the calibur of your soul - natsu (SPANDEX)

Tried to break up the process of this cosplay into semi-organized "sections" per post, because I was a little all over the place in working on this cosplay, didn't have enough materials, time constraints, got distracted by Mass Effect 3... I already did the write-up on Natsu's default swords, the link is here.

I decided to include all the details related to sewing the spandex pieces in this post, which consists of the bodysuit and tabi socks.

Here's the character illustration showing a red bodysuit--the in-game rendering is of a dark salmon bodysuit w/ an iridescent finish. Wanted to go w/ the in-game bodysuit but could not find this fabric ANYWHERE. Luckily I found a great spandex fabric with a nice sheen, which was a painful $24/yard. I bought a yard and a half, which was exactly enough for the bodysuit and the socks, and just enough to cut an extra pair of socks since I have never made tabi socks before!

^ How I brainstorm

I wanted this to be a one-piece bodysuit, meaning there is only a zipper at the back and no side seams! Luckily it fit after the first fitting, so as long as I don't eat any burgers or buffets for a while, ha.

The spandex I bought is fairly thick--it was called "Super Spandex". But obviously I still had to buy a special bra so as to avoid awkward bra lines. Yes, these pictures above look WEIRD but once on the body the fit is perfect (I'll post a picture later with some of the armor on). And below is the pattern. I first drafted a 2-piece full-length bodysuit, then modified the 2 pieces into ONE piece. It was surprisingly easy and I can make a video about it/write a step-by-step process when this cosplay has been completed.

^ The pattern for the bodysuit.

I didn't finish the edges because they didn't unravel and for the fingerless sleeves there was no way I could fit that through my machine...

I had to create a two-piece sleeve, which was kind of a pain, because usually sleeves are one piece, and the only time you really need a two-piece sleeve is for creating a tailored jacket/blazer. BUT, Natsu's sleeves don't stop at the wrist, and the easiest way for me to create the fingerless glove look was to have another piece sewn to the "top piece" of the sleeve, which starts from the sleeve cap/armhole seam.

Even with the tabi socks I didn't want the seam going down the center front of my leg because it would bother me for the rest of my life if this didn't look as close as possible to the game rendering/illustration/concept art. I found a tabi sock tutorial (though it's in Japanese, I'll write my version soon), cut one sample, sewed it up, and after test-fitting on my leg, I drew a line for where I wanted to shift the seam. I had to keep the seam separating the toes otherwise I wouldn't be able to control the fit on the top of my foot. I went with a curved seam so I could "hide" the seam to the side, as you can see in the pictures. I basically changed what was a 3-piece pattern into a 2-piece pattern, which, actually, results in less sewing for me! I was very pleased w/ the fit after I shifted the seam. Also very comfortable.

To create the closure for the bodysuit, I bought a regular (not invisible) red zipper. I was okay with the zipper being slightly exposed because my fabric is fairly thick, and wrangling an invisible zipper while keeping my one and only seam neat was not worth it to me. I don't like taking out the seams and restitching on knit fabrics, even if you're using a ballpoint needle you are basically destroying the fabric :( I'd rather focus on stitching all my seams correctly the first time. Because you all know how much we cosplayers love ripping out seams at 3am!

I was lucky to find a mesh fabric that had the exact look I was going for--and which I thought would be pretty accurate to the concept art. My other option was to layer 2 fabrics together but this saved me some time and headache. The neck piece is only sewn to the rest of the bodysuit at the shoulder seam and center back, because I didn't want any topstitching around the actual neckline. I added a knit binding along the top edge of the neck piece mesh to finish.

I said I was going to include all the costs in this cosplay, so here's a quick rundown--
Spandex fabric = $24/yard, 1.5 yards purchased = $36
Mesh fabric = $11/yard, 1/4 yard purchased =  $2.75
Zipper = $2.00
Black knit fabric for binding = leftover from previous cosplays

Just to make the bodysuit cost me $40.75 (materials only).


Aileen Luib said...

Progress progress progress!


I am new for your blog but i must say you done a very great job all are really appreciated. thanks for sharing with us.

gothic victorian dresses said...

It's so great of you!Thanks for sharing the making progress.