In the next part of the Making of One Eyed Cat, I take you through how I made the strappy and skimpy g-string. Sewing lingerie can be intimidating, but it's actually very achievable.
My thinking when it came to my g-string was to incorporate something to create another reveal. The idea was to have a paw print covering my hoohaa that I would conceal under a black panel attached with snaps. At the end of the act, the paw print would be revealed as part of the finale. My other idea was to take advantage of the sheer tap pants and dress and create some interesting shapes with straps. I did a few sketches before coming up with the one element that everything was anchored on - the cat nose. The back of the g-string has a point where all the straps converge. I made this point a cat nose and the straps the whiskers! That meant that I needed to design the front of the g-string to accommodate the extra straps to acheive this.
The next consideration was the hardware required. To enable a proper fit I opted to put sliders on the straps. I also wanted to use some loops to add to the overall look. I ended up buying them from boobytraps.com.au who stock a huge range of lingerie making supplies. I went with the die cast metal components in gunmetal. I also purchased the elastic from there in 10mm and 19mm.
The final design ended up something like the sketch below. I drafted the pattern for the panel of the g-string by putting on a high-waisted pair of cotton briefs and marking where I wanted the panel to cover. I finished the gusset section in a triangular shape and tried to make sure it covered enough. I then cut the panel out of the briefs and traced it onto paper, adding a seam allowance. I did the mesh panel first which I edged with scalloped elastic in a matching colour, that I also got from Booby Traps. I attached the elastic by sewing it on to the right side of the mesh (if there is such a thing) with the scalloped edge facing in, then folding the elastic and fabric over to the wrong side and sewing again. I then made another panel out of black spandex from the same pattern piece which I just sewed a regular hem on.
I think this is where things went slightly wrong. Even though I sewed the elastic onto the mesh panel using a zigzag stitch and my walking foot, the panel did become much larger. I experienced the same issue when I sewed the fold-over elastic to the mesh of my mesh bra I made form my previous costume (see blog post for that here). It was probably a good thing that the panel ended up larger than designed as I'm not sure I'd be happy with less coverage. The down-side is that the top black panel is much smaller than the bottom mesh panel. Although I don't mind the resulting look too much.
After the panels were sewn I attached the straps. First was the strap that goes in my crack. For this I used the 19mm elastic strapping from Booby Traps. I first attached it to the end of the panel and left it long so that I could adjust while trying it on. I then sewed the triangle loop to the top of the panel by making a loop out of leftover scalloped eleastic and stitching in place. I then needed to create the top strap to go around my waist. These straps have sliders on them to make them adjustable. This required a lot of thought because, even though I am a geologist, I struggle with spatial visualisation. The way I approached it was to get a bra and copy the straps on it.
Once the main straps were attached, I could determine their lengths by doing a quick fitting. I fit the waist straps so that they were as loose as I could possibly want them with the sliders at maximum length. I fit the vertical strap to be tight enough for the panel to cover what it needs to cover effectively. Once happy I held the 3 straps in place with my trusty pin curl clips then straight stitched in place. The other straps were attached to the panel with metal loops which were themselves attached with loops of scalloped elastic. I then again went through the mind fuck of attaching the sliders then fit the straps and sewed in place.
Once sewn together it was time to do the paw print. First I needed to determine where the paw print was to go. I found the best way was to mark the position while the g-string was on. I decided to create the paw print entirely out of crystals. I didn't want to sew on fabric patches because I was worried about how they would affect the stretch. Because there was nothing to going under the crystals I needed to place them very close to each other. To do this you need the g-string to be stretched while you crystal it. But the glue will go through the mesh and onto anything it touches, so you need to somehow stretch it without it touching anything where you want to place the crystals... The solution I came up with was a bowl. I placed the area to crystal over the opening of the ball. I then stretched and twisted the rest of the g-string around the outside of the bowl and secured it under the bowl.
I glued on the crystals using E6000. The stones I used were a mix of Black Diamond and Hematite. I was originally going to use Jet with an accent stone mixed in but the lady at the shop (Bead Trimming & Craft Co) convinced me otherwise. I swear they have special lights in that place because they looked a lot better in the store then they do in person. The combination of the two comes off very grey which I'm not too happy about.
The last thing to do was to sew on the snaps to secure the black panel to the front. I just used some standard small metal snaps and hand sewed them on. Again, the panel is not the same shape and size as the mesh panel below and I'm still not sure if I like it or not. Also, there is a bit of gaping between the straps and snaps that I'm not happy about. I will need to keep experimenting with materials to try and stabilise the panels. But it's nothing some double sided tape wont fix.
So there you go! Making a g-string is not that hard but does require a bit of planning and thinking and is helped immensely by a walking foot. I haven't been blogging as much as I used to due to some other things that have been taking up my time (like Paint Me Burly Babe and Glitter au Gogo) but I do want to finish blogging about the making of this costume. The next post will be about the making of the pasties which took a major step up since my last pair (read the post about them here) so stay tuned for that!