To begin with the Walrus costume, I drew up several sketches to get an idea of what I wanted to do. Having made clothes for Echo in the past, I knew roughly what would work, etc., but as always there are trial and many errors in sewing. The Walrus costume is essentially a shell. It fits over the dog’s head and drapes down her back. There are no securing straps, elastic and what have you underneath to keep it in place, it stays still because it encompasses her sides as well. I did originally think to add this strap detail, but saw it wasn’t needed after all.
Once I had the measurements, I laid the linen out and used a fabric marker to notate the general shape I wanted the garment to be and marked the neck, mid-back and tail locations. I then decided to add three inches to the space between each of these marks to allow for gathering and sewing of the “blubber”.
Ok, now that the batting was surgically put back together, I laid it on top of the linen cut out and then placed the micro-fiber on top, making a sandwich like you would if you were quilting. Pin it together, EVERYWHERE. Micro-fiber, at least what I used, is slippery stuff and things got a little squirrelly. After making the walrus quilt sandwich, you are going to want to flip it over and cut it all down to the size of your linen lining.
Note: I stopped the batting at the neck about 4.5” from the end so I would be able to make a ¼” turn on the end, then a 1” casing for elastic to keep the costume fitted to the dog’s head.
Next I pulled the edges of the micro-fiber under the sides of the costume and sewed them to the linen, encasing the batting and giving a clean edge. I sewed it rather loosely so that the fabric would hang and fold, wrinkle, sag on its own like a walrus would in nature.
Originally, I had the batting extending down the whole length of the tail into the fin, but this looked gigantic on my Boston Terrier, so I cut the linen and batting to end at her rump. Then the micro-fiber was able to just drape to the ground with some slack. Then I cut out a tail fin from batting, roughly in the shape of a trapezoid. To make the five “fingers” on the tail, I cut four triangle notches about 2inches deep into the long side of the batting. After that I placed it in between micro-fiber like I did for the flippers. I pinned tightly along the edges of the batting where the notches were, which emphasized the webbing in the tail. Then I sewed up to the top of the tail along each side of the cuts to make a small ridge, like cartilage, between the larger sections of the fin. See pictures.
I extended the micro-fiber a little past the batting so I would have some slack to fold it under ¼”, then another ½” or so. Then loosely gather the “tail” on the main body and pin that to the tail fin you just made. After this was sewn in place, I sewed the loose micro-fiber together to give the tail more continuity.
To create the tusks, I used a synthetic ivory pen blank for use on a pen lathe.I purchased these at Pennstate industries (item # wxeea912) @ 4.95 each plus shipping. I used a Dremel tool with a sandpaper disc to carve the pen blanks into a tusk shape.I wanted these to look as natural as possible so by carving it by hand rather than on a lathe gave them an uneven look, just as they would look in the wild. Now to attach them on to Echo (the dog ) was a bit of trial and error, but the final solution was to use some 1/8” steel wire purchased from the home depot. I hand molded this rod into a semi circle and bent the ends 90 degrees. This would hold the tusks in place without choking Echo (the dog). To attach the tusks to the wire I drilled an 1/8” hole in each of the tusks and super glued them in place.
There you have it! A completed walrus costume for your dog.