I am preparing costumes for Gaslight Gathering in San Diego in October, the theme is "All the Steamy Things That Go Bump In The Night" . Given this theme, I felt that the Dia de Muertos Plague outfit would be perfect. The picture to the left is the last time I wore the outfit and there were a few things I did not like. The first is that I have Dia de Muertos style skeleton leggings on, but my arms, hands and chest are bare (or covered in mesh only). So I decided to make a bodysuit/shirt that had integral gloves and a short turtle neck to reduce the amount of skin that shows. I bought some soft knit material and used a tight T shirt to make a pattern. I added a short standing collar to make the shirt a turtle neck and provide at least some neck coverage. I then traced my hands onto the knit and stitched around them to make gloves. I left lots of extra fabric at the top when stitching the hands. Once I knew the hands fit, I added a basic sleeve pattern to the top of the gloves. The sleeve and gloves were cut as one piece to minimize seams.
Once the shirt was sewn, it was time to paint. I wanted to mimic the style of the purchased leggings shown to the left. So I purchased fabric paints and cheap brushes from the local craft store and set to work painting the shirt. To keep the paint from sticking the front and back together, or sealing the hands shut, the hands are stuffed with latex gloves, the sleeves have plastic bags in them and the shirt was placed over cardboard. Painting on knits is really hard! The fabric stretches in odd ways that makes keeping the lines even almost impossible. However, overall I am pretty pleased with the way the shirt came out. The paint does crack a bit if you stretch the shirt too much, but I think it will work for at least a few wearings. Now to fix the shirt issue, since I was not happy with the previous shirt!