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
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
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
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.