Category Archives: Tips and Tutorials

Bodysuit Sewalong: Inserting the Zipper

Exposed zipper basted flat to prepare for topstitching

Zippers in bodysuits are an interesting puzzle. You need one to get into your costume, but it can be tricky to combine the necessarily un-stretchy zipper with very stretchy fabric without puckers or waves. So let’s talk about a couple of my favorite tricks for neat, hassle-free zipper insertion on stretch fabrics!

Depending on which view of the pattern you pick, the M7217 bodysuit instructions show either a standard centered zipper or an invisible zipper, placed at center front or center back. You can use either method in either zipper location, depending on your preference. In this post I’m going to demonstrate a third option, the exposed zipper, which is applicable to a whole range of characters in comics and elsewhere.

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Bodysuit Sewalong: Beginning the Assembly

Beginning the M7217 bodysuit assembly

Here we go! We’ve got our bodysuit pieces all cut out and any appliqués applied, and we’re ready to start assembling the bodysuit. You can choose either a sewing machine or a serger for most of the steps, but I like to use a serger for basic assembly and a sewing machine for details and precision sewing.

We’ll also talk about one more decorative option, which is to add stretch piping to your seams. If you do it in matching fabric it’s a great way to add a little detail and depth to your bodysuit, or you can use contrasting fabric for a bold, graphic look.

Bonus: did you notice we’ve got a new batch of Vault Collection patterns out? Lots of accessories in this batch, including these hats and an adorable frilly parasol pattern. Check them out, and tell us what you’d make with them!

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Embellishing your Bodysuit with Stretch Appliqué

Appliqué techniques for spandex from cosplay by McCall's

Now we get to the fun bit: decorating your bodysuit to bring your character to life. Appliqué, either standard or reverse, is a popular way to add color and texture details. A standard appliqué is simply cut to the desired shape and sewn on top of the fabric, while a reverse appliqué is sewn with the detail fabric underneath the base fabric, which is then cut away. You can also appliqué in layers, mixing the techniques as needed for multi-colored designs.

There are several tricks for getting good appliqué results on stretch fabrics, so let’s take a look!

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