Saturday, October 25, 2014

"What's a good way to get some tentacles without making too much of a production of it?"

One of my friends recently had a "crazy" idea to dress up in tentacles. She drew me a picture, suggesting that this is probably a weird thing that won't work out the way it looks in the picture.

It really didn't seem all that unreasonable to me, so I offered to make them. I looked around at "squid plushies" to get ideas for construction and we picked out some fleece and minky fabric based on what I'd seen. The house got pretty thoroughly coated in minky fluff (if you've never worked with it, it sheds like crazy when cut) but the tentacles came together nicely.

As you can see in the drawing and in the final costume images, the outfit consists of a tentacle belt or skirt (whatever you want to call it), sleeves/arm warmers, and a collar.

Let's go through the pieces one by one. I started with the belt. This took some guessing because I wasn't sure how stiff it would have to be or how the tentacles would attach. I ended up interfacing it with one layer of medium weight iron-on interfacing. I sewed around the whole thing except for one short edge, flipped it inside out, and then seam ripped where each tentacle would go to insert it. I top-stitched everything afterwards. This worked surprisingly well and I didn't have to flip the belt right side out with a bunch of tentacles attached.

As you can see, it closes with velcro. I free-handed the shapes for the long tentacles and traced the yoke portion of a skirt to get the shape of the belt itself right. Though they look a bit puffed up, I didn't stuff the tentacles with anything - they just have body from the fabrics.

The neck piece is basically a mini version of the above. I free-handed a curve, tried it on, and trimmed until it sat correctly.

As with everything else, I free-handed a shape for the arm warmers, making sure the total around was big enough for my arm (Bria, who requested this costume, is about the same size as me). They came out a bit tight but since the fleece stretches it's not much of a problem.

You can see in this photo how I did the hand portion. The tip is a piece of fabric that ends just before the end of the pink part of the sleeve. I sewed this on first, then carefully sewed the two sleeve pieces together.

Overall this was a pretty fun project and Bria was happy with how it came out. I would definitely be up for making more tentacle skirts in the future... maybe something for the Etsy store?

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