I wanted to be a bright, orange fox but needed a twist – so I came up with the Car Fox (from the Car Fax commercials)! It was so fun to be the Car Fox and have a unique costume that made people snap their fingers and say “haaaah!”
There are 6 parts to the costume – arm cuffs, hood, boot covers, tail, shirt, and pants.
Materials used: 1.5 yd orange fur fabric, 0.5 yd white fur fabric, 12” square of black fur fabric, less than a qtr of pink fuzzy fabric, thick craft foam sheet, fluff, thick elastic, white tee shirt, black sharpie, iron-on letters, jeans
*Optional - Manic Panic electric lava hair dye (although it turned out red instead of orange - still love it), orange lashes, red lipliner for brows
Step 1: Step 1 - Arm Cuffs
Materials: orange/ white fur
This was the easiest to make, so I made it first. This was the first time I had ever used my sewing machine (I had previously used the sewing genie and mostly hand-stitched everything) so I wanted to ease myself into it. After many youtube tutorials, I was good to go ;)
For each cuff, I cut out a rectangle of orange fur (about 7” long) and a much thinner white portion.
Sidenote: cut the fur from the backside with a utility knife if you can – don’t use scissors or the fur will get everywhere. It still did get everywhere, but it would’ve been way worse with scissors. I laid it down on a towel over carpet, so clean up was easy.
I sewed the white portion to the orange (make sure that the fur is going the same direction) and that was that. Super easy!
Step 2: Step 2 - Hood
Materials: orange/black/pink fur fabrics, craft foam sheet
I measured the hood shape with newspapers (fancy, huh?) to get the length/ fit I wanted. I kept getting bigger and bigger and ended up using the biggest pattern. (You can see the pic showing the diff sizes) I used my newspaper cut-outs as my pattern and cut the fur fabric.
I used two pieces to make the hood so there is only one seam (less cutting, less sewing, less margin for error). I sewed it together and cut a little more off the front as needed. I noticed that the heavier fabric sat differently on my head than the newspaper pattern.
Then I made the ears. I drew out the ears on regular paper and then decided how much black I wanted to use on the tip. It was about 40% black and 60% orange. I cute the pink fabric a little smaller and placed it on top. I sewed the orange and black fur together, then sewed the top 2/3 of the pink (all inside out). Since the pink was smaller, it brought the orange/ black around the edges a bit. Then I flipped it outside in so the fur was on the outside and I stuffed the craft foam inside. I needed to cut these a lot smaller than I expected, smaller than the pink cutouts. I hand sewed the bottom of the ears closed. The foam made it firm and non-floppy. The ears are ready!
I put the hood on my head and placed the ears on top to find the right position. Then I hand sewed them in place and went over it a million times to make sure they stayed in place.
That’s it for the hood!
Step 3: Step 3 - Boot Covers
Materials: orange/white fur fabric
I really had no idea how I was going to make this happen, but somehow I got it to work!
I took a couple sheets of paper and wrapped them around my Uggs to make a stencil. It took some finagling, but I finally got it to where I was satisfied. I made sure to note the direction of the fur (using arrows). I decided to have all the fur facing downwards towards the toes. I had two patterns - the larger rectangular part for around the boot opening and the crescent-like part for the top of the foot/toes. The crescent part was then divided into two for the white toes. It makes more sense when you look at the picture ;)
So I cut the fabric and sewed it together. I always sew inside out and then flip it. The fur was very forgiving of my semi-newbie sew skills. I sewed the top part first (rectangle), then the two pieces of the second part (crescent), and then I sewed them together. I actually didn't sew it all the way across - I sewed the middle together and then the sides so it would curve over the boots better.
*One of the boot covers kept sliding to the right all night so I safety-pinned it to the boot and it was good to go.
I was very happy with my boot covers and will def use this pattern for more fur boots in the future ;)
Step 4: Step 4 - Tail
Materials: orange/ white fur, fluff, thick elastic
The tail can make or break the costume, in my opinion. It is such a cute feature that I had to get it right. I looked up a bunch of tutorials online and saw different methods on how to make it curved and then I went for it.
I drew out the shape that I wanted on a old bag and then cut it into sections where the direction changed. I drew arrows noting where the fur should face, and wrote the color/ order. O1, O2, O3 were for orange, and W1, W2 were for white.
Then I cut out the pcs and placed them on the fur in the direction as noted. This is where your arrows come into play. I wrote "L" as well as the "O1" on each piece I traced. Then I flipped it over and traced them, writing "R" as well as the "O1" on each piece.
*I decided to leave a little extra space on top of L O1 and R O1 to close up the top of the tail (and sew in the elastic). I didn't think of this until last minute so you can see that my L side extra is kinda-of cut off.
I cut all the pieces out and laid them in order. So far so good!
I did the same thing with the white pieces, and then laid everything out together to see how my shape was coming. It was looking okay but I was nervous about the fur direction looking too "choppy" and not as natural.
Sew time! I sewed the individual sides together first - so LO1, LO2, LO3, LW1, and LW2. Then I did the same with the R side. (I wasn't paying attention and put a L on the R side, so I had to cut it off...the downside of doing all this overnight)
Once the two sides were ready, I sewed them together. It really helped to pin everything down! And fur is thick so my pins took a beating. I sewed the sides all the way down and through the bottom, although I missed a few spots where the pieces meet. The fabric was so think there it shattered my needle! I ended up sewing around those parts - I could've hand sewed the seams for the reinforcement, but I was too tired. I left the top part open so I could get to stuffin'!
I actually used Christmas "snow" as my stuffing. I got a huge bag for very cheap and it was nice and light. I sat on the couch and pulled it apart to make it more fluffy then I stuffed it into the tail. I wanted a nice, plump tail so I stuffed a lot of fluff in there.
Once it was stuffed to my liking, I hand sewed the top closed. I had some extra flaps of fabric and I used those to secure the elastic. First, I sewed the elastic into a loop (2 pcs) with the sewing machine. This was hard to do, but I did the best I could I wanted it nice and secure so I went back and forth A LOT with the sewing machine. Then I put the loops under the extra flaps of fabric on the top of the tail and hand sewed them on. This took a lot of thread because I went over it a million times. It would be terrible if my tail fell off, so I wanted it to be nice and strong.
All in all, it turned out very nicely! I love the shape and the fur direction turned out great. I was very pleased with my little tail (even though my husband said it was huge - I was like "you should see some of the other ones!").
You wear the tail by looping the elastic over a belt. I didn't even put my belt in my pant beltloops because I wanted to re-position the tail all day. I would slide it to the side every time I got in the car or even while sitting in my chair at work. BTW - I wore my costume all day to work.
Bonus: The tail swung side to side as I walked, like I was wagging it, so I had fun with that all day :)
Step 5: Step 5 Shirt
Materials: white tee shirt, sharpie, iron on letters
This was probably the easiest part of the costume. First, I colored in the collar and sleeve rims with black sharipe. That gave it the "ringer" look. Then I found iron on letters, cut them out, and ironed them onto the shirt.
Step 6: Step 6 Pants
Materials: jeans, orange fur
I found some old pre-baby jeans that barely fit. Literally, I could not even zip them up all the way let alone button them... but I had a belt to cover that ;)
I cut horizontal lines into the jeans in three areas to make the holes. Then I washed them and they came out all frayed. I actually cut more strips (made some thinner and cut some out altogether) then washed them again. I like the look it made.
Then I took scraps on my orange fur and hand sewed them to the jeans, on the inside. This part was a lot harder than I expected. Even though I pinned down the fabric, it kept shifting around and the frays broke off too. But it all added to the look, I guess. I basically sewed all around the edges of the fur fabric (using black thread).
Once it was all in there, I pulled out some fur so it stuck out more. Lots of people said this was their fave part of the costume.
*The pants, already too small, became a little tighter with the sewn in fur. I guess it made those parts stiffer and less stretchy. So when I bent down to put my baby in his carseat, I totally busted one of the seams! I first fake-destroyed the jeans, then I really destroyed them lol. It still looked fine so I didn't mend it at all, but it was pretty funny.
Step 7: Optional Accessories
The last step is optional accessories:
Manic Panic Electric Lava hair dye: My hair was a light blonde before. This color was supposed to come out orange but instead it was hot hot red! I love it, though, and would highly recommend. I washed my hair with shampoo only, let it air dry completely, then put the entire jar on my hair. I put it in a shower cap and let it sit for 3 hours (while I finished sewing the rest of the costume!) It looked orange in my hair and all over the shower, and continues to drop orange every time it gets wet.
Belt: This isn't really optional as you need it to hold up the tail. I chose a cute bow belt to make it a little more girly.
Orange eyelashes: I got these from the 99cent store and was happy to go without mascara for a day. They were heavy and really annoying so I probably would've been better off with mascara lol. At least the look was cool.
Red lip liner (on brows): This made a big difference and looked great with the hair color.
Pink lips: I always wear pink lips, and I wanted to match the inner ear color ;)
Hope you liked it! "Show me the car fax!"