer to wear. 

And it's also an amazing base layer for cold weather! These knits can be worn under sweaters and jackets without much bulk, and they can be paired with those wonderful jeans kits you're getting from us in January. The slim fit means you don't start looking like Joey Tribiani when you layer up, and the crotch snaps keep your shirt from coming untucked as you move. Plus, if bodysuits truly aren't for you, each pattern we've chosen has a T-shirt option/hack so you take advantage of the amazing fabrics without committing to the style. Sounds like to a win-win to us!

In my head, I've been describing the color scheme for this month as "beach in winter". Sandy browns and pale mauves contrast with serene blues and deep purples, like standing on cold, coastal dunes at sunrise, looking forward to warmer weather. It's a whole mood that I hope is reflected in the cozy bamboo, cotton, and merino knits we've chosen.

So, without further ado, let's dig in!

Sew Essential Box: Rowan Bodysuit from Megan Nielsen

The Rowan Bodysuit has been out for quite a while, but I never really paid it much mind. It was the only bodysuit pattern around, so I chalked it up to an Australian thing. Turns out, they're ahead of their time Down Under (both figuratively and literally) and this pattern was the first wave of many more to come. 

Like most Megan Nielsen patterns, it is a modern take on a classic look, with a whole bunch of variations. The top/bodysuit can be made with short, elbow, or long sleeves, with a v-neck, a crew neck, and a mock turtle. So many combinations! I especially like the brief cut of the hips, enough coverage for comfort and assurance that it won't show on lower cut pants. All in all, it's an amazing bodysuit and one you'll definitely want in your wardrobe!

For fabrics, we kept it easy and soft: cottons, modals, and bamboos, with our beachy theme running through. So let's have a look!

  • Cashew Cotton Spandex Jersey - Brown is having a moment, especially these muted, neutral tones which can be paired with a whole host of colors. A perfect base layer for your outfit, it's not as bright as a white so it won't show under sweaters, and it warms up any look with its earthy hue. Plus, the cotton knit is cozy, stretchy, and lusciously soft. This is about as versatile as a bodysuit gets!
  • Denim Blue Modal Spandex Jersey - Nothing whispers calm more than a cool blue, and this knit is a perfect example. In our favorite medium weight cotton-modal jersey, the fabric has stretch and drape, like your favorite t-shirt fabric, and will transform into your favorite lounge-worthy knit bodysuit. Serene, airy, and classic, this fabric has it all!
  • Bamboo Multi Stripe French Terry - It's hard to see from afar, but this lovely bamboo stripe is actually three tones next to each other. A mauve purple, a rich plum, and a deep black create a lovely effect with a groovy, seventies vibe. Combined with a french terry back and a weighty, yet thin hand, this fabric becomes a wonderful t-shirt knit you'll love to wear. Pair it with high waisted jeans or a fitted blazer and your outfit is complete! 

Sew Select Box: Elysian Bodysuit from Friday Pattern Company

Friday Pattern Company has been prolific in the past few years, so you may have missed this addition last summer. But don't worry, we had it on our radar for you. And for good reason. Just look at it! The fit of this bodysuit is divine, slim through the body and sleeves, and the scoop neck and curves of the chest seams create softness and style.

Two cuff options help you customize the look while hacks on the Friday website for crotch snaps and a tee version give you a ton of options. Plus, the two-piece design of the bodice make an amazing canvas for color-blocking, as you'll see in our fabric options. This is the knit layer you'll want to throw on every day this winter, and, hey, we get it. Once you find a piece of loungewear you love, you never want to take it off!

So here are the fabrics!

  • Navy/Ecru Bamboo Mariner Stripe French Terry - French to the end, the mariner stripe has alternating wide and thin stripes that create a truly distinct look. This knit features a classic navy and white blend but uses it on a luxurious bamboo french terry. Stretchy, incredibly soft, and just the right weight, this fabric has it all! We love it!
  • Lilac Ferngully Cotton Spandex Jersey - This bodysuit gives us the opportunity to colorblock, and we simply fell in love with the serene purple hues of these fabrics. The solid is a dreamy, cool lilac that will get you in the mood for spring, while the print features lilac ferns on a creamy background. Create your own unique look while staying oh so cozy in the medium weight, soft fabrics!
  • Latte Cotton Tencel Rib Knit - We love a good rib knit, and this one is a doozy! A classic tan brown, like your morning cup of coffee (if you're a cream and sugar person like me) is combined with an incredibly stretchy and soft 1x1 rib structure. Tencel adds a bit of sheen and durability, while cotton keeps it wonderfully soft. The color is neutral but not boring and will dress up your look for the whole season!

Sew Indulgent Box: I AM Chantal from I AM Patterns

We haven't used I AM Patterns in a while, largely because their size range isn't what we would like it, but it was too hard to resist this bodysuit this month. Unlike the first two options, this pattern is both a bodysuit and a bodyshirt. What's the difference? A bodysuit is slim fit, similar to a bathing suit, while a bodyshirt is relaxed through the bodice and attached to a form-fitting panty.

We love the two options of this pattern where you can have the illusion of a looser fit tee with the comfort of a bodysuit. No more bulky tucked in knits that come untucked the moment you bend down. We're even sending you an extra yard of black bamboo fabric to create the panty part of the pattern, like in the photo above. We're pretty sure once you make this one, you'll be tempted to turn a bunch of your favorite tees into bodyshirts as well!

Fabric-wise, our color scheme remains strong with blues, tans, and deep jewel tones. We've upped the ante here, though, with straight bamboos and a luscious merino you'll have to feel to believe. Check them out!

  • Camel/Light Gray Bamboo Stripe Jersey - Light brown and heather ecru cream aren't the first hues you'd expect for a stripe knit, but they coordinate so well with each other! The soft tones create a subtle contrast that will turn your top or tee into an instant wardrobe maker. The silky hand of the bamboo and semi-fluid drape make it perfect for this bodysuit, and the colors are so on trend! Trust us, any version you choose will look amazing!
  • Dark Mauve Merino Jersey - Merino wool is soft and not at all scratchy, plus, it's machine washable! When transformed into this bodysuit, it will feel like a sweater but have the look of a jersey t-shirt knit. Plus, wool is a wonderful baselayer for cold weather! The dark and dreamy purple color is the perfect jewel tone for all seasons. A simply gorgeous fabric!
  • Agave Microstripe Bamboo Cotton Jersey - Silky and soft, this bamboo jersey is downright dreamy. A subtle micro stripe, just a row thick on this very fine jersey weave, gives the fabric a heathered look and adds to the soft, natural look of the fabric. The cool hand and semi-fluid drape make it a great option for the relaxed version of this body suit, while a healthy dose of spandex means it will recover amazingly for the slim fit. A true stunner of a fabric!

If you're not looking to sew a base layer, might we suggest an outer one? In our Tried and True Boxes, we're featuring cardigans to help you stay cozy this February. Like the bodysuits, they are quick and satisfying sews that will come in super handy during the cold weather. We're actually combining our two past Cardigan Boxes to form a power Tried and True full of our favorites. Which one will you choose??

Until next time (and next year!). . .

Happy sewing!



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