31st October 2011: Got the giggles? OK! Making this was an interesting process as it was made in collaboration with Nomes, who made Crying Beauty. We'd never actually met, having found each other via this very site, so all of the discussions on making it were done via email and PM. Given this I think we did a fantastic job of matching up the suits :)
The first stage was the fabric. This part came down to me - I found wetlook silver and black lycra in Goldhawk Road and sent a picture to Nomes for approval. We agreed it would work so I posted her portion to her. Unfortunately there was no fabric available that would work for the dark grey sections, despite us both looking and ordering several samples from half a dozen different places - all of them were unsuitable. So I decided to try iDye Poly, which I had previously used to dye polyester brocade for Ivy Valentine. Polyester and coated fabrics are both notoriously difficult to dye, and trying to make it black would have been a nightmare, but since the Ivy fabric came out a lovely shade of dark grey with the black dye, I was hoping the same would happen. Fortunately it did, so I bought more of the silver lycra, dyed it, and again sent it over to Nomes.
The next challenge was to find something suitable for the cabling on the suit. Nomes' part in the construction was to painstakingly paint lines on flat black elastic with 3D fabric paint so it resembled scart cables. She also found round elastic to use for the smaller cables and ferrules to use as the jack plugs. These came out really well, especially the scart cables which look great and also have the advantage of being stretchy.
Nomes also went through the reference photos to give me a detailed breakdown of where all the seams on the suits were, and for my part I advised her on how to best sew lycra.
The pattern was adapted from an old PVC catsuit that I took apart. I made a paper pattern for Nomes and used the pieces for myself. It's a 4-panel catsuit, which I've never done before - all my previous suits were 2-panel. The grey and black sections were stitched together before being topstitched on to a base suit made of the silver fabric. Concealed zips were used for the front and back. The catsuit pattern had no collar so we had to improvise this, also stitching in a section of black between the silver parts. Sock and glove patterns were self-made using web tutorials.
We'd also agreed that the references showed separation in the bust area. I suggested sewing in a strapless bra, but Nomes pointed out that gluing it in would avoid stitching lines. I'm really happy with how this came out as well.
Nomes had also included detailing of the bar codes and text on the suits with the seam breakdown, which saved me an immense amount of time. She put them on with acrylics but as I was unwell and suffering from shaky hands I chose to use a white-ink pen. This worked well on some areas and less well on others so I will probably touch them up with acrylics at some point.
The elastic was all hand-stitched on my suit as the glue I had bought did not work.
Overall, given that these were made in something of a rush, I'm very pleased with how they came out, and I'm also very happy to have made a new friend!