The Ariane Bodysuit by Seamwork Magazine caught my eye as soon as it was released. I was never into bodysuits in the 90s but have come to really enjoy wearing them in the last few years (specifically my Nettie bodysuits). While many bodysuits look like a regular old tucked-in fitted shirt, the Ariane with its thin straps and defined cups has very strong lingerie vibes. Bodysuits are great for layering and for creating a really smooth tucked-in top to show off a fitted skirt or pants.
With any bra, bra pattern or swimsuit pattern my number one concern is bust support. I’m a 36D in ready-to-wear so there’s a lot to support. I can’t tell you how much of my life I wished I could wear all those cute little tops and bras without spilling out everywhere and looking obscene. But, the grass is always greener. Anyway, this is my first version of the Ariane and it’s intended to be a wearable muslin.
The pattern provides a few of variations for stabilizing the cups and enhancing the support. You can leave as is, add clear elastic to the seam allowance or add underwires. For this version I decided to add clear elastic because that’s easy to do and I had some in my stash (see inside view above). The clear elastic definitely helps but it is still very light support. If you are smaller than I am, light support will probably be fine. For me, it makes a great lounge bra but is not enough support for everyday, around town wear. By the way, I’ve become a big fan of the lounge bra in the last couple years. One of my favorites is the Seamwork Florence, blogged here. I’ve also made the Seamwork Reno swim top (blogged here) which has boning on the outside edge of each breast. The boning provides a surprising amount of support.
If you plan on making this pattern, I highly recommend making a muslin (test garment) first. There are a lot of potential areas for fitting issues, especially if you’re tall like me (I’m 5’11”). That said, when sewing with stretch fabrics (as required for this pattern) the fit is much more forgiving. I cut out a size Medium and added .75” to body length (which is the amount of length I added to my Netties). If you’re unsure about the length, I recommend cutting longer than you think you need. It shouldn’t be too hard to trim it shorter after fitting. Be aware it’s also dependent on the length of the straps. If I make this again, I’ll cut it longer.
Speaking of straps, these straps are made using fold over elastic. I used the pattern recommendation to cut the length of the strap but ended up cutting a lot off to get the placement I wanted. For my next bra/bodysuit, I would consider using actual bra strapping which is less stretchy and would provide more support. Also, if you don't have a lot of FOE you can use your fabric to finish the leg openings, as is done in the Nettie bodysuit.
I’m only a beginning level bra maker and while this pattern was easy enough to sew, there are a few parts that don’t have as clean a finish as I would like; namely the center front and the edges of the crotch snap. The photos of the pattern garment look much cleaner than mine. I haven’t quite puzzled out how to copy that. But, looking at my Florence bralette, the center front is finished much more nicely so next time I should remind myself to refer to those instructions.
One more little detail, the crotch of this bodysuit has a separate piece that I was a little skeptical about but actually really like functionally. This bodysuit is a little bit easier to snap on/off because the snaps are a little closer to the front of the body. Yay!
I love the design lines of this pattern and wish that I was not too modest to model it for you. Perhaps a future, more fitted (read less boob drooping) version will be a wear outside/show the whole wide world version. I’d like to try out the Rowan Bodysuit by Megan Nielsen sometime and her method for finishing the leg openings and snap closure. Her finish is the cleanest one I’ve ever seen. I’d also like to try making a bodysuit with the Soma Swimsuit bralette as the top. I made it as a lounge bra once and it’s been one of my favorites.