Heya folks! Well, this is my first time posting here, though I've read here for quite some time, after a link to it was posted on the Fursuit List. To give a brief intro, I've been doing mascot performing on-and-off since about 1999, and I've built a few costumes, mostly as masquerade entries for local anime and sci-fi/fantasy cons. I'd say performing is more my forte: besides the fact that it's a lot cheaper to practice (heh), it's incredible fun to take on another persona and entertain as a larger-than-life character. [Also, though, having seen a lot of mascots filled by folks who seem like they'd rather not be in suit, I've been doing what I can to try be the antithesis of that.] I also have considerable interest in suit making, though; there's something awesome about actually seeing a character come together from what was originally sketches and patterns. In either case, I've still got loads of room for improvement on both -- but I'm hoping it'll come with experience.
But given that this is a construction forum, here's the current question. Being too impatient to order balaclavas from the Sierra Trading Post, I went ahead and made my own in a few hours, using some stretchy fleece and safety pins around my own head, and replacing the safety pins with thread afterward. The results can be found in a couple pictures below:( Collapse )
For a movable jaw, I went ahead and got some elastic, as per Jax's balaclava/moving-jaw pic tutorial (as linked in the balaclava posts in Memories).
But then I noticed something -- it seems I made my balaclava so that the chin is better defined than what you seem to get at the Sierra Trading Post -- at least judging from their picture
. (It does take a little bit of effort to get my head past the neckpiece.) And I can move my chin pretty well, with the fleece from the balaclava stretching pretty well along with it.
Along with that, to make the jaw move, I'll be building the core of the jaw from 6mm foamies, instead of just using straight open-cell foam. It'll start with the main horizontal jaw piece being attached under my chin (as I've done for past moving jaws, though there I made a hood instead of a balaclava) -- and motion will be reinforced with a small piece of those 6mm Foamies wrapping around the front of my chin, being attached perpendicular to the main Foamie jaw.
... think I'll still need that bit of elastic? I'd prefer not to use it, as it does make the chin a slight bit more uncomfortable (given the extra fabric in the middle of the chin, from the seam) -- but effect overrides comfort with me. And, if I don't use it, and the jaw ends up not moving -- well, I've worked with static jaws before, and I bought enough material to redo the head at a later point.