The undersuit for Zam Wesell is a form fitting two piece undersuit that consists of a pair of pants and a crop top sewn to an one piece body suit. The material used for the suit is a spandex covered neoprene. One sorce that has been found that has an exceptable color and style material is www.stretchhouse.com. The material is the only purple colored neoprene they carry and is listed as number 4 on the swatch list. You will require at least 5 yards of material to construct the suit.The pattern that seemed to work well for the undersuit contruction is, McCalls Spa Essentials #4261

Undersuit Construction Steps

Step 1 You first need to cut out your material. Using the pants leg only from the pattern above, determine what size best works for you and cut out two identical pieces from your fabric. Then fold the pieces in half and cut directly down the middle of each leg. This will become your first seam. Zam's undersuit is constructed with a various amounts of “welt” style seams. Most are single welt. A single welt seam is created by first sewing two pieces of material together, leaving at least an inch of extra material on the unfinished side. You then turn the material over to the finished side and lay flat. While pulling the new seam, place pins down the length of the existing seam you just made, leaving enough room to sew next to it. Be sure to catch the extra material you allowed when creating the first seam. Then sew down the length of the seam away from the seam at the predetermined width. Zam'z welt seams on her costume are approximatley 3/16th to 1/4” of an inch wide. After creating this seam on both legs you are done with the first step. Here is a some pictures of what you should have;

Step 2 After completing step one, you now must make the saddle area of the pants. Take the pattern you used for the leg section and cut it length wise first. It is suggested that you lay the pattern on the leg section and determine the width of the saddle area (remember when cutting out the saddle insert section that you allow an extra inch for sewing). The saddle line should be in the middle of the inner seam and the welt seam you just created above. Once you cut the pattern's width, you need to determin the length. This is done by holding the pants leg up to the subject who will be wearign the suit. The saddle should fall about 2-3 inches above the knee. Mark the spot on the leg section. Reposition the cut pattern piece back to the leg section and cut the pattern's length to match where you marked the leg section, adding one inch for sewing allowance. Once the pattern is created, you will now need to cut out the saddle area from the leg section. After pinning the pattern to the material, measure in an extra inch on the leg section for sewing allowance and cut out the section. Remember to put a small angle, about 115 degrees on the cut that goes from the saddle area to the outside of the material. After cuttin out the section discard as this material will not be used. Reposition the pattern on new material and cut out the saddle portion, again making it an inch bigger than the pattern for sewing allowance.

Once you have the two pieces cut out, you will need to sew them into the void you made in the pants, using the single welt technique described above. A double welt seam can also be used here as it is much easier to do when going around corners. A double welt is done by laying the piece you wish to sew in an overlapped fashion over the leg section. Tuck in a hem all the way around the piece, pinning while you go. DO NOT fold over the leg section piece. Make sure your hem is in line with the area you want the saddle to be, again overlapping the extra inch you left on the leg section. Sew one stitch as close as you can to the edge of the seam/hem you made. the closer you get the better the final look. Once the first stitch is placed go back and put a second one at the interval discussed earlier to creat the welt. Here is what you should now have;

Step 3

The final step is to place the pieces on the subject inside out. Pin as close to the subject as you can working your way from the crotch area to the ankle. Slide the pants leg off the subject and stitch with a double overlock stitch. This type of stitch is used for elastic and other stretch material. if your machine does not have that setting you still can do one the following way. Stitch a straight stitch down the length of the seam. Return the the start of the seam and stitch a zigzag stitch alonge the edge of the straight stitch and then again return and sew an additional straight stitch alongside the previous zigzag.

Once you have both legs sewn togehter and have test fitted them you need to sew the crothch of the pants. This is simply done by placing a right side turned pants leg inside an inside out pants leg. Line up the crotch and pin. Place the same style stitching for the crotch. Hem the ankles and waist of the pants. You can sew in a drawstring as well to the waist.

You pants should look like this when finished and fitted properly;

Step 4

For the top all outside seam are done the same as above, a single welt seam that goes on the outside of the sleeve. Simply use the pattern for the long sleeve top. Cut the pattern at about chest height accross the middle of the pattern and angle down on both sides at a bout a 45 degree angle. The top is tacked onto a body suit and only consists of a crop top from the armpits across the chest area.

The construction of the arms is identical to the legs without using the saddle instruction. The pattern will be cut out, cut in half and sewn back together with a welt seam. Attache the arms to the torso section of the shirt and then place it on inside out. This will allow you to form fit the arms like you did the legs. Once done either tack sew or stitch the body suit to the top.

You should have something resembling this pattern;

JD 2007/05/13 20:06

costuming/undersuit.txt · Last modified: 2010/04/18 20:42 (external edit)