Sewing the Mesh

The fabric to be used as the mesh undersuit needed to be strong and have holes large enough to tie the strands of Wookie fur.  I searched all over on the internet for an appropriate mesh fabric and the best I could find was a material used for making SCUBA equipment bags.  I found the mesh material at http://www.onlinefabricstore.net/mesh-fabric/polyester-mesh-fabric/7mm-polyester-hex-mesh-black-.htm?cvsfa=2700&cvsfe=2&cvsfhu=3733333833.  The fabric was $6.30/yard and I purchased 5 yards of mesh material in black.

The fabric is relatively strong, but still has a lot of flexibility for moving.  The major problem with mesh fabric and sewing are all the holes.  My first decision was how to sew the mesh fabric together when the sewing needle would have no fabric to work with and make stitches when sewing through the holes in the mesh.  The solution I came up with was to place a binding material (see below) around the edge of the mesh, creating a solid fabric that the sewing machine could work with.

I used a black, 1 inch binding tape to help the sewing machine to make stitches.

It was difficult pinning the two edges of the mesh material together inside of the binding tape, but with a little practice it got easier.  I had to be very careful that neither of the mesh pieces slipped out of the binding tape, or else I would have holes in the undersuit and weak points in the seams that would never be able to be fixed.  Every seam is covered on both sides by binding tape.  Essentially I paired the mesh pieces together, as the pattern instructions said, and then folded the binding tape over the edge of the mesh material, pinning the mesh fabric pieces and binding tape together (see below).  Make sure that you pin the fabric perpendicular to the direction of sewing so that you can leave the pins in the fabric as you sew.  It will help keep everything in place during sewing.

Pinning the mesh fabric pattern pieces together with a covering of binding tape. All fabric is pinned together, ready for sewing.

Once the mesh is sandwiched between the binding tape and pinned, it’s time to sew. Sew slowly, taking care to make sure neither mesh piece slides out of the binding tape.

Even with all my precautions, I have found that the mesh still has a tendency to slip out of the binding tape.  I sew the seams once with the pins in place, then I remove the pins and flip the material over and sew a new seam on the opposite side, giving it a double stitch.  This also allows me to inspect the mesh and make sure none of it has slipped out.  Once finished, the seam should consist of a sandwich of mesh fabric “meat” in between two pieces of binding tape “bread”.

This is what the finished seam should look like.

This is what the finished seam should look like. The raised part of the seam will be on the inside of the costume and the outer seam will be smooth and flat.

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5 Responses to Sewing the Mesh

  1. Maria Lora says:

    Hi, do you make chewie’s costumes for sale?

    • linzileigh86 says:

      So far I have only made costumes for myself or my family. I am not against making costumes to sell. Chewie is a big project though, and would be very expensive. There are a couple people who make wookies for sale: The Wookie Workshop and Evil Chimp costumes both make them for sale. A wookie will go for around $5000.

  2. Tom says:

    Hi, my mesh is 1cm and not 7mm, will this work?
    Thanks!

  3. Pingback: 15 Sewing Projects Involving Mesh | Awareness

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