I gave myself a challenge last year by buying a XL black man's boiler suit, and nip and tucking that thing to fit my body. I started with the basics - adding a silver feature zip, taking it in a full 18 inches at the waist and moving the shoulders in. I was still learning a lot of the techniques, so it was a really nice way to break in a lot of that first-cut fear.
I ended up wearing it to a 1940s night as a Rosie the Riveter look, complete with victory roll and headscarf.
A few months passed, and I thought about taking my jumpsuit to the next level. I had learnt a few more techniques so thought I'd bust it out again and give it an overhaul.
It was a very steep learning curve - particularly turning the baggy trousers into tight fitting hot pants! Every seam was unpicked and restitched, every dart was carefully measured, and a lot of zips and poppers were moved - and finally a body fitting jumpsuit was born! I may not be able to bend down in it, but I look better standing and posing in it anyway.
I've been collecting patches for a while, because they're bright, colourful and punky. I had the idea of attaching the patches to the jumpsuit to resemble tattoos, across the upper arms, shoulders back and hips.
If I'm honest, this jumpsuit was an excuse to buy patches and dress up - but where's the problem in that?
I also thought it would be a great excuse to play with my handsewing!
I love using my embroidery threads - I'm addicted to colours, and any excuse to add to my selection of threads. I keep seeing beautiful illustrations or patches on my feeds, and thinking 'Oo, that would be fun to make,'.
I never quite got around to it, until I saw Alex Pardee's new logo 'Brightmares'. It had everything I love - rainbows and teeth. Colours and carnage. Pastels and puncture marks...
I thought it would make a great addition to my host of 'tattoos'.
I picked up a few more patches along my adventures, including a skele-cat from Horrorcon who I absolutely love.
The finished product is still one of my favourite things I've made, and something I'll be adding to in the future - I've already got a whole host of embroidered patches planned out. I wanted to show it off for Halloween, so me and my amazing photographer Simon C Jeffery headed out to document it.