Photo credit: Sachin Rao
My guy and I attended a 60s/70s costume party as Bond and Bond Girl. How many times in life do you get the chance to strut about in a gold lamé jumpsuit/catsuit? If you’re anything like me, once. Carpe diem, I say! Besides, it was either that or gold body paint, and this was a family event.
Another good reason to sew the catsuit (reason? you need a reason?) is that my proportions don’t work well with standard-issue pants. Finding the fabric at Fabrictown on the Danforth really cinched the project. This outfit was quite easy to make, which I find very, very surprising.
Very interesting material; the backing makes the fabric cling much like swimwear.
For the design, I followed this great Youtube tutorial on sewing a halter jumpsuit. The top was quite easy to make; the pants required multiple rounds of trial and re-adjustment.
As I wanted more of a boot-cut in the pants, I used this pair of cords and this T-shirt. The video tells you to use an old garment but I didn’t quite understand why. Here is my template laid out:
Each pant leg was cut separately. I folded the pants in half for the template, and added an inch around the border for ease/seam allowance. I figure, make bigger and trim to fit. I did not cut on the fold, so that I had two pieces for each leg, and there was a seam running on the outside of the leg.
Closeup view of the tracing around the top of the pant leg.
Here are the cut pieces of the legs, with the outside seams served. The side with the curve is where the inseam will be.
Finally, pin the two sides together at the crotch. I measured the inseam at the legs of my pants and added an inch. No special shaping required, just connect the top piece to the bottom and serge across. Then pin each leg separately and serge down.
Here is a picture of the crotch portion pinned, while the legs are serged.
The initial fitting was ghastly: the legs were too long, the crotch was too tight, and the pants were too loose. Warning: Ugly fit picture follows!
Having the pants longer and wider than necessary were the saving grace. Through multiple rounds of fitting and readjustment, here are some problems encountered and my solutions:
- Crotch too tight: Remove crotch seam – either using seam ripper, or with scissors – and move lower on the leg.
- Crotch too lose: Remove seam and move higher (logical, wouldn’t you say?)
- Shaping the legs: Take in side seams a half inch at a time. Or get dramatic and take off whole incies if it’s too loose. To get a boot cut, flare out at the bottom.
- Waist too lose: Take in at the sides.
I was relatively pleased with the final result:
[*** Final photo to come ***]
The top was, as mentioned, easy. Cut two pieces as per the chest piece of the shirt template. Clip the sides of the front in, to get the halter shape.
Trim the back to get the bare-back effect of the halter.
Again, the trick here is to make the top a few inches longer than the final desired length. That way, if you cut the front in too deeply, you can always pull the top up and trim at the top.
At this stage I was getting rather desperate to wind up the costume, so I was pleased to find some yellow bias tape that I could use as the string at the top. I folded over the top and twin-needle-stitched the tape in place, making sure to have the ends long and even on either side.
I didn’t finish any edges, but could, if the outfit gets revived for an 80s party. Also I decided against sewing the top and bottom together – more corner-cutting. And against making belt loops. In hindsight, having the outfit in one piece, precludes the need to pull up the edge of the pants… an activity that was far too frequent at the party.
Gold lamé is timeless. Or at least, it was once the 60s declared it to be. Simply add thigh-high boots and a vial of poison. Look out, Bond!
Photo credit: Sachin Rao