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How DO you make those Animal Costumes? (Fursuits)
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The Few Rules:
* Before you ask a question, please check the MEMORIES (The text says "Memories" next to the community userpic.) TONS of questions have been catagorized! Also look at the "Entry Tags" to the left of this post.
* Please, keep it PG13. (aka "work safe", no showing "bits")
* Please, ONLY ON TOPIC posts! Keep it on Fursuits you have built, Tutorials, or questions on how to build them, only. (Not "What critter should I make?", etc please figure that out maybe in LJ FursuitLounge before you come here to build it)
* Feel free to show any "HOW TOs" / Tutorials on creating things. THIS is what the community was made for!
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Use this: <lj-cut text="TEXT">ENTRY </lj-cut>
Do not put any spaces in the < > brackets. TEXT= what the link will say. ENTRY= what you put in the entry inside the cut. This can be pictures, text, etc

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* Constructive criticism IS ALLOWED. Be aware you may have some members comment on how to improve your work if you end up posting pictures unless you specifically say "Please, no crits on this" (or something along those lines. )
12th-Jan-2017 03:58 pm - Drybrushing.
Hello! I don't have the money right now to purchase airbrushing tools, so I'm going for a realistic look while using dry brushing to detail the fur.

Could something like this be achieved through that?
11th-Jan-2017 07:41 am - Zippers....
So I've been plugging away on my sophomore head build. I have a punch list of improvements I want to make from my last head, and one of them is the zipper in the hood. The one in my first head came out pretty good, it is very functional and easy to use, but I wish it had less bulk/stiffness around the opening. (It's a zipper underneath a flap of Velcro'd fabric, similar to the one in the book "Critter Costuming".)

Right now I'm sewing a bunch of zippers into practice hoods to see which methods I like best. (Here's a pic of me sewing away, with help from my feline studio assistant.)

The method I originally used for my first head was a reconstruction of a DVC video tutorial which unfortunately vanished from the Interwebs right in the middle of my project, so I had to try to do it from memory the best I could. My sewing teacher (yay for sewing teachers!) says I could use the same method but use a softer kind of Velcro to reduce the bulk/stiffness this time around. (Haven't gone looking for softer Velcro yet.) I also tried Matrices' method, which came out beautifully, though I have concerns about the zipper getting stuck on the little concealing flap of fabric this method uses. Right now I'm sewing up a hood that uses the method my good ol' sewing encyclopedia recommends... sewing the zipper on a large, folded back seam allowance, so that the fur will curve in over the zipper when it's closed.

So I'm very interested to know... what is your favorite method for installing zippers? What are your favorite tutorials? TIA!!
9th-Jan-2017 05:14 pm - Assembling my second head
New blog post chronicling my sophomore head build efforts here.

I'm excited to be using my own resin head, one I sculpted, molded and cast myself, though it took quite a bit of fiddling to get it to work with DVC parts (eyes, nose, teeth.) I do have serious fantasies about sculpting my own parts someday. Overall I'm happy with how this head is coming out, though I did learn a bunch about what I might do differently during my next head sculpt.

Blog blog bloggin' away, with the hope that 1) someone might have useful advice to offer to this noob after they read it, and 2) some other noob might find it helpful in some way.

Thanks for looking!
Good evening, all

Curious question: If I plan on dropping the crotch significantly in a suit that doesn't require much in the way of digitigrade padding, and uses primarily very short fur, how would be the best way to go about patterning? Most of the images I pull up off of the webs show heavily padded haunches, which isn't really what I'm going for. Could I just pattern the crotch out where I want it and somehow craft a removable padding pillow that goes in that empty space between my legs?

Opinions very desired

EDIT: added in a picture of the character. I was thinking of even going stumpier on the legs than what I originally thought.

6th-Jan-2017 11:21 am - Second hand opinion needed
I've been working on a pattern for the construction of my pine marten head... and I've also been staring at it for too long.

Specifically, I'd like to know the following:
-are the cheeks jowly or too large, primarily the "smiley" piece?
-do I need to extend the cheeks further back, or do I need to bring the ears further forward?
(I am aware that the ears are too canine for a pine marten, those are just placeholders)
Any other criticism is welcome, thanks!

EDIT: I fixed the smiley piece so that it didn't come down so low on the cheek.
4th-Jan-2017 09:05 pm - Question about sizing body suits
Hello! I've followed this community for awhile but I've never posted. I have a question about my first client--they live alone and don't have very many friends so they cannot duct tape dummy themselves. However they gave me measurements of their body (across shoulders, length of arms, chest, waist, hips, and inseam). They want it to be as slim fit as possible and digitigrade. How do I go about this? I have a mannequin that is as tall as the customer (6'0) so should I just pad it out to match them and make a dummy out of that? Or just draw out their measurements on fabric and go for making a pattern that way? I am quite confused as I really have only made suits for myself and close friends and I want this to be perfect.

Edit: Picture removed after customer told me it was a tracing of another suit that I colored. A new one will be up from scratch later on, sorry folks for any harm; was not intentional on my part.
This is probably asked a lot, but are there any recommendations for long-pile red fox or rust fur? I know the old MM rust is discontinued, and currently FursuitSupplies.com is out of their rust. I'd want something at least 2", 2 yds.

CR's crafts has a rust fox fur, but I don't know the quality, or if it's as dark as the photo. Anyone ever use it? http://www.crscraft.com/products/referal.asp?pid=90419&pid2=90415&L1=0&L2=0&L3=0&L4=0&searchOffset=0

Mendel's sells rust shag, but it's a bit short at 1.5". They also sell this "blonde fox" realistic fur, but I don't know how well it would work for a fursuit. https://www.mendels.com/Blonde-Fox.html It looks like something I've seen on DF, but darker (which may be lighting).

Shannon Fabrics has an "Amber", but I believe they only sell in bulk, and it's also 1.5". I'm currently looking at other suppliers but so far the rusts I've found are too short. CR's is the only long one.

If 1.5" is long enough for bodysuits, I may go with something that long if CR's isn't recommended.

3rd-Jan-2017 04:19 pm - Tyber mills quality?
Hello! I recently found some furs I like from a store called Denver Fabrics http://www.denverfabrics.com/
They sell short pile fur from Tyber Mills and I was wondering if anyone had any experience with their quality. (It also looks like they don't offer samples? Maybe I missed something).

I'm working on my second head, and one of the improvements I want to make over my first head is fur that fits more closely to the resin base, so it obscures its form less. (Here's pics of my first head: http://www.sanssoucistudios.com/fursuitwolfhead.html )

I just finished sewing together the face for a new mask out of scrap fur I had lying around, playing with stitches and such, and I'm really happy with how it came out: https://www.facebook.com/sanssoucistudios/photos/a.146589718747115.36816.138871736185580/1344890648917010/?type=3&theater

This time I did it all with hand sewing, not machine sewing, as a lot of the bulk material/seams I'd get that would hide the form of the base would be from areas where the seams were less than perfect, especially in areas where a lot of seams came together, such as the corners of the eyes. As far as machine sewing goes I just don't have those kinds of skilz yet!!

So while it took forever to sew the face together by hand I think the results are well worth it. I'm curious to know: when do you do hand sewing? Machine sewing? What stitches do you use when you do hand sewing? (I used what I think is called the blanket stitch here.) TIA!
29th-Dec-2016 06:47 am - Washing dry-brushed fur?
Hi there!

Been lurking around a while now, but I still haven't come across any sort of solid answer to this (if I missed it somewhere, I'm so sorry!). I'm making a suit but for the first time I'll be dry brushing acrylics onto the fur since the design is very intricate, but I'm worried that using cleaner on it will potentially ruin it. Does anyone have any experience with dry brushed fur and how to keep your suit clean?

Any tips or tricks would be welcome!
28th-Dec-2016 11:20 pm - Lilac/lavender fur?
I've been searching for a high quality light purple fur, but I can't for the life of me find it. I've tried searching through previous journals, but all links were broken. The lavender fursuitsupplies fur seems awful dark... I dont know! Throw any helpful links my way
Thank you!
28th-Dec-2016 12:55 am - Custom Shoes??
So I am wondering if, since I wear clothig over the suit, I could get someone or somehow make a pair of custom boots to wear over top of my feet (clawed). It's kind of a waste, but it would be really useful for keeping the pads from wearing after too much use (and they'd match my outfit)! The problem is.... how on earth would I make shoes for big clawed feet? I could just wear regular shoes and not wear the feet at all, but that would look kind of 'off' compared to everything else. Any suggestions for making huge soled shoes?

I want to note that I'm talking about boots, not sandals.
23rd-Dec-2016 07:07 pm - Body Zippers?
So, I've read tons of tutorials on how to sew body zippers. However, I still have trouble grasping how you give it a seamless look and not have the zipper poking out. For example, on SVC's new manokit: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cx99wYZVQAAczPv.jpg

It looks like there's a light outline, but practically nothing there. The zipper is well hidden and it doesn't look like the zipper would pop out if the position were to change. Does anyone know how this is done?
Ssooo... I am new to this, to fursuiting in any respect. But I have a specific idea in mind. This, unfortunantly, is not a simple thing I want. No, that would be too easy. For all intents, my fursona is a Tauren from world of warcraft. Or minotaur for those who don't play. Or anthro bovine for.. uh everyone else.

Thankfully, I intend to wear a kilt, nothing on the chest, so no need for digigrade legs but finding any real held in terms of bovine suits (or people who make such), has been hard. I also don't know how to sew, for that added flavor. Any ideas where to start on this? I have read some articles, but many just heh confuse me. I guess I should start with a head first, then work from there. This pic below is essentially what I will try to make. Yes, the symbols should be fun.

Art of Boubalos
21st-Dec-2016 12:56 pm - Fursuit maker wanted
Iam searching for a fursuit maker! Reference sheet is ready to go.
Iam planning a fursuit with Toony eyes.
We can discuss further details by email. Contact me here or by
email: manfred.hopfmeier@gmail.com
18th-Dec-2016 06:39 pm - Clippers and You! (And a bonus.)
SL :: Oct 2016
This post has been ... a long time coming. Hold on to your butts, it's LONG. It will be updated as I have updates to add to it. This post has a LOT of personal experience in it, from 12 years of pet grooming and dealing with this equipment. This post probably also has some underlying salt in it, mostly directed at companies who can't get together on a standard. But I'm trying to keep it to a minimum.


Clippers and you!

I've been formulating this post for the better part of the time I've been a pet groomer (which is 12 years at this point...) and over that decade, I've learned a lot of tips and tricks and what to do and not to do when it comes to clippers and fursuiting.

This is going to be the link version of this post. I will update this in the near future with video to show some visuals on certain things on a day when it's not 33 degrees Farenheit for a high in TX so I can stand to be in the garage for a bit. I'll do pictures/video next time I groom my dog (coming soon, he's wooly). There will be pictures/a video for the bonus question at the bottom.

I'm breaking things down into individual questions, and each answer will be under a LJ cut, so all you have to do when you're looking at the post is to click that cut.

This is a LONG post.

1: What clippers should I buy?
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2: What's A5 mean?
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3: Are there any good non-A5 clippers?
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4: What blades should I look at? There are so many!
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5: What guards/guide combs should I use?
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6: How do I care for my blades?
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7: How do I care for my clippers?
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8: *Bonus answer!* Can I finish a suit with hand scissoring?
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All of my notes from the past years have wandered off. I had some videos previously made, which also wandered off. But I will have more coming, using better equipment than my old MacBook's webcam. If there's anything you have a question about that I missed, don't hesitate to ask. I'll keep a list of questions asked directly under this bit, and a list of edit made under that.

(We need "clippers" and "finishing" tags...)

Added Questions/Answers:
1: Can I buy used A5 clippers?
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2: What can I do about fur shavings?
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Edit 1: Added about used/second hand clippers, since I forgot that bit.
Edit 2: Added how to save your lungs.
18th-Dec-2016 04:16 pm - Plush feetpaws
flacko, weasel

I have been wanting to make some plush feetpaws, where there is cotton or polyfill instead of foam. But finding tutorials of these is very hard. How are these usually made? First doing a foam toes and then making a pattern, but instead of foam, you fill it with polyfill? But how to stop legs touching the polyfill if no shoes are added? Sock?

I have always loved those huge big big fursuit feet with big beans under it and I want to try to make similar ones for myself. I once tried to make a plush footpaw, but I stuffed it way too much and it was hard to put on D:

(also shame I am unable to add tags like lining, padding, plush) Would come so handy to find topics with those words...

18th-Dec-2016 03:47 pm - Plush feetpaws
flacko, weasel
I have been wanting to make some plush feetpaws, where there is cotton or polyfill instead of foam. But finding tutorials of these is very hard. How are these usually made? First doing a foam toes and then making a pattern, but instead of foam, you fill it with polyfill? But how to stop toes touching the polyfill if no shoes are added? Sock? Or how to keep the sock still so it doesnt move a lot inside?

I have always loved those huge big big fursuit feet with big beans under it and I want to try to make similar ones for myself. I once tried to make a plush footpaw, but I stuffed it way too much and it was hard to put on D:
18th-Dec-2016 07:17 am - Clippers leave lines in fur
I've been shaving LS fur with my new clippers, and have run into a problem; the clippers leave lines in the fur, like crop lines in a field. The clippers are new, I oil and clean them, I don't let them overheat, and I always start with the longest guard I can get away with and slowly work my way down when shaving.

Am I doing something wrong? I will admit that I shave against the grain of the fur (my clippers literally don't pick up the fur otherwise), but it still ends up even and smooth... except for the lines, obviously.
My guess is that my clipper guards are the problem; they are made of plastic, and are thick enough to leave lines of slightly longer fur. I'm thinking about buying some thin, stainless-steel clipper guards, but they are rather expensive.

EDIT: I tried again on a scrap of different fur. It was still LS, but a different brand (higher-quality and thicker). Yes, the clippers still left crop lines, so it's not because of the kind of fur I used.
It's either something I'm doing wrong, or it's the clippers. I'm hoping it's me, because I want to avoid spending more money on new guards or a repair of some kind.

Just for some more info, I am using a pair of Wahl clippers for human hair (not cheapo, but not high-brow either).

Any suggestions for how to fix this would be very appreciated.
I recently moved into an old house after the previous tenant passed away. It came with all of her belongings, and pretty much everything is from the 70s and 80s. I found this little locomotive toy (no idea what it is) but I found its moving eye mechanism fascinating and thought I'd post about it just in case someone wanted to attempt it on a head or quadsuit.

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