A Grasser bodysuit n°696 with square neckline
Back to sewing with this Grasser 696 bodysuit, the second piece of my outfit for the endometriosis fashion show I participated in March. Ma Petite Mercerie, partner of the event, had offered us gift vouchers to provide us with fabric & material.
I found this puffin jersey between funny and cute which could not but enter my wardrobe… In fact, it was out of stock just a few hours after I ordered it.
Then I shopped in my pattern library for the perfect pattern for this jersey.
Hop, second project checked off my list of 2021 couture projects!
|Patron du body 696||Grasser||1||2,26 €|
|Jersey de coton bio à macareux||Ma Petite Mercerie||1,1 m||Offert|
|Élastique voile pré-plié noir||Fil 2000||3 m||3 €|
|Élastique à picots noir||Mercerie Extra||0,5 m||0,60 €|
|Boutons pression à coudre||Stock||3||0 €|
|Laminette||Stock||0,30 m||0 €|
The Grasser 696 bodysuit pattern
The Grasser 696 bodysuit has a square neckline and long sleeves with a seam in the middle back.
This is not my first attempt at a Grasser pattern as I had already sewn a sweater with balloon sleeves before balloon sleeves arrived in French patterns.
For several years now, I have been following several Russian pattern brands: Grasser, Vikisews, LaForme and Patterneasy. Their designs, often at the forefront of the fashion world, while being wearable (most of the time), are a real eye-candy for me.
Of course, the rock-bottom prices (reflecting the level of the rouble against the euro) also inevitably attract the seamstress like filings to a magnet.
Some Russian brands offer English versions of some of the designs, but otherwise you have to make do with an online translator to get by.
Moreover, the patterns are generally sold size by size and stature by stature. Very practical for stature adjustments but very annoying when you are on several sizes… like me!
Warning: Russian sizes are different from European sizes! Don’t take your usual size otherwise you’ll end up with a doll size garment.
I originally bought the Grasser 696 bodysuit pattern in 2019 in size 44 (Russian size) for the incredible sum of 1,16 €. You can see how quick I was to make a pattern the minute I spotted it and bought it…
And then, when it was time to get down to business, I had a bit of a doubt. After a closer look at the measurement chart, the size 44 seemed way too small for my bouncy bumpy and I bought the pattern in 48 for 1,40 €.
On the 2 sheets I bought, the pieces are literally one thousandth of a millimeter away from overlapping for minimal paper consumption.
It also seems to me that these patterns are really the work of very skilled professionals with perfect seam allowances.
In spite of the rather burlesque machine translations, I can say that the explanations are also very detailed and accompanied by photos. I would have to test an English version to better make my opinion.
Sewing the Grasser 696 bodysuit
Grading between several sizes
To begin with, I assembled and cut out the two sizes and then layered them. Then I traced from a size 44 for the top to 48 at the hips.
The shape of the back piece with a center back seam in the middle allows it to follow the curves of the body.
I still have a nice scrap of my pretty jersey left, thanks to my usual Tetris game.
Modifications to the Grasser 696 bodysuit
For once, I didn’t change the pattern. Well, almost. I modified a sewing technique.
The pattern proposes to finish the back & front neckline, shoulder yokes and thigh openings with clear elastic or thin latex elastic folded into the hem.
I preferred to sew a very light, almost veil-like, black foldover elastic. I wanted to try this new product and I find that the black border frames and enhances the fabric.
In the process, I added a picot elastic on the front neckline. Why the picots instead of the elastic bias? I don’t know. There are choices you make in the heat of the moment that you can’t always explain later.
Closing the Grasser 696 body
An extremely sensitive point on many levels, the closure at the gusset of the bodysuits always poses some questions about discomfort.
On my Ferri bodysuit, which I wear quite often, I totally unpicked it all it and cobbled together something that still holds up very well to this day.
I had tried a Lizaig bodysuit from Marie (not published) which was a failure due to the fabric and the closure being too stiff.
On this one… I think the jury is still out on whether I’m going to keep the closure as is or not. Despite the very thin bias, I still find the angles too aggressive. It’s fine with tights. I’ll have to see if I can wear it with trousers.
Note that the bodysuit also have a version with a bra hook and eye.
This Grasser 696 bodysuit is a very nice project, simple to sew and easy to wear, and it really does make an impact. I predict it will have a rich life.
I’m still not sure about bodysuits, having experienced them painfully in the 90s. But let’s face it, my Ferri bodysuit cycles quickly between its drawer and the washing machine.
It’s warm and nothing ever tries to escape from the skirt or trousers… it’s worth a few extra seconds in the toilet to get dressed.