The overall steps were pretty easy. I started with this pattern for the undershirt.
Which I'll note is just about the easiest darn pattern that there ever was. In fact, I'll share with you all the complete construction instructions.
Sweet right? The first step was to cut out the pattern pieces. If you've ever used a stretch-and-sew pattern you'll know that the pattern is double sided and you always have to trace the pattern pieces onto pattern paper. I was sort of out of pattern paper at the time so I used some parchment paper, but halfway through the torso pieces I ran out of that so I switched to wax paper. I wouldn't really recommend wax paper for this job unless you get in a pinch like I did. It's not the easiest thing to work with, but it gets the job done.
There's nothing quite like jury-rigging. Yup. I have mad taping wax paper together skills.
The second step as you'll note from the pattern above was the sew up the shoulder seams. Since this was the undershirt and I was working with jersey knit I wanted to add some seam stabilization.
I do not buy store bought seam stabilizing tape for my knits. The tape is expensive and I find that a little bit of interfacing cut into strips does the job better than tape ever has. Plus it's a good way to get rid of all those interfacing scraps you inevitably have left over and it STRETCHES. Heck. Yeah.
I used fusible interfacing for this shirt because it was the only thing I had in black, but non fusible works pretty well as long as it's stretchy. Just stick it on top of whatever seam your sewing and proceed as normal.
After all the seams were sewn I ran a hot iron over the seam stabilizer/leftover interfacing to secure it a little better. As you can see in the above picture to save on fabric I cut the back piece of the shirt out of two pieces of fabric and sewed them together (top left). I left about five inches unsewn so I could add a closure later. My gray fabric was not very stretchy and would never have fit over Fiancé's head. Thus, velcro was a must.
I forgot to take pictures of the mock-turtleneck collar installation, but it was pretty straight forward. I cut a strip of gray fabric to 17 inches (the measurement of fiancé's neck plus one inch for overlap) by 4 inches. I folded it in half, sewed the ends closed, snipped off the corners, turned it right-side-out and pressed. After that I turned inside out again and sewed the right sides of the shirt and collar together. I turned the shirt right side out, folded the collar over and top-stitched the collar to secure it to the shirt.
And Presto! A mock turtle neck for your viewing pleasure. I hemmed the sleeves and added a velcro closure to the back of the shirt to finish it up.
The next step was to create the outer tunic. I started off by graphing all the triangle details into the front of the shirt with a ruler and some tailors chalk. When I had it the way that I liked it I went ahead and top stitched over all the lines. This took for-eeevvvv-eeeerrr, but was totally worth it.
For the tunic itself I took one of Fiance's teeshirts and traced it onto my black jersey. I added a 1/2 inch seam allowance on all sides and cut it out.
After I had all my tunic pieces ready I decided where I wanted the gray bar to go.
I subtracted a 1/4 inch seam allowance on the top and the bottom and cut out the black panel.
I used the cut out as a stencil for for the gray fabric and added an additional 1/2inch to the top and bottom of the panel to make up the difference.
I sewed the panel onto the front of the tunic and then attached the back of the tunic. To finish it up I hemmed the neck, armholes and bottom of the tunic.
I'm pretty happy with the outcome of the costume. There are a few things I'll go back and change before we wear these again.
1. Take in tunic arm holes a little more. I wasn't happy with how far they were poking out.
2. Adjust neck line on tunic so it doesn't cover up the bottom of mock-turtleneck. It's the wrong shape.
3. Finish the 70's pants that were suppose to go with this thing.
But otherwise I was quite happy. Our social circle is full of geeks and they certainly embraced our costumes.
I'd also like to note, Dear Readers, that I was just rehired to my old company! Hurray! And just in time for the Holidays. I'm thankful to my friends, readers, and especially my parents for helping us through the layoff period. E-hugs to all of you!