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Unread 05-02-2013, 11:38 AM   #1
whithersoever
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Giant squirrel tail - how to attach?

I made a Squirrel Girl (Marvel) costume a few months ago and I absolutely love it. Especially the big ol' tail. But I also hate the tail, because it's a pain in the ass to put on/take off and flops around a lot.

Here are some good shots of the tail: 1 | 2

The top is held on by a harness. A strap goes around my chest (under the leotard), comes out of a hole in the back of the leotard, goes through a vinyl piece (which the shoulder straps are sewn onto), goes through a loop in the tail, goes back through the vinyl piece again, then goes back inside the leotard and buckles in the front (the other ends of the shoulder straps are looped through the front of the strap). Did you follow that? Obviously, it's not easy to put on, and I have to get help. Additionally, the shoulder straps like to peek out from under the leotard straps.

Currently the base of the tail is attached with velcro and "heavy duty" snaps which don't really work that well. Every time I move, the tail unsnaps, and it's super annoying, because it swings around a lot. This is a much bigger problems than the harness and I need to find a better solution for it. I thought about cutting another hole in the leotard and running another strap around my hips, but 1) I'm worried the sides of the leotard are too high and it'd peek out, and 2) I'd prefer not to have another elastic band around me.

So... any thoughts? I've read/watched several fursuit tutorials but those typically aren't much help since those tails are generally a lot smaller, or they're attached to an actual fursuit (which are kind of baggy) and not a tight, body-forming leotard.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 03:22 AM   #2
Kelley
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That's so awesome.

Does the tail need to be able to come off, or could you just sew it on to the bottom ?

Otherwise, what if you made it like a button - made a slit in the bottom and affixed a large circle/square piece to the bottom of the tail and then basically buttoned it on. That way it doesn't have to go all the way around for support since it's doing okay without that and it should be fairly secure.

Depending on the weight, you may or may not be able to do that with the top part, too. If it's kind of heavy what you're doing now might be the best solution.

Also, if you made a hidden opening down the side do you think that would make it easier to get on and off by yourself ?

If I was working ground-up on this, I would think I'd want a rigid structure in the tail that's connected to moulded pieces that go inside the leotard - that fit to that area to prevent tail movement as much as possible and for comfort - I would want the rigid material to go over the shoulders for support. I think that Wonderflex or Worbla would work for this (probably have to double+ it up with perhaps some craft foam inside layers for extra help) and some pads under the shoulder parts for comfort. Then I'd use elastic to connect the ends of the top rigid straps down the front and around like a harness. I'd sand the edges of the rigid material thin so they would be less obvious.

To get in it, you could have a side open and slip it on that way - getting up inside it and sliding it all over you. You could even have the crotch open with a tiny baby zipper and hook and eyes - which would be pretty great for having to use the bathroom, anyway especially if you rigged the layer under it to do the same.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 09:04 AM   #3
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Thanks so much for such a thorough, helpful response!

The Worbla/Wonderflex idea is an interesting one, but I could see that getting pretty pricey, and I wouldn't want to completely reconstruct the tail. Unless you meant just putting the support in the base, which would be doable - it's sewn together pretty shoddily (it's hard sewing fur!), so I could always rip that apart and shove something in there. I'll have to think on this some more! I guess my biggest concern would be making sure the support isn't noticeable underneath the leotard (and I'm not exactly skinny, so I wouldn't want it add more bulk).

I would prefer the tail to be removable, on the off chance I need to drive or use the bathroom or something, so I wouldn't want to sew it on (and honestly, I'm not sure how easily it would be to sew it on, since I had so much trouble just sewing it shut). I'm okay with having the top the way it is now, because as long as the bottom detaches easily, I can just swing it sideways to sit - though making it completely detachable (and easily attachable) would certainly be nice.

I had actually left the crotch unsewn and added snaps, but the placement was bad and since I was short on time, I just ended up removing them and sewing it shut. I'll probably try to add them back in at some point (or a zipper), because if I need to use the bathroom... the entire thing has to come off, haha. Fortunately I did think ahead and bought a separate top and leggings instead of a full unitard. As for the opening, right now it's in the back (the hole the harness strap goes through is right under the zipper end) and I don't know if I'd want to move it to the side instead. I could see that making it easier to put on, but I don't really trust my sewing skills (i.e. I don't want to accidentally ruin the unitard and have to remake it.. for a third time).

I do really like your button idea. I'd worry that a circle button might just slip out, but if I got one that was more oval shaped, or even rectangular... hmm... that might possibly work!
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Unread 05-21-2013, 11:12 AM   #4
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So, my boyfriend had the idea of using spring loaded clips. I found some clip-on pager cases at Goodwill, cut those up and attached them to the leotard, then sewed some little pockets onto the tail for the clips go into. I haven't worn it out to a con yet (will this weekend) but I think it's going to work! I still have to get help putting it on, but it's soooo much easier and faster!

Here is a photo and more info, if anyone is curious about how I did it.
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Unread 05-21-2013, 02:07 PM   #5
Boosterman
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strap it like a belt
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Unread 05-21-2013, 02:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boosterman View Post
strap it like a belt
Erm... I already brought that up, and how it would not work. I've already found a solution, which I posted a couple of hours ago.
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