HOW TO SEW A BUNNY SUIT

DIY

INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE ENTHUSIASTIC COSPLAYER


Here are some basic instructions for creating the corseted bodysuit of your dreams! In addition to being adorable for cosplay parties, they make an excellent base for a variety of costumes. There’s a ton of room for customizing- you can easily switch the laces out for a zipper, change up the neckline, or add colorblocking to bring your design to life.

There’s quite a few ways to put bodysuits together… Here’s how I make mine.

Materials

  • Dense, sturdy fabric like coutil or duck canvas for strength
  • (Enough for the final suit + a mockup)
  • About 5 yards of spiral steel boning
  • Either 6 or 8 flat steel bones ~18”
  • Fashion Fabric for the outside
  • Lining material (optional, but nice to add)
  • Woven Interfacing (like Pellon sf101)
  • 36 Grommets or a Metal Zipper (instructions for zips coming soon!)
  • Twill Tape for a waist tape
  • Boning tape or enough leftover fabric to make boning channels
  • Bias strips for finishing the top edge and leg holes
Custom Pattern
Measurements

Measurements

Start by finding a helper. You cannot take accurate measurements by yourself. They are particularly important for an item that hugs curves as closely as a bodysuit. Wear an unpadded bra, tights, and a form fitting tank top.

Start by tying a ribbon around your waist. When wearing a corset, this is the smallest point in the squishy bit between the bottom of your ribcage and your hips. Try bending from side to side if you can’t find it. Take the measurements listed for your pattern with a flexible ruler or a piece of string and a yardstick.

The Pattern

If you received a digital pattern from us, print it out at 100%. Do not autoscale! Double check the 2” box to make sure everything sized correctly. Line up the sheets on the dotted lines, tape together your pattern and cut it out. Buy a custom pattern here.

If you received a printed pattern from us, congratulations, you just saved yourself an hour, move on to the next step.

If you are using a commercial pattern, iron it flat then cut out the pieces. Measure the panels and compare them to your own. Adjust the length per their included instructions.

Custom Pattern
Mockups

Make a Mockup

Start by making a mockup. Seriously, y’all, it will take you a few extra hours but it is worth it! Everyone’s bodies are different and little tweaks on a piece of clothing that is so personal like a bunny suit makes a big difference. Plus you’ll sort out the kinks before cutting up your nice fabric.

Use material that’s a similar strength to your final version. Boning is important so be sure to use it in your mockup, even if it is on the center of the panels instead of over the seams.

Pin your pieces together at the waist and work outwards, then sew them together from the top to the bottom to help avoid twisting.

Once your mockup is assembled, have a friend help you adjust it. (Be sure to include any padding you’ll be using at the end.) Pinch any excess fabric, let out any seams that are pulling too much, mark your preferred neckline and double check the leg opening for modesty. If you need more coverage, use masking tape to extend your mockup, then continue the panel seams onto your tape.

If you are comfortable with the fit and would like more of a waist reduction, pinch fabric out of the center of the panels on the squishiest part of your sides, above your hipbones and below your ribcage. This is also the time to play with the gap in the back, add additional seams and other personalizations.

Cut up your mockup and transfer any alterations to your pattern.

Sew the Final Draft

There are a few different ways to construct a bunny suit. Roll pinning the strength and fashion layers together as one and sewing the boning channels through both layers of the corset makes it sturdier and have less wrinkles, although it does add more of a “lingerie” look.

More cosplayers prefer a more traditional look, so here are instructions on how to make a two layer body suit.

Start by fusing woven interfacing to your fashion fabric, following manufacturer’s instructions and using a press cloth. Let it cool completely before handling. This gives a little bit more strength and helps the fabric keep its shape, reducing wrinkles. You will also need to apply 2.5” of interfacing to the back center of the strength fabric where the grommets will be installed.

Cut your pattern out of your strength fabric and fashion fabric. Accuracy is very important, so you may want to transfer sewing lines to the pieces. Mark your notches.

Starting with the strength layer, pin from the waist outward and then sew from the top down. Press the seam open and notch curves. Topstitch and trim the excess seam allowance. Iron back seam in place.

Sew boning tape over the seams. If you’re using a waist tape, insert it now, above the waistline marked on the pattern.

Sew the butt seam together. (This has to be very low or you won’t be able to get into your suit!.) Press.

Sew the crotch seam together. Press.

Sew together the fashion fabric pieces, taking care to make it exactly the same as the previous layer. Press carefully, notching curves. Add any appliques or other adornments at this stage if desired.

If you’d like to line your suit, repeat this a third time with your lining fabric.

Body Suit
Body Suit

Boning

Trim bones to length (accounting for the bias edging) and grind down the tips. The center front and either side of the grommets get flat steel bones and all other seams get spiral steel bones. Cover the ends with tips.

  • Note: I personally like the look of boning the seams all the way down, but it’s not comfortable for extended wear because you can’t really sit down. Some makers prefer boning bodysuits to the hip. If you do as well, make sure to close the channels so the bones don’t slide around. This is something great to sort out when you do your mockup!

Sandwich your fabric layers together and hand baste them in place along the edges. Yes, hand sewing sucks, but it sucks less than picking your seams out three times because something went wonky.

Finishing

Finish the leg openings with a strip of fashion fabric cut on the bias. Fold and press. Topstitch it now or sew it with the other bias later.

Next, sew along the very edge of the back center opening, and then add the boning channels on either side of the grommets. (This is the trickiest step of the whole bit.)

Now insert the bones! How exciting. Wiggle them down into the channels so you don’t break a needle.

Take another bias strip of fabric and sew it along the top edge of your suit. Fold it over, press it, and finish to your preference- you can hand stitch from the inside if you’re fancy, or carefully top stitch from the top. Wonder clips work great for this.

Install grommets 1" apart in the back of your suit between the flat bones, taking care that they line up.

Wonderclips and bias tape
Wonderclips and bias tape

Victory!

Now you can *finally* try it on! Can you see why making a mockup is so important? Have a friend lace you in from the bottom to the top then go blow kisses at yourself in the mirror. <3


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