For Raven's leotard (unitard?) I really, really wanted to steer clear of the spandex dance unitard look. I choose to make it from pleather, both to match everyone else and to be more flattering than clingy spandex. I was lucky enough to find a soft, stretchy pleather in a beautiful slate blue.
The first thing I did was find a free bathing suit pattern. I was worried about drafting the butt/crotch area from scratch, so I picked a french cut swimsuit to base my pattern pieces on.
|Taping my printed pattern together.|
I cut all the pieces out from a scrap section of blue non-stretchy cotton. That way I could adjust the pattern as needed without ruining my good fabric. (Plus, I could use it for the lining!)
|Adjusting the original pattern|
As you can see, I extended my pattern pieces so that the leotard would have a high neckline. Once I had the fit the way I wanted it, I used my lining fabric as a pattern and cut out all my pleather pieces.
|I cut the sides out from black pleather...|
|...and the front from my slate blue.|
I wanted to add a little more texture to certain panels of the leotard, so I bought some black tulle with and laid it over some of the blue fabric.
|Looks more badass now|
I used some leftover shiny black pleather to create piping to go between the panels.
Don't forget to clip your curves so they lie flat!
Added some top-stitching to all the seams...
|With all the different textures and piping|
I used a big industrial zipper to hold it together in the back, with an overlap of fabric to cover it. I didn't worry too much about it being "pretty," since I planned on wearing a cape. Also zippers are my bane.
Now I actually had something I could properly try on, which meant it need last minute fitting adjustments. Multiple times.... >.<
Fitting something tightly when the fabric has as little give as my pleather did is a long process. Don't be disheartened! Use big stitches until you're sure you like it, and keep trying! Also, don't top-stitch too early, or you'll be doing what I did and pulling out three seams for every one you want to adjust. T_T
Finally, the fit was good!
The last things I wanted to add were some additional panels over the shoulders.
|Edging the panels with piping|
|Don't forget top-stitiching!|
|From the front...|
|...and the back.|
With some trim to finish the edges of the neck and the armholes, it was (basically) done!
|Just needs gems!|
Lastly, I had to trim the thigh curve to the right height, and stitch the crotch together. This was one of the absolute last things I did before the con (like, I think it was Saturday morning at 9 AM) so there are no pictures of that.
But there are plenty of the final leotard in action!
|Photo credit: South of Autumn|