there’s a lot of bodysuits in this show. bodysuits will probably need 4 way stretch and hidden zippers. It’s not really a beginner medium. 4 way stretch means it stretches on the warp and the weft.
***The following applies to Jasper, Peridot & Garnet, Pearl among others
You may be able to use dance fabrics like lycra. But be careful because it may become sheer when stretched, and it has shine so any wrinkles or fit issues will be obvious. If it is too shiny, it will be ugly and inappropriate for the character. So pick low-shine lycras and avoid metallics. wear appropriate undergarments. lycra shows all. this means dance belts (if relevant) and smoothing shapewear on most people. You may also want to sew in a lining of nude lycra for modesty especially under light colors.
A major downside of Lycra is it’s mostly nylon and so it will be more difficult than natural fibers to dye in precise shades.
**The following applies to Amethyst’s leggings & the above
For a matte, more structured, and warmer 4 way stretch, you can use knits, but a double knit fabric will hold shape better. Double knit is less stretchy than lycra so you may have to do princess seams or darts to get it shaped right around the bust. It is unlikely to stretch sheer. You can probably get this with some percentage of cotton. So all in all I think double knit is probably the way to go on most large bodysuits. Still, pay close attention to the grain of your fabric, as it will likely stretch more in one direction than another! The most stretch should be horizontal, minimal stretch should be vertical. This is a general rule of thumb for all fabrics with any stretch.
Stretch velvet is the Papyrus font of fabrics. Avoid.
***The following applies to Pearl
Her outfit is more obviously dance inspired, so I’d stick to matte, carefully tailored dance fabrics as mentioned above. Her skirt can be basically anything light and sheer except tulle and chiffon. Chiffon is too opaque in most cases and tulle has that net tecture that looks ugly and cheap in one layer, which is all Pearl’s skirt has. The best I’ve seen so far use organza and a short circle skirt pattern. Most Pearls also benefit from white nylons. Finish organza with a rolled hem.
*** The following applies to Lapis Lazuli
I’ve heard people say that her outfit is inspired by vintage swimwear but I don’t much see it myself. If it were from the early 20th century, the material would be wool! As it is, since her outfit is so simple and requires little in the way of fitting or tailoring, you can use almost anything that isn’t shitty thin cotton. Look for middle- and light-weight cotton-poly blends which have properties like resistance to wrinkles while still being capable of holding dye if necessary. Avoid satin of any kind. Avoid rayon, it is too supple. To add subtle flare without a petticoat, sew horsehair braid around the hem.
For tight-fitting clothing, you may also consider thin neoprene. This is best for parts of the outfit that don’t have to cover joints becuase it doesn’t necessarily crease gracefully (e.g. Peridot’s undies-on-the-outside, Peridot & Jasper’s structured triangle collars). I learned about this from a thread on Sailor Moon fukus. Don’t use this for a full outfit though because it’ll be hot as balls and you’ll die of heatstroke. (However, you’ll be Scuba-ready!) But for super smooth looking accent pieces or torso pieces, it’d be great if your machine is up to the task.
Neoperene isn’t cheap, but it looks really sharp if done well. Here’s one place to buy neoprene. (No site affiliation, just the first reputable place that came up on a “buy neoprene” google search that wasn’t marine supply)
Neoprene is making its way into high fashion dresses, too. It’s a conceivable (if not cost-effective…) option for Lapis if you want a skirt that damn near sticks straight out. This fabric choice could play up her water themes.
This symmetrical diamond pattern is available on our Extraordinary socks,* Precision dyed by the one and only Tie Dye Eric right here in Portland Oregon. Wear them high upon your thighs or scrunched down below your knees… they fit and feel fantastic and are washing machine safe. Made and dyed in the USA.
*The dying process inherently shrinks these, so they are not quite as stretchy as the original Extraordinary socks.
Please see our Sizing Tips on the product page for fit information. If in doubt, Email Usand we will be happy to answer any of your questions!