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Topic: Catsuit or Bodysuit Pattern for Superhero?  (Read 5009 times)
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tigralon
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« on: November 06, 2006 04:09:32 PM »

I'm about to embark into the exciting world of comic-book character costumes, and we all know that the mainstay of the superhero costume is...

...a tight-fitting catsuit or bodysuit!

Does anyone have a recommendation for a stretch bodysuit pattern?  Has anyone else sewn one of these garments?  Made a superhero costume, perhaps?  I searched Craftster but nothing came up.  I've looked through the websites of Vogue, Simplicity, McCalls, and Butterick and haven't found anything.  Kwik-Sew has a few, but online reviews have been pretty negative, stating that they are far too baggy and have gaping armholes.

I'm quickly running out of ideas, and would really prefer to use a commercial pattern, rather than try to draft a new one from scratch.  Any suggestions?
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2006 09:03:15 AM »

I have not tried this website...but it was recommended to me.  The place is called "Somewhat Stretchy" and they have a pattern and instructions on making a lycra catsuit.  the URL is http://www.stretchy.org/ They also have a few other patterns, such as fleece things for cold weather including a no-sew scarf and also a few tips on working with stretchy fabrics.  I hope that helps.

Here's the link to the catsuit pattern and instructions http://www.stretchy.org/catsuits/

Meow!
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tigralon
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2006 10:01:02 AM »

That's definitely the site I would use if I have to draft my own.  But considering how much work it appears to be (based on their excellent & detailed instructions), I am really hoping to just adapt a store-bought pattern.
Perhaps, however, it is meant to be that I draft my own.  After all, I only have to do it once & then I have a perfect fit to use over and over again!

*cannot imagine how I will find time to draft a pattern, but will fit it in somehow*   Wink
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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2006 08:01:07 AM »

The problem with stretchy suits is that unless it's drafted to the body, it will be baggy and/or tight in all the wrong places. Drafting a pattern ameliorates the bags, sags and possible wedgies.  It's not that hard, and any purchased pattern might need custom alterations anyway.  Stretchy fabric is somewhat forgiving if the draft isn't perfect. If you really want to use a pattern, Jalie patterns specializes in figure skating wear, and might have something suitable.  I hesitate to recommend their patterns simply because they are quite expensive to buy.  They also have hints on sewing stretchy fabric on their site.  I made skating pants for my son from one of their patterns.

 http://www.jalie.com/ and the page with the skating costumes is here: http://www.jalie.com/catalog/sports/figureskating.html

Are you going to a convention or something? Thos things can be so much fun.  Some people spend a fortune on their costumes.  Long ago when I was young I went to one as "Wonder Girl" from the Teen Titans. She was my favourite and in one issue of Teen Titans back in 1972 (yes, I'm old!) she was sewing her new costume, and she said, "sigh...it's too bad simplicity or McCalls didn't make patterns for superhero chicks, this is harder than I thought..." and she's hand sewing the hem to her super stretch pants.  In fact it appeared she made the whole thing by hand.  That would have been embarrassing, fighting some super evil guy and having the hand sewn seams split because there isn't enough stretch in hand sewn seams.  I used red polyester crimpelene and that fabric was a nightmare!  Happily it's no longer manufactured. The stars were standard iron on stars that were readily available back then --for whatever reason people wanted stars ironed onto everything. 

Best of luck on the super suit!
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tigralon
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« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2006 09:41:57 AM »

Thanks KittenKaboodle!  I think I'll go ahead and draft my own pattern.  Seems like the sort of thing that really needs to fit perfectly.  Wink  Plus it'll be good practice.

Your Wonder Girl costume sounds awesome, and I LOVE the idea of her actually sewing her own costume in one of the old issues!  So classic.  I bet everyone at the convention loved your outfit.
I am indeed hoping to wear it to a convention...San Diego ComiCon, to be precise, if I'm in the area next summer.  Of course, Spiderman III is also coming out this summer across the entire country, so no matter where I am I can wear it to the movie as well!  Yes, I am an uber-geek.  Cheesy

It sounds like you've done a bunch of sewing with stretchy fabrics.  Any tips you've learned over the years?  I don't have a serger so I'll just be zig-zagging on my regular machine.  I've done veeery little sewing with stretch fabrics, and even less with four-way stretch, so any wisdom you have, no matter how basic it seems to you, would be much appreciated! Thanks for all your help!
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2006 02:02:52 PM »

tigralon,

Did you end up making your suit?

I've been thinking about doing the same...not sure if it'd be worth the effort.

If you've completed yours, please post your results/success.

Thanks!
~sullengal
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tigralon
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2007 07:38:46 AM »

tigralon,

Did you end up making your suit?

I've been thinking about doing the same...not sure if it'd be worth the effort.

If you've completed yours, please post your results/success.

Thanks!
~sullengal

Hee, based on your icon I'm going to take a wild guess that you might be thinking of making a Harley costume?   Grin  I love Harley and that costume is on my short-list too.  I have some thoughts on Harley's catsuit in particular, if that is what you're thinking of making.

I haven't started yet but have decided to draft my own pattern based on the www.stretchy.org directions.  Seeing as how it needs to fit perfectly, I'd probably spend just as much time trying to alter a store-bought pattern.

I'm definitely going to make it...am just proceeding in a leisurely manner (typically I attack projects head-on, so this is a pleasant change).  I think I'll also quite a few hours of help from a friend willing to aid in measuring, drafting, fitting, etc...  But watch this thread because once I do start on the whole cutting/fitting process, I'll post updates.  Smiley
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"What is a television apparatus to man, who has only to shut his eyes to see the most inaccessible regions of the seen and the never seen, who has only to imagine in order to pierce through walls and cause all the planetary Baghdads of his dreams to rise from the dust."  - Salvador Dali
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2007 07:43:44 AM »

Yeah, you guessed correctly.

I was curious about a Harley suit. I've seen them at costume shops, but as we all know, unless the suit was made FOR you, it can really just look disasterous.

I've never worked with any type of spandexy-material, but I'm very curious to give it a shot.

~Sullengal
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tigralon
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2007 12:31:54 PM »

Yeah...catsuits that are not custom-fit are pretty much a disaster.  Well, if/when I ever get around to working on a Harley costume, I'll be sure to post in this thread so that you get word of it!  Wink
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"What is a television apparatus to man, who has only to shut his eyes to see the most inaccessible regions of the seen and the never seen, who has only to imagine in order to pierce through walls and cause all the planetary Baghdads of his dreams to rise from the dust."  - Salvador Dali
sullengal
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2007 08:20:42 AM »

Oooooh!! Please do!!!

Thanks!

~sullengal
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