So far I've completed the changes I needed to make to the pattern. I made up a muslin of a KS tank swimsuit and while she was wearing it, I marked where I needed to put seams. Just when I was wondering how to make the square neckline on the suit, someone on patternreview.com asked the very same question. The answer was to put in seams. I'd get started on the suit if I had some 1/4" knit elastic.
I did a sample stitchout of a knit with elastic sewn around a square cut-out to see if I could avoid the seams, but I got rounded corners instead of a square. When I tried to miter the corners by sewing the corners of the elastic, I wasn't happy with the results. I'm so glad I did the sample, it really helped me plan out my pattern. I want a rounded edge where I left a notch in the pattern but I put seams where I absolutely wanted the suit to be squared off. I sure hope I can figure out where to put the elastic when I sew it together.
These are the fabrics we picked out when we went to Michael Levine's in downtown LA a week ago. They match better than they look in the photo. The fabric on the right is a swimsuit nylon lycra and the one on the left is a ponte de roma, not the nice double knit but the kind cheerleader outfits and tablecloths are made from. That one will be used for the armor. I think I'll sandwich it around a layer of peltex to give it the stiffness it needs and then use the fold-over elastic around the edges to hide the peltex. The gold gimp trim will work on the armor and I'll probably just hand sew it to the suit once she has it on. I like the idea of making a belt attached with hooks. Thanks to Caroline and Trina for those good ideas.
I've decided to use Silhouette's Yoga Skirt to make the skirt. I don't have many patterns in her little size and I think this one will work out perfectly. She wanted it to be twirly and this one is much more a-line than the back of the pattern shows. I'll just cut a shape out of the side of each pattern piece so that it only hangs in the center front and center back. I hope we bought enough of the gimp to go around the edges of the skirt and the armor.
I will be using the fold-over elastic to go around the thigh high sock to keep it up and around the fingerless gloves and the face mask. Does anyone have any ideas how to make the face mask part? I'm open to all ideas at this point. I may just trace the shadow of her face in profile and create a pattern from that with a seam down the center. I'm hoping this goes together very quickly. I hate sewing for others and I'm not enjoying this very much. However, I can't wait to see how cute she'll be in this costume. I know it'll look fantastic on her.