Shapewear – CJ patterns Body shaper

When I originally saw this pattern (CJ patterns Body shaper) I didn’t realise how clever the shaping works to hold me in. It does hold me in and the fabric didn’t roll off shape.

Test version #1

The waistline is designed to sit 2 inches above the natural waistline and the legs are 6 inches or so above the knee. On me, the waistline sits 4 inches above my waistline. And in reality, that’s what I really needed to hold me in. 

Photo from CJ patterns

No elastic is sewn into this pattern.


The seam allowances are sandwiched in-between the two layers, so a smooth fit is achieved on both sides. I’ll be using this idea for future cycling nixs.

Both versions

This pattern comes in sizes 8 – 24. I made the 10 size.

When I made this is in the test version, I should have paid more attention to the construction notes and used two contrasting fabrics to make sure the seams were internal.


Christine suggests:
Power mesh, cotton/ LYCRA jersey, rayon, bamboo and modal/ LYCRA jersey. Fabrics need at least 60% stretch, both lengthwise and crosswise grain. The more % of stretch the better, and the snappier the recovery of the fabric the more shaping it will accomplish.


I wore the lace mesh version for a day and it sat comfortably. The only issue I had was the swooshing sound the fabric made when I walked. The sound was not as bad as a Seinfeld episode.

There was no need for a sway back adjustment. I’ll tweak the leg length on these versions. So I’m really happy with the outcome. The first pair took a couple of hours to cut and sew. The second pair took an hour to cut and sew.

Cowl neckline: this hugs you when you’ve got a cold

Every Winter I get at least one or two head colds. Here’s the top that helped me manage to ward off the cold. I made these tops in early August.

This is simple style for any knit print.

Christine Jonson’s cowl neck tunic top is brilliant for Winter and I’ve made it 4 times. The cowl neckline shields my neck from the cold and that aweful cough that came with the cold this year. Christine Jonson’s (CJ)* cowl tunic top is a pdf pattern. Her pdf instructions are handy to refer to.

She provides a close fitting cowl neckline and a looser cowl style neckline in the same pattern. 

The looser cowl neck style.

The looser neckline comes with an easy to follow pattern drafting instructions so you’re also picking up some easy neckline drafting experience. These instructions are now extensive to follow because changing this neckline is so simple to do with CJ’s help.

First cowl top worn with my Jalie jeans #2.

Firstly the close neckline version in this light-weight knit. 
My initial pattern adjustments were:
– a sway back adjustment – hence the centre back seam
– roll shoulder adjustment
– shortened the sleeve by 2″.

These are all my standard pattern adjustments. Sway back and roll shoulder adjustments are part of how I prep most patterns. Ok. All patterns.

After I made up this test version, I realised the shoulder seams were longer than I needed so I shortened these by 2cm. 

Worn with a work skirt that’s a real Winter workhorse. 

With these adjustments done, I made this top a couple more times and in a special merino knit.

This purple version uses a merino knit. Worn with my McCalls jacket and Vogue jeans.

Wider (wilder) version cowl
This shape is more V-neckline and I like it the best. It was easy to follow CJ’s instructions.
All of these fabrics were from my fabric stash.

This deeper cowl is worn with my Tessutis Anita pone pants.
CJ is just getting into providing pdf patterns so this is a good time to try their pdf patterns and give CJ your feedback.

*CJ provided me with this pattern to review.