I am not a good enough seamstress that I could sew a purple suit from scratch, but I told my son if he bought one standard-issue grey suit plus one standard-issue grey suit jacket from Goodwill, I would attempt to paint them purple and piece them together into Joker-appropriate style.
The two suit jackets he bought (sorry, only one pictured here) were the same size and roughly the same color and style. The main difference was that one of the jackets had flaps on the front pockets.
(Word of warning: These are photos from my pre-blogging days — which means they were taken on my old point-and-shoot with only the camera flash as lighting.)
I bought two big bottles of purple craft paint (and used both) and one bottle of textile medium.
I mixed the craft paint and textile medium in a 2-to-1 ratio. The textile medium prevents the paint from cracking after it dries.
I had to really saturate the fabric in order to get the paint to cover the grey suit. To keep the paint from seeping through the fabric, I put a scrap piece of white foam board inside it.
I did the same with the pants.
The foam board was too wide to slide inside the pant legs, so I flattened an empty saltines box and used that to block the paint from bleeding through there.
I painted one section at a time, sliding the foam core/saltines box along as I went.
Once I had everything painted, I cut the jacket with the pocket flaps off above the armpits and threw out the top portion. The bottom portion I positioned along the bottom of the other jacket to fashion into a long coat.
When I had the jackets lined up, I put a row of pins in to hold everything in place.
Then I stitched the two jackets together. (I went back and touched up the paint later.)
For the vest, I started with another Goodwill find.
I didn’t have the right shade of green on hand, so I mixed a little white paint in with the green I had to lighten it up, and then added the textile medium, just like I did with the purple.
Again, I had to really saturate the fabric to get good paint coverage, so I put the white foam board in between the front and back of the vest to prevent seepage.
I painted right over the buttons.
Here’s the finished look, right before my son headed out to Freak Fest in Madison. (He even dyed his hair green, which is a little hard to see in the dim lighting of the parking garage where this photo was apparently taken.)