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Dos and Don'ts

Glitch

SLUDGE FACE
Okay, through my recent fursuit-making endeavor, I have learned many things.
I'm pretty experienced if I do say so myself, and so far nothing I've turned out has been a big furry mess.

I've made two masks with two different methods (balaclava for the first, all foam for the second), then handpaws, feet, a tail, and arm/leg covers as my partial from back in May of 2009.

This time was a bodysuit, and I guess this could be a tip pile for any who want to try.

As young as I am, I have no job, no driver's license, and whatever. And I noticed that a lot of 14/15 year old kids are joining, then screaming about how they want to make a fursuit but can't because of money issues and/or lack of knowledge before they even look stuff up on Google.

Seriously, you're not the first person ever to make a fursuit. Usually Google is a good place to start looking for tutorials before you beg us for help. That's what I did. It's all good to ask if you haven't found a tutorial/can't understand one, though.

Ok, I've got no cash either. I had about $200 in my savings, and, luckily, that was all gift money from the holidays that I saved for this. Save your money from however you get it. Problem solved.

I order my fur from Fabric.com. Their "Luxury Shag" is really nice, and cheaper than Mendel's or Distinctive Fabrics. I may not have ever used those other sites, but I have been satisfied with my source.

But don't even THINK about slicing up your fur right away! (In light of that, only use X-Acto knives and cut from the backing of the fur so you don't destroy it. Scissors do that.) Be sure to buy a LOT of cheap broadcloth (I snagged 7 yards, and it only cost $12.) and use that to test. I spent $95 on the 5 yards of fur I ordered; the last thing you want to do is waste that kind of cash.

Speaking of which, make sure you leave a good amount of allowance when you do cut out your fur. I guesstimated with around an inch. When I got together the finished product, it was huge. But it is SO much better to make something that's too big into something small than the other way around. All I had to do was tighten the seams and voilá. Instant body-hugging suit.

Ok, here is something that might make suit makers squirm. I didn't use any premade patterns, straight pins, or a DTD. Sounds terrible, I know. But I made a very, very precise pattern by myself out of broadcloth. It took a long time, but it worked very well. And I sew section by section, so everything lined up well. I did sew the entire suit - the only glue I used was to secure the zipper down the front, and even so I'm going to sew that if and when the glue gives out. Like I heard Jesie say before: if it can be sewn, sew it.

Oh, yes. About the zipper. PUT IT DOWN THE FRONT. I don't care if you are some wacky contortionist, it is 10,000 times easier to zip up from the front than it is the back on your own. If you have an emergency - like getting overheated - you can get out of the suit on your own if needed be. I have 1.5" pile fur, and you can't even see the fact that there's a zipper there.

When I first started, I was by no means sewing machine-savvy. I got lost, and had to backtrack in order to figure out what was going on. I went through a reel and a half of thread, and had to refill the bobbin multiple, multiple times. I also broke 3 needles going through tough parts, so be sure to know how and have the stuff to replace a busted needle. I'm thankful that I had 6 on hand.

Oh yes, I remembered this little tidbit. Instead of using an everyday human comb/brush to pull the fur out of seams (which is a must for good looks, trust me), I bought a flea comb (new, not used!) and used that to comb it all out. It has very close, fine teeth and pulls out all of the fur quite nicely. :)

Erm... I don't really have that much more to say. I'm sure I'll remember if you ask me any questions.
 
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Dan.

Not here for the porn
I might make one sometime, or buy one when I have the money, these are great tips and this should be stickied. ;) Which mask construction style would you say is better?
 
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Glitch

SLUDGE FACE
I might make one sometime, or buy one when I have the money, these are great tips and this should be stickied. ;) Which mask construction style would you say is better?

Why thank you. c:

Personally, I love the all-foam method. It holds its shape without needing something underneath it. Matrices has a great tutorial that I followed for it, and it worked like a charm. Also, the all-foam was slightly cheaper than the balaclava method. For me, at least. I had some spare foam laying around.

I tend to pull some ghetto-fabulous methods out of my head to do things. Like how I use the blade end of my X-Acto knife to cut the fur, then flip it around to use the blunt end to push fingers out through gloves. It may be hazardous to your health, but eh.
 

Deci

Member
Since your giving advice ill throw mine in for fursuit head beginners.

1. Use thick foam. You can get some nice thick but cheap foam from Wal-mart.

2. Use contact glue to make multiple layers of foam if you need a solid hunk of foam for a muzzle or something.

3. If you can access an electric knife use it instead of scissors on thick foam.

4. If your making a toon head with no moving parts I suggest you use the balaclava method.
 

Glitch

SLUDGE FACE
Since your giving advice ill throw mine in for fursuit head beginners.

1. Use thick foam. You can get some nice thick but cheap foam from Wal-mart.

2. Use contact glue to make multiple layers of foam if you need a solid hunk of foam or a muzzle or something.

3. If you can access an electric knife use it instead of scissors on thick foam.

4. If your making a toon head with no moving parts I suggest you use the balaclava method.

Also, adding to that:

1. JoAnn also carries a lot of foam. Use coupons and save a lot of money! Not all WalMart's carry foam, much less have a craft section. (Plus, I despise WalMart.)

2. Hot glue will be your best friend.

3. Electric knives are amazing and they'll save your hands a lot of pain. X-Acto knives are the next best thing.

4. If using the balaclava method, be prepared for a very tight fit.
 

SecretDesire

I'm poisonous.
I would like to beg to differ about using thick foam. I had a hard time cutting and shaping the foam I bought and kept wishing I had thinner foam.
 

Deo

The hatred of FAF personified
I would like to beg to differ about using thick foam. I had a hard time cutting and shaping the foam I bought and kept wishing I had thinner foam.

Really? I got so sick and tired of thin foam myself that I went to our downtown and met with an industrial foam supplier and got a 5ft by 8ft by 8 inch thick peice just to not have to mess with layering. Also it's really nice for majorly padded suits. Hmmm. I geuss it's just personal preference? Anyone else have a preference for foam thickness?
 

SecretDesire

I'm poisonous.
I suppose it would also depend on the method. I was using Matrices's all foam method with 1 inch thick foam. There was no layering involved but a good deal of folding and cutting. So you could see how thick foam would make it a tad difficult.
 

Deci

Member
I would like to beg to differ about using thick foam. I had a hard time cutting and shaping the foam I bought and kept wishing I had thinner foam.

Crap I forgot to specify. Use thick foam WITH an electric knife. Those things cut through it like butter.
 

Glitch

SLUDGE FACE
Really? I got so sick and tired of thin foam myself that I went to our downtown and met with an industrial foam supplier and got a 5ft by 8ft by 8 inch thick peice just to not have to mess with layering. Also it's really nice for majorly padded suits. Hmmm. I geuss it's just personal preference? Anyone else have a preference for foam thickness?

I prefer 3" for my padding and whatnot. I'd go thicker if I could afford said thicker foam. The only time I use thin stuff (1/2") is when I'm making the base for a foam head.
 

gdzeek

Not to be takin Seriously
I'm working on a suit right now, I havent started working on the body yet, but have you noticed if there are certain tricks that can be done to appendages to make sur they move pretty freely. if That makes sense, Its probably nothing but I'm worried I'll start making the arms and wont be able to move very well. I'd like some advice before getting there.

so far its coming along nicely, that live journal site has been very handy.
 

Glitch

SLUDGE FACE
I'm working on a suit right now, I havent started working on the body yet, but have you noticed if there are certain tricks that can be done to appendages to make sur they move pretty freely. if That makes sense, Its probably nothing but I'm worried I'll start making the arms and wont be able to move very well. I'd like some advice before getting there.

so far its coming along nicely, that live journal site has been very handy.

On my test suit, my shoulders were super tight because I made the torso too short. All I did was add some more seam allowance. My arms are super body-hugging on the final, but they bend perfectly for some reason.

My fursuit defies physics. ._.
 

Deo

The hatred of FAF personified
I havent started working on the body yet, but have you noticed if there are certain tricks that can be done to appendages to make sur they move pretty freely.

Leaving extra fabric at the armpit, knees, and crothc helps with movement. Most faux fur (like DF and some NFT) is fairly stretchy but you have to have enough allowance in a form fitting suit to be able to have a full range of motion. Just simple tailoring will really go a long ways to making a badysuit look and fit great!
 

Fay V

Lost to this world
i felt I ought to add something. In terms of gloves and sleeves, have the glove go under the sleeve. I thought it would look more seamless with my suit to have the glove go over the sleeve...no...just no

Also if it helps I have great movement in my suit. I took basic measurements and allowed a lot of extra fabric then used pins and a buddy to pin the two pieces together at the right spots I got to check movement and stuff. It took a few pins, but it was definitely worth it.

I dunno i felt like adding some thoughts. One thing is, even if you don't have a sewing machine don't fret. I hand sewed my entire suit. It might not be the fastest route, but it's easy to learn (I hadn't sew any clothing before that) and it makes repairs very easy. you can also make a much stronger stitch if need be.

In terms of zippers and such. I personally used snaps. the fur pile is 2" and its hidden so you can't see the holes. It takes a bit longer to get into, but it takes seconds to get out of and it allows for some nice ventilation if I just move a little bit.

Another trick I learned for ventilation is in the gloves, between the fingers you can leave a tiny gap. it goes unseen and if your hands are getting hot and nasty you open and close your fists and it allows air into the glove.
 
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Glitch

SLUDGE FACE
i felt I ought to add something. In terms of gloves and sleeves, have the glove go under the sleeve. I thought it would look more seamless with my suit to have the glove go over the sleeve...no...just no

Also if it helps I have great movement in my suit. I took basic measurements and allowed a lot of extra fabric then used pins and a buddy to pin the two pieces together at the right spots I got to check movement and stuff. It took a few pins, but it was definitely worth it.

I dunno i felt like adding some thoughts. One thing is, even if you don't have a sewing machine don't fret. I hand sewed my entire suit. It might not be the fastest route, but it's easy to learn (I hadn't sew any clothing before that) and it makes repairs very easy. you can also make a much stronger stitch if need be.

In terms of zippers and such. I personally used snaps. the fur pile is 2" and its hidden so you can't see the holes. It takes a bit longer to get into, but it takes seconds to get out of and it allows for some nice ventilation if I just move a little bit.

Another trick I learned for ventilation is in the gloves, between the fingers you can leave a tiny gap. it goes unseen and if your hands are getting hot and nasty you open and close your fists and it allows air into the glove.

Oh God, I can't imagine hand-sewing a suit.
Thankfully I have a newer model (a Kenmore), and it has 50 different stitches to choose from.
 

Fay V

Lost to this world
It wasn't bad at all. it only took a day or two. I just sewed while watching television. very meditative.
 

Krazoa

Krazzy has a big heart
oh wow ^.^ this is really useful to me =3 hehe and probably useful to many others too =3
 

Deo

The hatred of FAF personified
Note:
Sew the seams on your heads, then glue the sewn fur down. You can just glue down the pieces, but sewing helps get rid of weird lines and wrinkles, especially after shaving the fur.
 

Jesie

I'M A WINNER
On another note if you hand sew: Thimbles.

It may be just a little prick, but GODDAMNIT.


FASFFFFFFDSAJBLKM Do you know how many needles I have bent in a rage over that shit? DO YOU?
 
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