Saturday, May 17, 2014

Tutorial: Basic Bodysuit Planning

As a special thank you for over 500 likes on my page on facebook I thought I would answer one of the most frequently asked questions I get. Well, a partial answer anyway. I've gotten a TON of people asking just how I made EDI's bodysuit so here's step one to making a custom bodysuit. EDI had a different pattern because of where the seam lines needed to be (along the hips and shoulders, no side seams) but this is a basic unitard pattern which will get you started and after messing with something like this enough you'll be able to change where the seams are easy peasy.

1) Measurements
Here is a list of the measurements you'll most likely need for a basic bodysuit. I2/I3 are ones I used specifically for EDI because of the print layout so you likely won't need them unless you need a definite calf and a definite thigh. 1, 2, and 3 are only if you need a super fitted but without an underbust seam unitard and can also be ignored in most cases. Write these down on a list marked A, B, C, etc.

Now for measuring, if it says... 
Length, it is just a flat measurement, say from the center top of your shoulder to where you chest width measure is (like for B). This will never be divided on this basic layout.
Width, measure all the way around. You will divide this later.

2) Decide on Drafting or Applying To A Pattern
If you've never worked with patterns before, don't want to draft it or don't feel comfortable drawing shapes from measurements then I suggest getting a pattern and modifying it. You can also take a unitard or leotard that already fits fairly well and lay that out on top of whatever you're patterning on and use that as a guideline. In order to make this thing symmetrical I like to work in folded halves (so think folded down the center front). I'm going to walk you through drafting this from scratch as applying changes to a pattern is pretty easy. Also if you're looking to custom print a pattern that will need to conform to your shape and match up then you'll need to know how to get your shape down in 2D before you can even start making/modifying the file to be printed!

3) Top Down

So your paper or fabric is folded in half and you're ready to go with pins/markers/chalk and a measuring tape/ruler. The blue is used here to mark points of reference. Start at what will be the high point of the unitard, the shoulder seam (a) and follow the centerfold down. Once you reach a length equal to your B measurement make a little mark/ put a pin in (c). Then start measuring from there until you reach your D length and pin/mark again (e). Then one last time for the F measurement and a final pin/mark for the bottom of the torso of your unitard (g).

4) Side to Side
Start from the center fold and measure outwards at a 90 degree angle. You will need to divide your base measurements for this step by 4 and use that adjusted measurement.

5) Connect the Dots

6) Leg
Just like the previous part, make a baseline (H) then work off of that. This doesn't follow a fold or line, you kind of have to wing that initial placement but if you're worried just lay a pair of fitted pants down to get an idea of what you're going for. Start from the corner of G and measure outwards. Once you have H drawn then draw J at a 90 degree angle from the end, making sure to divide your original J measurement by 2. Then connect the free end of J back up to the the end of F there.

7) Arm
The arm is going to be the trickiest bit. Start off with M, doing just like you did with the leg and putting it at an angle. If you're not sure if you have a good angle then lay out a fitted long sleeve shirt to check. Start from the corner of A and measure outwards. Then for L, draw a line at a 90 degree angle equal to the distance of half your L measurement. K is going to be the trickiest part, divide K in half then either mark that on a seperate piece of paper or on your hard ruler and put on end flush with line M. Adjust this K paper/ruler until the other end makes contact with the edge of the torso part of the pattern, keeping that K line at a 90 degree angle to M. After that is done go ahead an connect the dots between the K/torso intersection and the free end of L.

You now have a basic bodysuit pattern for yourself. You'll need to cut in a neckline but that will change depending on what you're doing so I'm not covering that here.

8) Actual Pieces for a Bodysuit
That's a standard 3 piece basic construction with a front and a back cut in half to allow for a zip. I've used a variant of this for Knockout's undersuit except I used a stretchy enough material, separate cowl and a boat neck to avoid needing a zip.

You can expand from that basic 2 to 3 piece bodysuit pattern and start cutting that up to get something like Arcee 2.0, I used a boat neck, separate cowl and stretchy material to avoid needing a zip. Notice how I made each leg all one piece with the primary seam on the inner leg. As you start getting more experience you'll get an eye for what seams are in the original reference and what aren't and be able to change your patterns based on that. Though keep in mind with animated designs, you may have to be more crafty about adding seams that aren't there but which are out of the way like inner leg and under arm seams.

And then we have this confusing blot which is EDI. She has no outer side seams which is what make fitting it a pain. But this was drafted the same way as this tutorial just with a bit more eyeballing and a lot more awkward measurements.

No comments:

Post a Comment