This was a behemoth of a project involving an inflatable costume, a LED costume, and a glove that controlled the colors and patterns of the LEDs.
I’ve been wanting to make an inflatable creature that would give birth to me for a while now (lots of my friend’s are having babies, so I guess my subconscious is trying to digest this). In this project, the giant evil mama bear gives birth to a slutty baby bear with LEDs, who then performs a LED hula-hoop number. After the main show I used the “power glove” to control the led lights while dancing and socializing.
Step 1: Evil Teddy Bear 1: Sketching
The nylon to use is important. I found that an impermeable nylon was more important than a lightweight nylon. I went to the fabric store and tried to blow air through the nylon. If air can’t go through, then it’s good. If air can't go through, and it’s a light fabric that is better. Parachutes are made of rip stop nylon or ballistic nylon, which I couldn’t find. I guess if you can find this it would work better.
Step 2: Sketch and Cut Out Shapes
This photo is after I attached the head and one leg. I blew it up with a hairdryer to test. I started with the first half of a French seam until everything looked good. I finished the french seam at the very end.
Step 3: Magnet or Zipper to Close Costume
Step 4: Vacuum Back Pack
Step 5: Finishing Touches to Evil Inflatable Bear
I glued on light nylon fabric to decorate the face. I didn't sew because I didn't want to put more holes where air could get out. After realizing I couldn’t see anything, I sewed in a clear plastic window with black mesh behind it. I also made his head smaller, his legs shorter, and added the arms.
Step 6: Baby Teddy Bear Costume
First I made a base for the fur to go on top of. I used a Brazilian cut speedo as a pattern for the bottoms, and used the measurements from my dog costume for the shoulders. You could probably just sew fur on top of some little shorts. I cut the pieces of fur into strips and sewed them down vertically. Don't forget it needs to stretch, so try on the base and pin the fur on top. Or just leave enough room for stretch. I wanted the shoulders large so I had to put multiple layers. The bottom layers I sewed with a machine, but when the fur became too thick I had to sew by hand.
I sewed a strip of plasticy streach fabric where the LEDs would be connected. I used Velcro to attach the LEDs easily, and so I could use them later for other projects.
Step 7: LEDs
Where to put the microcontroller?!?!?
Since I am doing hula-hoops I need to put all the electronics somewhere it won’t get broken. I put them under my furry pants in the back, and made a nylon water resistant bag so I didn’t sweat on anything. The fur helped absorbe the shock from the hoops, but I still had to avoid that area while hooping.
Step 8: Finishing Touches
I added a black metallic chain with swarovski crystals to add some sparkle. I glued crystals on the wires of the LEDs to add some more sparkle. I wore my hott dr martin boots.
Oh yeah, and since the costume is pretty reveling I had to get in shape! I did the Insanity Workout for a few weeks prior to the show.
Step 9: Power Glove!
I cut out strips of conductive fabric and glued wire between two pieces. I sewed the fabric to the finger tips of a glove. I made the thumb the ground, and each finger on a different pin. The program on the arduino is a basic button sensing program. When the circuit is connected, a message is sent out through the xbee to the LEDs. The cool thing is it senses if two, three, or all four fingers are touching giving me 15 different finger touching combinations.