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Now you guys, I’m going to apologize for the next month or so... I’ve got a con coming up (Anime Weekend Atlanta! Whoo!) and a biiiig group cosplay to make. It may or may not be exciting to some of you, but a few gemstones will be involved, and then a nice goofy con video. Either way, I’m so excited to share that progress with you, and hope you stick around for that! See you on the other side!
Here you can see how it doesn’t hug my waist as well as I’d like. I blame my butt.
Unitard legs look hilarious pinned.
After you paint your unitard in whatever fashion you choose, start pinning it together. Because I’m going to make this a shoulder-entry unitard, I sew the back up first, then the insides of the legs. If you want this to be zipper entry through the back, I suppose you’d baste the very bottom of the back together, sew up the legs, then figure out the zipper from there. Do you see why this isn’t a tutorial now?
Now I place the piece for the bottom, chopping up the pattern as I need it for my measurements. I then line it with pins where I’ll be cutting it. See? Look at my waist. That looks ridiculous.
I pin the two upper pieces to make the top of the unitard. Notice it’s on the fold of the fabric so it’s just one giant piece. My measurements are 36-30-43, so the pattern has been adjusted to fit my chest size. Keep in mind when you’re working with four-way stretch lycra to only use 90% of your measurement.
I’m going to be sewing this unitard with a regular ol’ sewing machine. A super cheap one at that. This ran me about 80 dollars at Wal-Mart and has lasted me for five years without any issues. It doesn’t do anything fancy but it gets the job done. Use a zigzag stitch if you’re going to sew on a regular machine. A serger is way better, but mine is still at my mom’s house, and it needs to be threaded, blah blah blah...
4. This is not a tutorial! Feel free to contact me to ask questions on any of my social media (cosplayingaround on Instagram, and Breach of Reality on FB and Cosplay Amino), but this is not a tutorial! This is a process I haven’t completely figured out yet, so I don’t feel comfortable saying ‘yes, this is what you do’. I bungle around sometimes just like any cosplayer. This is a bit of a guide and gives you an idea of what to do.
3. Also, no matter how tight you pull in the waist, they never hug a woman’s waist as well as a side seam unitard. However, I’m saying this as someone with a crazy hourglass figure and hips that never lie, so your milage may vary. They’re just easier to make for men. Consider a discreet dart in the waist to make it hug better. I don’t here because in Cats costumes there is a cord around your waist and that fixes the problem.
2. I know I said they were great for body painting substitutes, and I’ll stick to that. It was not a lie. However, you have to be comfortable painting it flat (if you’ve ever made a custom skin for your Sims that shouldn’t be hard, actually).
1. They aren’t exactly easy to make. They are far from being the most difficult thing I’ve made, but they require a decent amount of math.
Now I don’t have any fully finished photos, just these without the shoulder snaps. I’ve actually not put those in yet because I’ve not decided on snaps or hook and eyes... we’ll find out. Either way, this has been fun! I hope this was insightful for someone. I love sharing my work with others!
I didn’t think to get photos of me putting the sleeves in because there are a lot of different ways to do it that boil down to personal preference, and there are already articles out there that say it well. I may explain it later on, but it’s already hard to see what I’m doing with this paint job obscuring the view!
Now, the shoulders are a little tricky since I’m doing shoulder entry, but sleeves would be a pain to put in without putting some kind of an anchor there. I know. I’ve been dumb enough to try. I just sew the very ends together, just enough to give me some area to put the sleeves in.
Keep scrap fabric, you never know what you’ll need it for. I used it to practice painting on before I attacked the unitard.
Now I do the same with the sleeves, cutting on the fold and using the length of my arm from my sleeve eye to a little past my wrist. Very simple.
I get it all cut out and this is what it looks like. Yay! If you’ve never made a piece of clothing from scratch, nothing will make you feel weirder than staring at what you would look like if someone laid your skin out flat.
Next the crotch piece. I measure from the base of my throat to my crotch for this measurement. Pretty straightforward, really.
For the pattern, these are the pieces I have. These are based off a pattern someone had but together for single seam unitards years and years ago who went by Rum Tum Tugger. I still keep them on hand and modify them as needed, I can’t thank him enough for this info! Thanks RTT!
*I’m going to apologize now for the darkness of some photos. I’m still finding a good workspace in our new home, and the room I was cutting in has poor lighting. I also wouldn’t recommend cutting on carpet, I just don’t have a cutting table yet.
First of all, we start with four way stretch fabric. You remember when I talked about that, right? Two way stretch is just a pain. This is in US terms, for my folks across the pond. This is some I bought at Joann’s on sale, and half of it at remnant price. Can’t beat their deals.
Hips forever. And awkward self timer.
Alright everyone, if you witnessed my unitard painting last week, here’s the finish. Now, I touched a bit on the uses of the single seam unitard, but I’d like to point out a few things.