Introduction: Dancing Chain Gang Costume
This year, I chose to be a three person dancing chain gang, loosely based on the tv show Orange is the New Black .
Step 1: Supplies & Planning
Things you will need
Soft upholstery foam
8 x golf tubes
2 x sturdy cardboard tubes - mine were free from the rolls of fabric at a fabric store
4 pairs pantyhose
2" and 1" velcro 2.5 meters
2 x styrofoam heads
2 x wigs
3 x gloves
3 x lightweight outfits (with long sleeves)
3 x matching shoes / slippers
Step 2: Construction
So the trick to this costume is to keep it very light. Choose your materials with this in mind.
I started by creating the bodies of my dancing friends. The torsos are wedges of upholstery foam attached to pantyhose stuffed with batting for arms and legs. The lower legs are also upholstery foam to give them more shape, whereas the upper thighs are batting for flexibility. I tied off the knees and elbow joints with knots as well.
Then I made a series of elastic attachments for the horizontal poles that will serve as the main controls for the costume movement. The elastic bands are made for the ankles, knees, hips and torso. The bands have small loops attached to the outer sides of each. I made the same kinds of elastic loops for myself, except they were able to be secured with Velcro, and the attachment for the poles are also reinforced Velcro. This is so that I can access and remove myself from the costume for transportation etc. I made a cross back short harness for my torso, as this is where the majority of the weight would be suspended by.
Step 3: Assembly
At this point, all the elastic attachments should be lined up to fit the stuffed bodies at the points that correspond to your own body. Several test-dressing trials are in order to dry fit everything. I went to town with duct tape and hot glue to secure those elastics to the bodies. I then dressed the bodies and cut out holes in the fabric where the loops were. The 3 foot long poles could then be slipped though the loops and permanently attached (again duct tape). I attached the gloved hands and pole lastly as well as the painted Styrofoam heads that were hot glued/taped to the torsos.
I was able to step into the center of the costume, between the poles, and then secure my Velcro loops at the right spots on the poles.