Just me talking about costume-y kind of stuff
I wasn't happy with my first tail that I made for The Wind in the Willows or the wig that I used. And I screwed up Doom's armor the first time I tried to do it because the weather was both too hot and humid for painting outside. So I threw it aside in frustration and just finished my costume to wear to Geekfest. You can check out all of that backstory at the link above.
Reboot: Still not happy with the tail, but not having time to start a new idea, I replaced it with an inflatable one I bought online that popped after I wore it to the Skellington Halloween Costume Contest. I gained 40 pounds during the pandemic so I came up with a different bodysuit, I cut my brown leo in half so I could still wear the top half and bought a coppery corset to suck in my gut and then bought brown shorts to wear on my bottom half that I trimmed with fur. I found better looking boots as well and I bought a much better wig. Again, last minute I was only able to get some of Doom's armor together (the upper body pieces) but I did manage to make a helmet that was also crap and didn't sit right on his head. You can read all about that at the above link.
So here I am making yet another version of my tail. After all the work on She Kills Monsters making things out of coat hangers and pool noodles, I came up with a new plan for my squirrel tail. I've been saving bubble wrap and the larger pillow packs to use for lightweight padding to bulk up the tail. The pillow packs were the first layer, then I wrapped all that completely in bubble wrap. I used packing tape to tape it all onto the pool noodle and to itself. I left a hole to wrap some wide flesh colored elastic around the top of the pool noodle, even with my bra straps. Once I cut the fun fur out and sew it up, I'll have to leave a slit open in the front to put the elastic through. I'll also have to cut two slits in my leather jacket to attach the elastic to my bra straps. Once that's done the tail should stay upright and be very secure on me without putting too much strain on my back or waist and I should still be able to sit down comfortably. Update: I can sit down comfortably as long as the chair doesn't have a back.
Now that I have the structural elements done, my husband, my daughter, and I all ended up with Covid and I was out for 12 days and couldn't work on anything, much less my own costume. I had planned to premiere this and the new and improved Doctor Doom at a local comic con in February, but we were still home sick and besides, our costumes were nowhere near being finished. So, I had to wait until the opera was over so I could go back to work on at least my costume for the next comic con in Waco in April, the week after the opera.
I took all the fur off my first tail and used it to cover my third tail. I safety pinned everything in place to get an idea of how it needed to sew together around the curved shape. I had been working with a scrap to begin with from the second squirrel I made for Wind in the Willows and there wasn't any more of this same fur left in the shop. I thought I was going to need more fur, so I took apart the second tail that had popped to use it. As you can see from the photo it reads significantly darker than the original fur, so I was going to put that piece in the part of the tail that is the least seen, and theoretically would be in shadow. Once I had the whole thing pinned, I slipped it off like a sock and turned the thing inside out. At that point I could see that I actually had plenty of fur and didn't need the extra piece. I just did a little creative cutting and basically trimmed off two triangle shapes from the sides of the lower portion, sewed them together up the middle and then added them back upside down in the spot where the darker fur had been. Then it was just a matter of sewing all the sections together and slipping it back on the frame. I sewed bias tape on the top and bottom and ran elastic through the channel to close it up. I sewed snaps onto my elastic straps to go around my bra straps. Then the last thing to do was to cut slits in my jacket to run the wide straps through to go around my bra straps to keep it upright. I guessed wrong the first time and cut the slit too high. Luckily I still had scraps from when I altered it originally and used barge cement to patch the slit back together. The next slit I put in below the yoke and that was the perfect height.
At the same time, I've now lost 30 of my 40 pandemic pounds, so I needed a new body suit as well. I used the pattern that I drafted for my Scarlet Witch cosplay and made it up in quilted brown velveteen. I'll use a separating zipper to close up the CB seam but install it above where the tail attaches to the lumbar support belt. After I did the first fitting I realized that I needed the leotard to come much further down to cover up more of my butt, so I patterned an inset piece to add some extra coverage. I hemmed the legs and armholes as well as the neckline, then I installed the zipper. After that I used twill tape to add some lingerie straps to keep everything in place since so much is riding on being attached to my bra straps. I still need to add fur trim to my bodysuit around the neckline in the front and the legs. I have the right fur that matches my jacket, but I couldn't find it Friday, so that will have to be put on later. Originally the bodysuit pattern called for snaps in the crotch. I didn't want to deal with that, but now that I've worn it to a con, I realize that if I had installed snaps, then I might have attempted to use the bathroom while I was there. As it was, I just didn't drink or eat anything for the 4 hours we were there. And, I discovered when I got home, that my stitching had ripped almost all the way at the seam. So I will add in an extra couple of inches there, maybe a lycra panel with some stretch to it and then install snaps,
I have been unhappy with my ears since I first made them. I had used matching fur for the outside but a darker fur for the inside instead of pink. I don't know why I decided to do that, but I immediately hated it and had been wanting to replace it with pink ever since. I ripped them apart and replace the brown fur with pink flannel for the insides of the ears and then restitched them back on the headband using a curved needle.
My Goodwill Uggs are difficult to walk in, they are slightly too big and have no arch support. I bought really great insoles from Amazon and those helped tremendously.
Getting into the whole thing I can do almost completely by myself. I need someone to zip me up in the back, but that's it. Getting out of it though, I need help. Once I get the tail elastic snapped around my bra straps, I can't reach them again to unsnap them. It's the quantum. I also can't unzip myself. The other thing that was odd was that my tail seemed to lean heavily to my left side. I don't know if that's an elastic issue or what. I kept whacking people going up and down the vendor rows without meaning to. I did get a lot of compliments on my costume. Squirrel Girl seems to make so many people happy. I was asked to sign an autograph, I lost count of how many people took my photo. And when I was sitting down the people behind me asked if they could pet my tail. One guy refused to believe that it was faux fur. Everyone asked how I made the tail. One person thought that my wig was my real hair.
I never did finish attaching the Doom armor for the Skellington contest and then the upper body pieces fell apart anyway because all I could get at the last minute was brads. Plus the helmet shape was all wrong and didn't sit correctly on his head, so I'm remaking the helmet as well using the Kamuri Cosplay patterns from She Kills Monsters.