In this article I will be reviewing both the men’s and women’s body suit patterns by Yaya Han & McCalls and that is because a lot of costumes need a body suit and these patterns can be so versatile. So the patterns them selves are called M7217 & M7340 so if you want to try them for yourself, that’s the code you will need.
Before talking about the patterns themselves I will talk about getting the pattern out of the packet and finding the pieces you need and making sense of some of the information on the back.
The back of the packet
To start with you need to get the pattern and make sure it has the right size. Most patterns are made in the US but they will say on the packet where they are made so you do need to check as this may effect the one you buy to make sure it’s right. Then to really confuse things, I work out which size I need based on two things: the UK size I am converted to US size and then my measurements. Always check your measurements and don’t just go blindly by your ready to wear size. I have been sewing for 5 years and make a lot of my own casual clothing now and still pattern sizing is something that I have to keep an eye on, you get used to finding what works for you.
Sewing patterns usually consist of a few options within the packet; you find especially with clothing patterns like dresses these options usually mean only small minor changes like the length of a sleeve of skirt or it could be a completely different style. Once you have decided which option you are doing you get to see how much fabric you will need for it which is on the back of the packet.
So now you know what size and pieces you need it’s time to get them out the packet and cut them out. Once you get the sheets of pattern paper out the packet, in my experience no matter how hard you try, they don’t go back in nicely. If you are going to keep using this pattern or even collecting and using more, make sure you have somewhere good to keep the packets, pattern pieces and instructions safely. I personally use A4 plastic folders so I can flick through to the one I need but that they are all kept safely in a plastic sleeve and not getting mixed up with any others.
When cutting the pattern pieces out, follow the line carefully, it a thick black line for a reason and also never use fabric scissors but nice big craft ones are always the best. Don’t rush through this stage so that you are carefully cutting out the pieces that you need and not damaging them to get the right fit.
Now onto the patterns themselves! I’m going to start with M7340, this is the men’s bodysuit pattern and while I have so far only used it once, it will be used again because I loved it. The project I used it for my boyfriend’s (Dan) Danny Rand Iron Fist suit and just from looking at the packet I could tell it wouldn’t need altering at all but I could add on the details that I needed like the chest piece and the detachable collar.
For Dan’s Iron Fist suit I mixed the two pattern options of A & B to get what I needed. Pattern options give different finishes usually length or altered pieces. In this case, option A is shown to be a suit all in one colour and B has alternate colour sleeves and the alternate strip down the length of the body and legs.
When I created the suit I used a medium weight Lycra jersey and a simple sewing machine on a zigzag stitch setting along the seams. Zigzag stiches allow fabrics to still stretch unlike a straight stich so be careful. But it doesn’t take long to put together at all, maybe between two to three hours when taking care that you are lining all your seams up properly and taking the stitching slow and not rushing your work. Another great thing about this pattern is that it is really easy to adjust the seams to make the desired fit.
I really recommend this pattern in terms of how easy it is to construct and fit but also how versatile it can be. It only consists of around 10 pieces and has 23 steps in the instruction; I personally think this is a great option for beginners to get into sewing or to have as a reliable base piece to many costumes!
Now for the women’s pattern, which I have personally used at least 4 times now and adore! Much like the men’s pattern this has designed to be nice and easy to construct but amazingly versatile, the 4 times I have used it I have been able to create exactly what I wanted, this included a Fallout 3 Vault suit, She-Hulks bodysuit, the base for my Wasp and a Fem Sinestro.
The pattern allows you to put the zip in either the front or the back which is great to get your desired results, Wasp is the only one I have put a back zip in and that was because I added the details on top and unlike Sinestro wanted there to be a high collar.
A great thing about this suit ladies, is the different cup options, yes Yaya Han has created a suit that no matter your bust you can make fit to you. In the pattern size US 6-14 you get A-D cup pieces and you chose which one to use for the best fit, it makes such a difference and the pattern sews together really nicely making the fit easy to achieve.
Much like the men’s pattern, I would say it can take about three hours to stitch it all together when you aren’t rushing and making sure that your edges match up and that you are being careful when pinning stretchy fabrics and that they don’t misalign when doing through a sewing machine. To stop this I place my stitches vertically so that you can only sew a short burst of stitches before having to remove the next pin, I find this to begin with helped me keep on top of my neatness but also that I wasn’t rushing and making any holes in the garment. Also much like the men’s version in which it is so easy to tighten seams and make this fit you exactly as you want it to.
Both patterns are great and as I have said several times be used for so many different projects and is great to have for when you need them. I hope you have as much fun using them as I do!
If you want to follow Rachel and Dan’s cosplay work, follow them on there facebook page. More reviews and tutorials from Rachel to come. Should there be anything you like us to review or create a tutorial form, please let us know.