Sunday, July 11, 2010

Squirrel costume

I've been making a squirrel costume. It's too hot for a full costume plus the school wanted to keep it simple, so I went for ears and tail as the main elements. Which actually isn't all that simple - a squirrel has a massive tail.

I chose to go with a grey squirrel, since it was impossible to find reddish brown fun-fur on short notice* and son doesn't have much in the way of brown/reddish-brown clothing. I had a quick attempt at a tail using some brown fun-fur I'd left over from Toto, but it didn't really work - it really needed to be a squirrelly colour.

I was lucky enough to come across a large grey furry cushion cover on sale, so I grabbed that one. It was then a simple matter of unpicking the zip and the sides of the cover, to give me a rectangle of fabric. This I sewed together into a long, wide tube.

With chicken wire I created a pliable frame to give the tail shape, folding in ends and covering them with duct tape to prevent any ends spiking through.

The above is before it was bent into a more curved tail shape. The fabric tube went over it like a sleeve, and was draped into folds to give bushiness.

I used a short-sleeved hooded top in grey, and tacked a white fun-fur tummy over the design the top already had on it.

I'm hoping the top will still be wearable after squirreldom, so everything is tacked on rather than permanently affixed. But it might be a bit holey! I stitched the tail onto the back in several places, at the top, part way down and at the bottom. I went right through the the chicken wire frame at times so that it was held in place as well.

A couple of folded triangles made the basic ear shape, and I glued a smaller triangle of white fun-fur in the inside.

A few stitches to keep the shape, and then I tacked the ears firmly onto the hood. And that was it pretty much done.

I do apologise if the blacked-out face is freaky, but I don't feel comfortable putting too-identifiable pictures of the children up. The ears do both stand up, he'd got one caught against the wall. Perhaps the ears could have done with being a bit smaller and I'd have preferred a smaller tummy panel (but the design underneath, printed on the top, was huge. I don't know why plain t-shirts are so hard to find, it's ridiculous).

All in all I was pleased with the end result. It was quite a fun project and didn't require any great technical skill.

* It's always short notice with me. I'm a last-minute kind of gal.


Ellie said...

Wow that is brilliant!

Mephitis said...

Thanks :).