Monday, 30 October 2017

Narwhal Part 3

Next step, making the harness. As with the centaur, I used aluminum straps. You can bend them by hand, and with self-tapping screws, they're very easy to join with one another.

Getting the shape of the shoulder strap is surprisingly hard, and requires a very patient wearer.

Note of caution: big suits like this that are held up by small harnesses can produce a lot of leverage. If a boisterous kid slams the wearer, or if the wearer falls down (e.g. some porch steps while trick or treating), the full force is going to jab them with the harness.

If you look carefully, there's a really dangerous design element in this harness: the bottom tip, which has the potential to dig in like a can opener, if (for example) the narwhal takes a blow to the forehead. I addressed this by adding a long strap vertically, which holds the tail.

Still, a better design would be to add a horizontal piece across the buttocks to prevent any force hitting the spine at all.

Once the harness is in place, I add another bent piece of metal for the lower 'jaw bone'.

Next step is to start draping. You can more or less take fabric, drape it over the foam body, and cut it along the seams.

Here I'm cutting out a 'dart' from end of the tail so it will join up nicely without wrinkling, as shown in the next image:

This takes a while for something this large, but I used the same technique everywhere. When you sew it together, it's inside-out (so the seams wind up inside). This makes it almost impossible to keep track of where you are. I find I have to label it with bits of tape so I can make sense of the limp octopus-like tangle of fabric at the sewing table.

Here it is, with all the main body drapery done! We're going to make the eyes black, but it's just pinned in place for now to get the placement.

L is determined to trick-or-treat for hours and hours, so I've cut arm holes in the front, along with little sleeves cinched with elastic:

Once L mastered the glue gun, she wanted to do all the gluing. Here she is working on attaching the front fins.

This is the current state. Lots more to do, especially around the mouth and flippers!