Hello CSC! Today I am reviewing Simplicity 8344, the Ashley Nell Tipton designed bodysuit – a highlighted pattern for the Curvy Year of Sewing Swimsuits and Bodysuits theme. The bodysuit comes in several different views with off the shoulder and v-neck necklines and comes in sizes 18W (Bust size 40 inches/Hips 42 inches) to 34W (Bust size 56 inches/Hips 58 inches). I made 28W with my 50 inch bust and graded to a 30W at the hips for my 54 inch hips.
I haven’t worn a bodysuit since the early 90s. Back then, I had one or two that I wore all the time. I loved them. Then I started getting a stomach and was told to conceal it with baggy tops that weren’t tucked in. At 12, I was being given the worst fashion advice ever: you can’t show confidence if you are fat. UGH!
Fast forward to now and I am all about tucking in my tops and don’t care if they are curve-hugging. At 37, I show my confidence like crazy.
I wanted to try a bodysuit again. I’m all about revisiting and unlearning bad fashion advice that didn’t include wear whatever you want. I wear shorts now because of that.
I also really wanted to try the shoulderless or off the shoulder trend that I am late to the game for… So I knew I needed to make view E or F. I chose this lovely liverpool knit that LA Finch Fabrics sent me when I won the #letssewthistogether challenge for May, Summer Whites. I am not a huge fan of liverpool knit, but this is definitely one of the best quality liverpool knits I’ve come across. It feels a lot nicer than any of the others I have used and it sewed up better than the others. My main issue with liverpool knit is that the prints are printed on white backing which sometimes shows through when you are sewing or if the garment stretches too much in a particular area. This knit does do that but at a higher stretch than most other liverpools I have used. Liverpool knit is also mostly polyester and can be really hot to wear…hence being perfect for a shoulderless top so I can breathe!
LA Finch sent me just over a yard of the liverpool knit so it was pattern tetris to get this to fit with some smart changes to make use of the fabric. I just squeezed this into one yard by cutting only half of the sleeve in the liverpool knit and then lining it with some white poly knit I have as well as using the white knit for the leg bands.
The back is cut in two pieces and the the back centre seam provides some lovely shaping. I really like it. It might still need a bit of a swayback adjustment, but it’s pretty close and seems to have a bit of a swayback built into the pattern.
The pattern went together really well and took just a bit longer than a knit top due to the leg bands and the snaps. The instructions were pretty clear. I did make a few changes. I added straps to conceal my bra straps so I can wear a regular bra with it. That’s always been my issue with the off the shoulder trends. I am not making a whole new bra pattern just for it! I also didn’t use snap tape, as the pattern directs, but instead sewed on a strip of bias tape and then sewed snaps to that. The snaps I have are big heavy duty ones so they work well and don’t unsnap from stretching. The whole bodysuit can actually slip on from the bottom since the neckline is so wide. That helps bunches with my bad shoulders. I call this a win for my accessibility.
Fit is really good. The liverpool knit doesn’t have a lot of lengthwise stretch so the bodysuit feels a bit snug lengthwise but not too snug. It’s not really an issue with my short torso (I’m 5’3″) but something to keep in mind for others to have a knit with good 4-way stretch. I mean…the pattern says that, but when you get it in your head to use a specific fabric…well….. haha.
Size Range (1-5): 5 Fairly good size range!
Instructions (1-5): 4.5 The instructions are clear for the view I sewed up. I found them easy to follow.
Construction Process (1-5): 5 I was surprised how this was easier to make than I anticipated.
Final Fit (1-5): 4.5 The final fit is great especially with the shaping in the back seam. Could be improved on, but overall fantastic for no adjustments.
Overall Rating (1-5): 4.75
It’s a great pattern and definitely something I will make again in all the views. I’m not completely sold on the bodysuit yet. I need to get used to using the snaps during my trips to the bathroom. I love the look and on…well it feels great. I never have to readjust my top because it became untucked and it makes for a really smooth silhouette.