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Be Bold Bodysuit

Be Bold Bodysuit

Created with

Northern monkey makes 4 way stretch cotton jersey fabric

Be Bold Bodysuit by Patterns 4 Pirates (P4P)

Hi! I’m Hannah … and I’m a sewing addict. I feel this is an appropriate way to introduce myself whilst also trusting that this is my safe space where I will be amongst many friends and lovers of all things; fabric, design, haberdashery and obsessive makers of new patterns.
I’m so excited to write this! I am a self-taught hobby sewist, been sewing for nearly 5 years and owner of a perimenopausal barrel shaped body.
My drive to learn to sew was three fold. 1.) I was super stressed in my job at the time and had some time off coming up. I wanted to be able to switch off from work and have a bit of head space away from my family of 3 kids, a completely bonkers dog and similarly large and bouncy husband. 2.) I was fed up of never finding anything in the shops that I wanted to wear or that fitted by shape (large boobs, ever expanding waistband, think hobbit and you’ve got it) 3.) I had inherited my Grannie’s manual Singer sewing machine from the ?1950’s? and never used it and felt guilty. My Granny was a crafter, she gathered wool from the fences in her village, spun it on her wooden spinning wheel, died it with homemade vegetable dies and wove it on her loom. She knitted, she sewed, she mended. I was so proud of the fact I had her sewing machine and a little bit of her crafting genes live on in me, I wanted to keep that alive and learn to use her machine.

Obviously when I discovered the delights of shopping for fabric, a new and quite separate hobby emerged! Particularly with stretch fabric once I graduated onto an electric machine and discovered zigzag stitch and then an overlocker.
Now I am addicted to trying new patterns as well as shopping for fabrics and when I saw the Be Bold Bodysuit I was SO excited to recreate the 90’s bodies I had as a teenager! Unfortunately I am now a rather different shape than I was then and so for me, the foray back into the 90’s has required no small amount of ‘Be Bold’ fervour to drive me into that very close fitting garment BUT - I love it!! In a typically middle aged way I celebrate the fact that on chilly days I can layer with a body and there is no cold bit of midriff for vests to ride up over ! (am I the only one that happens to??) and this pattern which I have made twice now, is just really comfy. You can’t beat that now can you as the ultimate garment test?

So, I did a toile in a cheap fabric and then purchased this gorgeous 4 way stretch neon animal print fabric from Northern Monkey Makes, my favourite fabric shop and go to for good quality 4 way stretch fabrics with gorgeous prints.

As a colleague informed me I do look like a Psychedelic Leopard but y’know I’m taking that as a compliment. I’m not sure it was meant as one, but I was wearing my Be Bold Body so I was in that kinda mood 😉

On to the make! I had done it once before and it worked very well. I just needed to work on my elastic application over the bottom area to gather it slightly.

I had also sewn the lined option with shelf bra previously but it wasn’t a great fabric choice and I needed it to be lined. This is the good stuff so I went for the unlined, mid neckline (there is a lower neckline option) long sleeved with fastening at the crotch. I purchased a matching picot elastic because I wanted that pretty detail at the square neckline.

I use my electric scissors to cut, with the rotary blade for some tiny edges. This is because I gave myself sewist elbow using my rotary cutter excessively and the electric scissors save my joints.

There are really few pieces for this pattern so very straight forward BUT do beware choosing the correct length at the bottom end as there is an option for no snaps and those pieces are a lot longer as I discovered when I accidentally cut this option! (Don’t do that its really annoying later I had to trim it retrospectively).
Personally I cut in a different room to where I sew so I have a ‘cutting bag’ with weights, tape measure, carbon paper, fabric markers and snippers in it handy.

I use a height adjustable cheap foldable table which saves my back no end and I love it.
I used my overlocker to sew this together but you can easily use a stretch stitch on a sewing machine. I used a turquoise thread in my left needle in case of any stretch of the seam on the right side, white to match the inside of the fabric on the right hand needle, Upper looper and lower looper.

I generally weave in my ends using a tapestry needle at joins before cutting the tails off.

For this pattern you sew the sleeves up and then insert them right sides facing, I don’t come across this often in a pattern but it worked like a dream.

The garment comes together very quickly for fitting purposes and then its just on to the application of the elastic for neck line and legs. So on my toile the leg hole did get stretched out a bit over the buttock so I knew I needed to work on my application more this time. I was really pleased with how the neckline elastic went on.

Just really take your time with it is my tip and mostly don’t stretch the elastic at all as you apply, just a slight pressure keeping it in place is fine. Until you get to the butt bit and then you can stretch the elastic a little to bring that curved area in. There’s a tutorial to watch with the pattern – very helpful! You apply it right side elastic to right side of fabric and then turn it over and top stitch. I just used a regular zigzag at size 2.5 width and length for this.

For the snap application I chose to use snap tape because I had some but you can easily sew on poppers or use Kam snaps.

The great thing about this part is – NOONE is ever gonna be looking at that crotch piece so it really doesn’t matter how you get those snaps on – y’know what I mean?? As you can see by my less than desirable stitching down there. When using the snap tape my tip is to use a zipper foot to skirt around those little plastic edges – this works well. I just used a straight stitch here because the gusset piece has been interfaced and is non stretch by this point anyway.

Don’t worry as you’re sewing that gusset looking at it thinking ‘blimey that’s a bit on the chunky side for the unmentionables’ (as I did I’ll be honest) because the snap closure doesn’t actually sit between your legs but much further up and I can promise you, you absolutely don’t notice it when you’re wearing it. It is completely comfortable, unlike my recollection of the 90’s where you were wishing you had never made that bold body decision by lunchtime and wondering what to do with the ‘tails’ if you un-poppered it for some light relief. The body mark II (2024 rather than 1994) has my approval! And the fabric – well it speaks for itself.

I really rate the pattern, its easy to follow and it comes together quickly. There are links to tutorials throughout it to help and its got a fab range of options.

In total I used around 1.5m of fabric for the long sleeve version but I think you could get away with less if doing the tank version.

Signed - The Psychedelic Leopard.

written by Hannah Burke 

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