Suggested Patterns for body suit, vest - etc.

Kay Dee

After doing a lot of reading tonight, I really didn't find any reference to commercial patterns that people may have started with and then modified to make the clothing items on Zam's suit. In particular, the pants, top and vest come to mind.

I did read that back on the original fabric run you all were paying someone's seamstress to draft patterns for you. Is a general pattern still available from this seamstress? Or ZamIAm, do you know what patterns she may have started with to aid in drafting her own? I'm OK with adding in and moving around seams. I just need a good shape to start with as a pattern block. I've found a pattern for Women's riding Breeches I'm considering.

Also These:


STRETCH OF OUR NEOPRENE: What kind of stretch does the neoprene have? Not much? Does it end up being a slight 4 way stretch?

THICKNESS OF NEOPRENE: I'd like to know what the original thickness of the neoprene was before the lycra and nylon were laminated to it.

NEOPRENE FOR MOCK UPS: Because I only have on chance to get this right, I think I'd like to do a mock-up in neoprene if I can afford it. Hence, the above questions on thickness.

I did have a commercial vest pattern I had modified. It was from Montana Leather Company if I remember properly and was designed for a lined leather vest. Some alterations in length had to be made as well as adding those appulets (???) to the shoulders. Do a search here for vest patterns and it should pop up.

I actually bought the second pattern you linked to (Very nice pattern) but one which needs some major alterations to work. It didn't piece together the way I thought it would.

The neoprene (with backing) does stretch both ways, but not like plain lycra. Kind of like stretchy jeans material only a bit more stretch to it. Yes I would say it is a 4 way stretch.

As for mockups/muslins... I would start with plain muslin to get shapes down, as you're going to making your own pattern or doing some major alterations to a commercial pattern. Then I would get some cheap stretch jeans material (the stretchier the better) - it has similar thickness and similar stretch. With that you can refine it. I suppose you could buy some pre-made neoprene in any color (an odd lot or remainder perhaps) in a similar thickness) and sew away until you got it perfect! ZIA can tell you exact thicknesses - she probably recites them in her dreams by now! ;)
Thanks for the feedback. I decided not to go with that second pattern due to your bad experience. I'll see how the other patterns from Seattle fabrics work.

Got the Vest pattern bookmarked. I'll pick up one of those soon!
About the seamstress's patterns: The seamstress and I did everything from the ground up together and no commercial patterns were used as a base. She drafted it herself. She did it from a dress form that she "built up" to my size specs. Drafting sets of patterns for people wasn't worth her time. She took 15 hours to draft one. And some people were dissapointed with what they received. So, I discontinued services with her, and it wasn't worth my time playing monkey in the middle for free. I really don't think there is a generic neoprene that you can just easily buy as a substitute. Most neoprenes come extra thick for swimmers. If you can find something with whatever color in a tri-cot with 1.5-2.0 overall thickness, that's what you would want to test your sewing on. You don't want to sew with just neoprene without something like lycra or nylon on top, cause it will just stop at the sewing plate. Tri-cot neoprene is a four way stretch and stretch denim is a good muslin that may be cheaper.
OK, I guess I didn't really miss out on anything then with your custom patterns. Sounds like my old way of making patterns will be the thing to do. It may be a while before I can ever start doing a muslin (I promised my friends I'd make the Padme Parade gown for C4 - oh boy! Where has the month gone?) but once I find a good pants pattern to start with (sometimes it takes a few tries with a few commercial patterns) I'll post it here!
I pulled out all my Zam patterns and such...

The bodysuit shirt I went with a New Look Pattern (No. 6160 ) I haven't tried a muslin on this yet so I don't really know .... you know... But it is a long sleeve t-shirt type made for stretch material, with the right type of collar and sleeves. Bonus (in my opinion - the back has a center seam so the pattern pieces will be smaller and easier to fit onto the fabric bolt). Alterations: cropping and making allowances for the welt seams on arms.

Regarding that Jean Hardy Pattern - It doesn't have inseams, which surprised me. Only seams on the outside of the leg and of course where the fabric pieces together. I'm not even sure if the pattern can be altered to be a Zam pant pattern..
Hum... Montana Leather company requires a $20.00 minimum purchase! The Vest patterns are only about $5.00. Would anyone else who needs this vest pattern want to do a group order?
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