General Our Zam Build - gonna get this thing done!

Pencap510

New Hunter
My Zam Build


After helping hubby (the actual Pencap510) with 2 builds, one being TFA for movie release, and another year of helping troop, decided it was time for my own costume. I thought about Resistance Rey, but want to be 501st, so searched the CRL's for the costume to called to me. Zam did, in all her purple glory. A few weeks of reading 'decade-old' build threads, we took the plunge.


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A trip to Tandy and we left with a half cows worth of leather. Plus a strip and strap cutter, lacer, oblong punch, leather dyes, and a brief but very informative tutorial from the staff.


Home to read again and prepare for the next day.


Saturday: unroll and cut into the leather. 2 1/4 inch tall strips cut. Then the individual squares, all 180 of them.


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I ordered a faux leather jacket off Amazon ($15), hoping to alter to work for the vest. Future ambitions have a real leather vest, but I want to be more sure of myself, and sewing leather is a little scary. Got the jacket, removed the sleeves, collar, bottom cuff, and lining. Trailing some acrylic paint to get the lilac grey I'm looking for in the vest.


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And sampled my dyes on scrap leather pieces to end the night...


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Sunday: goals for today. Punch 4 holes in all 180 squares. Dye each square, front, back, and sides, cut lacing (minimum of 75 feet), and dye it. With some help from the neighbors, got it done!


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Secured the Prada boots from EBay, greeblies and armor pieces in the works, requested some neoprene samples- great start to the build!
 

Pencap510

New Hunter
Mullreel - Thank you! I'll continue to post here, and hopefully if I get stuck, there will be enough people following to help a Zam out...

BobaFett1313 - which little pieces? the leather for the skirt is the only thing I can imagine you are referring to...
 

Pencap510

New Hunter
Yesterday I had time to make a quick trip up to Tandy for my sealer and conditioner. And while the kids played outside, got the skirt squares and lacing sealed with the Tan-Kote. This evening I am hoping to get the conditioning oil rubbed in, and can move on to lacing the skirt up!
Neoprene sample is on it's way, and my eBay Prada boots should be here Saturday. Need to start browsing for the gloves, and keep an eye out for the suede material for the veil and cape.

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Sirene

New Hunter
That skirt took me a good day to sew together. Where are you getting your neoprene from? I got mine from Jabbadashery.
 

Pencap510

New Hunter
That skirt took me a good day to sew together. Where are you getting your neoprene from? I got mine from Jabbadashery.
I received my sample of neoprene - WAY to light... contemplating trying to dye it, does anyone know if that would work? Where do I find Jabbadashery? Google only led me back here to different threads...
 

Pencap510

New Hunter
Time to update:

Received my eBay win - Prada boots ... never thought I'd own a pair of these. They fit great, except the heel cups seem a bit tight (thinking it may be from the way they have been stored?) Any ideas on stretching them out?

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All leather pieces for the skirt have been sealed and conditioned. I lined them all up to make sure I had the "random"-ness that looked good to me.

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Three columns is all my hands can handle tonight - turns out we do not have needle nose pliers. So that will be acquired tomorrow. Lighting is very "yellow" in my kitchen, but I am LOVING the way it's turning out. Skirt is falling just to the bottom of my knees.

Planning out my next steps - designing and building the holster and starting on the boots...
 

Sirene

New Hunter
So one thing I did with my pieces was made the top edge slightly smaller than the bottom edge. The rectangles aren't actually rectangle, but more trapezoid. I also only did 144; counted against stock photos of the movie costume and measured to fit my height. I also used a giant darning needle to 'sew' my pieces together; and a nice thimble. 12hrs did the whole skirt.

You can see the neoprene I used here: http://jabbadashery.com
 

Pencap510

New Hunter
So one thing I did with my pieces was made the top edge slightly smaller than the bottom edge. The rectangles aren't actually rectangle, but more trapezoid. I also only did 144; counted against stock photos of the movie costume and measured to fit my height. I also used a giant darning needle to 'sew' my pieces together; and a nice thimble. 12hrs did the whole skirt.

You can see the neoprene I used here: http://jabbadashery.com
Did you do a build thread so that I can follow along? I'm tracking all of them I can find, so I can compare and decide "best practices". When did you get the neoprene? They are out of stock, and the last entry on their "blog" was back in 2013 - makes me think they may not be current anymore. I will be trying my hand at dying the sample I got, to see how it turns out. Still be searching each night for other options though.
 

Pencap510

New Hunter
I documented the whole thing - aside from the neoprene upgrade - on my personal website: http://www.bluedrake.ca/?cat=20

We did a group purchase late 2015. I know I had my neoprene suit done for Ottawa Comic Con in May of last year.
Thanks! I'll check out your site as well - you can never have to much info when doing this!! Jabbadashery got back with me - she is putting me on a list so that if/when they have enough interest to do another run, they will contact me .. ugggghhhh... really hoping that dyeing this stuff will work....
 

Pencap510

New Hunter
So - I haven't given up yet! Took about a week of nightly doing a column or two - leather lacing is rough on the hands! Got the skirt finished!! And found a belt in the closet with decorative holes that are spaced absolutely perfectly for the top.
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The lighting outside is obviously much better for the color - I think that the coloring came out great!
And it looks to be about the right length. I can raise or lower it as needed once I get some more pieces to go with it.
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I've been doing some trials on dyeing scuba neoprene (apparel type). I think it's thick enough to get the look needed, but can't find a color even close. So I'm playing with Rit recipes. I think I'm a little light at this point, and will be going to get a few more colors to try and get it a little darker. Outside, in the sun, with the boots for black and the un-dyed fabric for white (to compare the color)
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Would love some feedback on the coloring - Jabbadashery does not have a run going right now, StretchHouse doesn't have the color anymore - it appears I will be doing the dyeing myself, which I'm completely OK with - just want to be sure I get the color needed.
 

Pencap510

New Hunter
I went to a consignment shop yesterday and found a pair of pants and a long sleeve shirt that fit well over "dry-fit" clothes. I am using these as my pattern for the body suit. Up first, I attempted the pants. Since I had used several swatches from my sample neoprene to test out my dye recipes, I figured I had just enough for a trial pair of pants. Needed to see how this neoprene sews, stretches, etc.

Pants were deconstructed, altered a little (legs at and below knee were a bit "flow-ey"), and added length. Cut out two of front and back with roughly 1/2" seam allowances.
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I had at first wanted to simply attempt to put in a double stitch directly on the fabric to give the saddle appearance, but after a few trials on scrap neoprene, I wasn't getting the bubbled welt I was looking for. I decided to cut out the saddle shape from another piece of neoprene and fold over the edges and sew onto the front of the pants. Much to my surprise, the "wrong" side of this turned out perfect for the look I was going for. I did not have enough neoprene to cut out 2 whole "saddle" pieces, so one leg got just the strip where the seams are, the other has a whole saddle. For appearances, the final pair will have the full saddle pieces.
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The one on the left has the full piece, the right has just the seam
I sewed the outer sides up, did an extra line of stitching to hold the allowance towards the back, sewed right to left, and then did the inner seams.
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I left enough fabric at the top to fold over for stability, except this trial run had swatches cut out of it, and I can't quite get a full waistband. But the material was a breeze to sew. I will be ordering enough to do another set of pants and the shirt this weekend. Cut out those pieces, dye them all, then sew up the body suit.
 

Sirene

New Hunter
I had to acid dye my spandex. I had a friend analyze the color and tell me the exact formula to mix the red and blue dyes.

The whole process was to boil the spandex with the dye to complete the coloration. I think I also posted that on my site. Here's an example of the calculations that were done.

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