Halloween is coming up, and everyone you know is probably scrambling to find the best costume to celebrate! From superheroes and bad guys to custom-designed characters, bodysuits are a staple of the costuming trade, so it never hurts to at least have resources and knowledge about them on hand. Luckily for us, a new pattern from McCall’s Yaya Han line of patterns has been released, and I wanted to take the chance to make a bodysuit with Mood’s new pleather fabrics! Naturally, I was satisfied with the final product!
The pattern number is MP214. It includes four different designs, two with leggings and two without, and a close-up zipper either in the front or back. This was my first time using the pattern, and I feel like the design is pretty solid. It was simple to put together, and sewing it was fast and easy–no complicated stitching was needed. The skill level of this pattern is more intermediate, since you will most likely work with slippery fabrics like spandex and knit when using the pattern, but since the design is so straight-forward, it’s a great way to step outside your sewing comfort zone if you’ve been a beginner for some time!
I loved the contrasting pieces of fabric in the jumpsuit design, and the zipper was easier for me to have in the front, so I decided to go with design C!
With a Size 12 in mind, here’s a list of the materials I used:
– 1 yard, Black Heavy Compression Double Knit (1 5/8 yard if you go with the leggings for design D)
– 1 1/8 yards, Black Stretch Pleather
– Fiskars Designer Set 2-piece Cutting Set, for cutting fabric
I chose Black Heavy Compression Double Knit for my main fabric choice. I absolutely love this fabric. When it comes to bodysuits, I feel that a compression fabric is really important. Compression fabrics are usually thicker without sacrificing the stretch. This is crucial when trying to make a jumpsuit if comfort is a top priority for you, or if you’re planning to wear for a long time and/or want to be able to wear multiple times. I happen to need all three, so I did a good amount of research before finally settling on this fabric. It’s incredibly smooth to touch, and if you’re wearing just a jumpsuit for your costume (say, for example, Black Widow) the thicker fabric helps you feel more covered and protected from the weather. It’s a warm, comfortable fabric that looks nice and sleek when form-fitted, and I love how well it took stitches with my machine; since the fabric isn’t too thin, stitching it was tight and secure. Plus this fabric has Maxi-Dri, which basically means that it’s sweat resistant! It helps keep you dry, which is a great benefit to have for a bodysuit outfit!
The fabric I chose for the contrast was Black Stretch Pleather. I wanted a fabric that would contrast the muted sheen of my compression knit fabric while still retaining that necessary stretch. This pleather is thinner than the knit, but I went with it because it has that classic kind of sheen you see in spy movies. Not too gaudy and not too matte. It’s clearly different from the knit, too, so it outlines the shape of the contrasting pieces nicely.
I won’t go into the specifics for how to make the jumpsuit, because the pattern is pretty clear, but I do want to share some tips and tricks I discovered while working with my project!
For one thing, I have Wonder Clips written up on the list of materials. These should always, always be used in place of pins when working with pleather or other synthetics. Pleather is a great costume fabric, but once a hole from a pin or needle is put into it, it shows easily and it will not go away, even if you iron it (WHICH YOU SHOULD NOT DO! Because pleather is synthetic, it will melt if you iron it!!). Using Wonder Clips takes this worry off the list! They’re little clips that have very strong hold and grip, so it keeps your fabric together without putting holes through it (plus they don’t leave any marks! These are a necessary investment if you’re looking to sew a good quality project with pleather!
I know the pattern says to stretch the fabric slightly whenever you run it through your machine, but with the fabrics I used, I don’t think it was necessary. The fabrics have so much stretch that I actually preferred using a tighter stitch so that it would hold together better. Stretching your fabrics as they go through can sometimes make your machine skip a stitch or two, and that’s not good! So don’t worry about pulling the fabric. I tried this and the stitches ended up going loose around the shoulder where I had to sew my knit and pleather together, and I had to re-sew it. So if you don’t think you need to pull the fabric as you sew it (so long as the fabric stretches!!), don’t worry too much about doing it.
The pattern calls for a 22″ invisible zipper, but I found that I had to cut a few inches off since my 24″ one since it went too low. Mood does currently have some 14″ and 15″ zippers for sale (#312564, #312562), so you could use one of those instead, if you’d like! Make sure that you sew your stopping point BEFORE trimming your zipper, and use a scrap piece of compression knit and sew it around the raw edge (to keep it from scratching you) AFTER installing the zipper!
I altered from the McCall’s pattern was when I was stitching the collar on. The pattern calls for you to sew the collar piece with the wrong sides together and then to attach the collar to the neckline with the right sides together. I was worried about the extra seam allowance still showing and that it might look bad, so instead I sewed the collar piece right sides together, turned it inside out, and then sewed it to the neckline. After you attach the collar, you can either tuck the raw edges inside before installing your zipper (which will close it nicely) or top-stitch down the zipper after installing it to lock the raw edges in place.
The last thing to mention is when you’re installing your zipper, you need to make sure that the seams on the front bodice line up together. The first time I put my zipper on, I ended up mis-aligning my seams, and so the front looked silly. You obviously don’t want this! Avoid this by installing the first side and then zip up the zipper. Pin your second half of your zipper by starting where the seam will line up with the other side of the bodice, and work your way out to the top and bottom of the zipper from there. That should help you avoid crooked seams!
So, do you think you’re going to need a jumpsuit for your Halloween plans this year? What are you planning on making, either for yourself, a friend, or family member? We’d love to hear about it!