Donut Nettie Dress

A donut dress seemed like the only appropriate follow up to a cupcake dress…

I know I am my father’s daughter by my ever so frequent fixations. Currently I am very fixated on neoprene versions of the Closet Case Files Nettie dress. I’ve got one to show you right now and three more coming hot off the press. Did I need four neoprene bodycon dresses? Definitely not. Did that stop me from making them? Nope. I blame Heather Lou for having a rad dress pattern and Mood for having so many great neoprene prints.


This donut neoprene is the first cut I bought. I got two yards, but only ended using a little over a yard for my dress (…which means I will be making a few donut sports bras soon). It’s a little bit pricey per yard, but totally worth it. Mood has really upped their game with high quality polyester blend fabrics. Their neoprenes feel great! Also, I’m just really down with the fact that neoprene is so in right now. Who doesn’t want to feel like they are about to go SCUBA diving and clubbing at the same time?


While I am all about neoprene at the moment, let me be very clear on my thoughts around sewing with it – it is a total bitch. Seriously. I laugh-cried at how completely god awful of an experience this was with my sewing machine. I tried 4 different needles and fiddled with the tension forever and my machine still skipped stitches constantly. It was almost comical, except it wasn’t at all because I wanted a donut dress and that was proving to be far too challenging for awhile. I finally managed to get the stitching somewhat under control, but the inside of this dress is pretty hideous. Lolz.


Let’s talk about this pattern! I love all of the Closet Case Files patterns, but the Nettie is at the top of the heap for me. It’s an American Apparel-ish style, but ten times better and I can actually make it to flatter me rather than make me look like a sausage (I rarely feel attractive in American Apparel). I love the variations – you can use this pattern to make a dress, bodysuit, or top AND you can multiply your options with different necklines. I thought the super scooped out back was hottest, so I went with that version first. A high front neck seemed to balance things out a bit and also helped keep the shoulders  in place.


The shot above is prior to adding the neckline binding and that point the scoop was very, very dramatic. The binding snugged things up a bit didn’t take away from the look.


While I knew that I loved the low scooped back, I spent a long time deciding if it was even worth trying out. I love backless options, but going bra-less doesn’t work so well for me. I finally decided to just go for it and am glad that I did. The pattern includes instructions for adding a built-in bra and that worked just well enough for me to pull off this cut. I made the built-in bra out of the donut fabric, as it is quite thick and I wanted as much coverage as possible. It’s not very supportive and my chest has looked better, but I feel satisfied.


I also was initially a bit worried about using neoprene with this pattern because it doesn’t really have the amount of stretch that the pattern suggests. I could not find anyone else in the internet world who had made the pattern in neoprene, but Heather Lou mentions that 2 way stretches could work for the dress, so that gave me more confidence. I definitely would not recommend using this stuff for the bodysuit option, but it ended up having just enough stretch for the dress. I prefer that the fabric is thick and a bit more stable so that it does not showcase as many bumps and lumps. 🙂


All in all, a very easy pattern with a very sassy result. No notions, no darts, no gathering, no pleats, no nonsense. The original length of the dress did not feel flattering on me – it made my hips look extra wide. I shortened it significantly and honestly, hacked off too much. It does have a bit of a tendency to ride up, as most bodycon dresses do, so I have be careful to not expose myself to the world. Don’t worry, I learned my lesson and was more conservative on my next versions.


That’s all Puffy and I’ve got for you for today!


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