It’s finally time for Batgirl-Batman’s most helpful female companion!
The version I’m going to try and create is the wonderful looking character portrayed by Yvonne Craig in the mid 1960’s.
I’ve been watching old Batman episodes on Youtube, getting a good grounding in what she’s wearing, and now everything in my head is punctuated by Biff, Blam and Pow in giant cartoony letters, lol!
Batgirl, as we all remember, wears an awesome royal purple sparkly stretch unitard with a purple cape lined in golden yellow, a purple hood with ears, darker purple partial facemask, purple gloves and purple kitten heeled boots. And of course her golden utility belt.
The first challenge was the fabric for the skin tight suit itself. Even choosing the right colour for it was something not to be taken lightly, because depending on what promo photo you were looking at, sometimes it looked positivelt blue and some times royal purple. After watching the episodes and looking through as many pics as I can find, I’m sold that it’s royal purple 🙂
The skintight suit needed to be made out of stretchy fabric and this proved difficult to find until I stumbled upon Funkifabrics. They’re fabrics are terrific quality and worth every penny (or pound, as they’re in the UK!) Even then though, it’s a leap of faith in terms of colour. You know, colours on your monitor may not be as they appear yada, yada….
Life’s risky, so you know, dive in. Take the risk, order the fabric, lol! Wait by the mailbox until it arrives…..
Then it arrives,
it couldn’t be more perfect! This stuff is amazing!Happy joy dance ensues.
Back to work now though. Focus, pay attention, me, not you!
The cape. Hmm, the cape. At first, I though, yes right, now as few seams as possible, do it circular.
I’ll add weights to the hem points so that it drapes. The purple silk I’m using is happy to drape. Not so much the stretchy gold lame. Hmm. I know it needs weights! So I sew drapery weights very carefully on the inside of the cape. I turn it right side out. Looks a little like a squid, lol! Cute, sort of, but you know not a cape. So ok, now it needs lines of stitching between each batty panel. So I try that. It hangs like a fatigued squid now.
So, no, go away and think some more.
Shelve the squid!
Rethink your earlier disdain for seams. Silk is (a least in this instance) thin and so, seams can be handled! Below, is a non-circular paneled version…
So I try again with panels, and I do it with lovely purple silk and the gold lame. And then I realize, the metallic gold lame is wrong. I mean, her cape is not metallic. Yes, it’s gold and it’s shiny like satin, but not metallic gold. It’s shiny like satin. So duh, how about some butter yellow golden satin then? Preferably silk.
(The silk I used in the above example is gorgeous, and amazing, but it has an inherent stiffness and doesn’t, yes, you guessed it, drape!)
So off to the fabric store. They don’t of course have butter yellow golden silk. (I seem to have a little trouble finding exactly what I want. Maybe I’m just super picky…. yup, that’s probably it.) But, they do have dye! And I have lovely white silk satin at home. Who doesn’t, lol!
So now silk is quietly turning a lovely yellow hue even as I write this. When it’s all dry I can continue on with the sewing 🙂 In the above pic, the brightest yellow is the dyed silk, (still wet, it dries slightly lighter) the white piece is an example of how polyesther doesn’t take dye (at all) and the lovely but too stiff silk I already had 🙂
Until next time 🙂
Thanks for reading!