I'm back with another dog costume! This time, I've decided to make a fish costume for Jersey. I think that she's going to be really happy when Halloween is over!
I'm entering this costume into the Halloween contest, so if you like this instructable, please vote. You can see other great costume tutorials like this one on my blog Bloggie Stylish.
As with ANY dog clothing, please supervise your dog while wearing this costume. Practice wearing the costume and walking around it in BEFORE you go out with your dog, that way you'll BOTH have a fun and happy Halloween!
Step 1: Tools and Supplies You Will Need
This costume was pretty cheap to make and it cost me about $12.00 to buy the craft foam and the webbing. All the other supplies I had handy at home.
You will need five different colours of large pieces of craft foam. Jersey is a 50 pound dog so I needed 2 blue pieces of foam for the body, 2 pieces of orange foam for the head, 3 pieces of yellow foam for the fins, 1 piece of red foam for the fish lips and 1 piece of white foam and black foam for the eyes. You will need more or less foam depending on the size of your dog.
Additional supplies are; all purpose glue, a flexible measuring tape, a marking pen, scissors, nylon webbing with a slide lock attached and a sewing machine.
You can get the craft foam at any craft superstore and the webbing with the slidelock attached to it, I bought at the local "Malmart" in the trailer section.
Step 2: Measuring Your Dog
You will need to take three different measurements of your dog.
1 - The full length of the dog
2 - The length from the shoulder blade to the beginning of the hind leg
3 - The length of one side.
Step 3: Making the Dorsal Fin
On the craft foam that you are making the fins with, free hand draw a dorsal fin for the costume. The "body" measurement for jersey was 12", so I drew the fin 5" long and about 5 inches high. Cut the fin from the foam.
Step 4: Sewing the Dorsal Fin to the Body
Sandwich approximately 3/4" the fin between the two pieces of blue foam and sew the pieces of foam together. Use the Zig Zag stitch on your sewing machine since it makes for a better, more stable seam on the foam. Start sewing 1/2" from the edges of the foam since you will have to fit the pieces of foam together.
Since Jersey's measurement was 12", I didn't have to trim the blue foam down. If your dog is smaller that the total length of the craft foam, this is where you make adjustments.
Step 5: Making the Fish Head
Take the 2 pieces of foam that you have set aside for the head and place the long side of the foam along the body of the costume. Trace an "open mouth" pattern on one piece, place the two pieces of foam together and cut them out.
Now sew the top pieces of the foam with the zig zag stitch, starting 1/2" away from the edge. Once you have finished the top seam, fit the body and head together and join with sewing. Trim the head foam flush with the foam of the body.
Step 6: Making the Side Fins
Trace two side fins from the foam that you had used to make the top fin from. I made them approximately 4 inches long. Cut them out and eyeball a good place to put them on either side of the body of the costume. Sew them on with the zig zag stitch.
Step 7: Making the Fish Tail
Now it's time to make the tail for the fish costume. To make the tail symmetrical, fold a scrap piece of paper in half & trace out one half of the tail. Open the paper, trace it onto the yellow craft foam, place the two pieces of yellow foam together and cut it out.
Before you sew the tail onto the body of the costume, fit it to the body and take a measurement from the start of the head to the end of the tail. To have the costume fit your dog comfortable, add two or three inches to the total length measurement that you took from your dog. Make adjustments so that it matches the measurement.
Pin the 2 pieces of the tail together and sew the tail onto the body of the costume BEFORE you sew the tail together. Remove the pin and sew the the tail together, starting closest to the body and working your way to just where the bottom curve of the tail begins. DO NOT sew the tail completely closed, it needs to be open so that the costume will fit properly on your dog.
Step 8: Making the Fish Lips
Cut the piece of foam that you have reserved for the fish lips in half. Using the mouth as a template, free hand draw fish lips. Place the two pieces of foam together, cut out the lips and sew them onto the mouth using the zig zag stitch.
Step 9: Making the Fish Eyes
Free hand draw eyes out of the white foam and pupils out of the black foam. Glue the eyes and pupils together, then glue onto the head of the costume.
If you don't want to buy one 12" piece of black foam for two little pupils, just use a leftover piece of foam. You can also take a black marking pen and colour in the pupils.
Step 10: Sewing on the Webbing
To secure the costume to your dog, you'll need to attach a strap of webbing to the head of the costume and the webbing with the cord lock to the belly.
Cut a 8" to 10" piece of webbing and place the costume on your dog. Place the webbing under the costume, adjust the costume so that it fits the dog comfortably and pin the webbing in place.
With the cord lock webbing, cut the a 3" or 4" piece of webbing that has the cord lock attached to it and pin in place. Take the remaining webbing, cut a length that is appropriate to your dog and pin into place on the opposite side of the costume.
To sew the webbing, use the zig zag stitch and sew two seams for each piece of webbing, approximately one inch apart. This reinforces the webbing attachment to the costume.
Enjoy your costume and have fun of Halloween with your dog!