I think it may be as easy as connecting male pins from one side to corresponding female pins on the other side,
but need reassurance please. Would be shame to blow something up.
For what? I mean, which logic gives that a strict 1:1 connection can blow up anything? After all, i1:1 means that there are no other connections made, doesn't it?
I understand I can't simply use parallel or serial off the shelf as wires are laid out differently.
Why not? Parallel cables are exactly that, one to one connections. Just sometimes not all wires.
So most simple solution is buying one from your valued local store or mail order shop.
If you insist in dong it yourself, then get a 25 lane flat ribbon, two flat-ribbon/Sub-D plugs, mount them and done...