Fursuits are costumes of animals. People wear fursuits for a variety of reason. Some wear mascot fursuits to support a particular sports team. Others wear fursuits to entertain children at parties, parades or other functions. Some wear fursuits to bring attention to specific social issues such as animal cruelty or hunting. Fursuits also play a part in costumes play and role-playing conventions and games. Called cos-play, people dress as their favourite anime characters animal to act out specific scenes.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
- Bodysuit pattern
- White plush fur, 2 1/2 yards
- Grey plush fur 2 1/2 yards
- Rotary fabric cutter
- Cutting mat
- Sewing machine
- Bias tape
- Plastic mask
- Foam craft clay
- Pictures of wolves
- Newspaper, 2-in stack of old papers
- White school glue
- Shallow sealable plastic dish
- Wire whisk
- Blank newsprint
- Craft knife
- Felt tip marker
- Hot glue
- Black vinyl
Open the costume pattern and read the instructions for your pattern before beginning sewing. Most animal costume patters are simple jumpsuits and contain eight parts: Left and right front, left and right back and the front and back of each sleeve.
Lay each pattern piece out on a single layer of plush fur fabric. Wolves generally have a lighter belly than back. So lay the front pieces out on white or light grey plush fabric. Pin the pattern to the backing of the plush. Roll the rotary cutter on the pattern's cutting line. Use a light touch and be careful to cut only the plush backing. This leaves the longest plush along the edge of the costume piece.
Brush the fur toward the centre of each costumes piece before pinning one piece to another. Start by pinning the left and right sleeve fronts to the left and right front of the costume. Stitch in place. Repeat with the back sleeves and back portions. Sew the two back pieces together.
Baste the two front pieces together with a 3/4-inch seam on the longest stitch possible on your machine. Press the seam open. Pin the zipper to the inside of the seam.
Put the zipper foot on your sewing machine. The zipper foot is thinner than the regular sewing foot, and one side of the foot is longer than the other. Stitch 3/8-inch on either side of the centre seam. This catches the side of the zipper and secures the seam allowance. Remove the basting stitches.
Hem the neck, sleeves and leg opening by covering the raw edge of the fabric with bias tape. Stitch the bias tape in place with a little showing on the front as possible. This makes the costume more comfortable and prevents ravelling.
Brush all seams with the toothbrush to pull any plush out of the seam. This hides the seams and gives the costume a furrier look.
Sewing the Body
Blow up the balloon until its almost twice the size of your head. Wolves heads are larger in proportion to their body than human heads are. So your wolf head must be larger than your human head.
Tape the mask to the front of the balloon. This serves as a pattern for your eyeholes. Sculpt the snout out of clay. Foam craft clay is light enough that you can leave it inside the finished head to add support to your snout. Use pictures of real wolves to get the proper proportion of snout to head. Let the clay dry for 24 hours.
Pour 1/4-cup of white school glue and water into a shallow food container or sealable dish. Whisk the two liquids together until the glue is thin. As long as you are able to cover the dish, you prevent the glue from drying and you can save any unused mixture.
Lay the cheesecloth over the entire balloon, paying careful attention to draping the cloth over the snout and face. Paint the glue and water mixture over the cheesecloth pressing the cloth into the details of the mask. Let the mask dry for 24 hours.
Cut the newspapers into 1-inch strips. Mix 1-cup of glue to 1-cup of water. Whisk the mixture thoroughly. Dip a strip of newspaper into the mixture and place on the mask form. Press the wet paper into any mask details. Repeat until the top 3/4 of the balloon is covered. Leaving the hole at the bottom gives you a place to put your head inside the finished mask. Let the mask dry for four hours. Repeat with a second, third and fourth layer of newspaper, letting the mask dry for at least four hours between layers. Finish with a layer of blank newsprint. Let the entire mask dry for 24 hours. Pop the balloon and let the mask dry inside and out for an additional 24 hours.
Trim the bottom of the mask with the craft knife. Put the mask on your head. Look straight ahead and compare where your eyes are to the eyeholes of the mask. Bright sunlight may shine through the mask and give you enough light to see. Otherwise, shine a flashlight through the neck hole. Push a long, felt-tip marker through the neck hole and mark where your eyes are on the inside of the mask.
Cut the eyeholes with the craft knife. Glue a small piece of black vinyl to the tip of the nose with the hot glue gun.
Hot glue pieces of fur to the head. Use leftover pieces from the suit to blend the head and body of your wolf. Use pictures of wolves to determine marking for your wolf fursuit. Cut a 6-inch drape for the bottom of your mask. Match the colour of fur on the front and back to your suit. This helps your mask blend in with the suit.
Glue the ears on to the top of the head.
Glue the eyes onto the front of the mask. Trim the fur around the eyes and ears to approximate the shorter hair on a wolf's face.
Tips and warnings
- If your suit is baggy, consider whether you want to fill the suit out with foam, of contour the suit to more closely fit your body. To take in the suit, put the costume on inside out. Take up the seams with pins until the costume fits to your satisfaction. Stitch along the pinned lines and turn the costume inside out.
- Masks limit your field of vision. Never use a mask on busy street. Make sure you have help when navigating high traffic areas.
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