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Topic: Help! I have to make a Caterpillar costume! On a mushroom!  (Read 22199 times)
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Anenome
« on: March 23, 2009 04:02:16 PM »

I have to make a caterpillar sitting on a mushroom costume...like the one in ALice in WOnderland...the kind that creates an optical illusion...so the person wearing it has their legs in the mushroom...going down into the stem...and their body is the catterpillar coming out the top....with a fake catterpillar tail coming off the body suit and sort of lying down the mushroom top...  Huh I THINK I can do it...I am wondering wether to make the mushroom top out of foam...and then covering it in spotty fabric,...attaching a stalk thingy(tube of white fabric) which the wearer stands in...their body emerging out of a hole in the centre of the mushroom top....and then their body dressed in a green tube with extra "arms". Now...if anyone can advise on better material than foam I would be SO grateful...I have thought of papier mache but it won't be tough enough for what the wearer has to do....any ideas? Help? Insperational links? I cannot believe I have agreed to do this! Shocked
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soorawn
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2009 05:13:37 PM »

wouldn't it be useful to make a green tube for the caterpillar tail and fill it with polyester filling or crumpled supermarket plastic bags?  Then tie lengths of string to the body to fake the body sections?  I am a bit confused about how tough/rigid the whole thing needs to be.  I was thinking of a crinoline-style structure for the mushroom top, which would be far lighter.
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Anenome
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2009 02:05:14 AM »

Hi there! Yes...a crinoline structure would work....it doesn't need to be hard as such...just not breakable...the actor has to move about a bit....so a papier mache top would not work...that's what I originally thought of doing and then realised that it neded some give in it....I'm not sure of the best way to apprach this though....I suppose I could use a hula hoop for the "hoop" of the crinoline structure...and wire as the fabric shape and support....any advice as to techniques please? WHat fabric would work best iyo? And how best to hide the wire "skeleton"? MANY thanks for replying...this one is keeping me awake at night! Cheesy
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soorawn
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2009 03:22:16 AM »

Well... checking on cage crinolines, I see they were held together by boning or tape, so you could do the same (wide sturdy cotton tape or plastic bone).  Cover the structure (top and under) with light jersey of the type used to make tights (polyamide), perhaps lycra.  They use polyamide knit a lot for costumes because you can do anything with it and you can paint the fabric easily.  And I understand it's cheap.
Another possibility I've thought of would be a soft short crinoline made of multiple layers... it would be soooo pretty Cheesy! But would need a lot of patience too, with so many layers! (and it would look very girly).  I think the hoop thing would be easier.
What I don't know is where to find the fabric.
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« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2009 01:00:23 AM »

This is a gnome on a mushroom pattern: http://jas.familyfun.go.com/arts-and-crafts?page=CraftDisplay&craftid=12048

It needs some modifications for your needs but I hope it acts like a springboard. I hope that helps!
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009 09:14:27 AM »

My husband and I make costumes from foam covered with fleece, usually the same kind of mattress foam you can get at upholstery supply or sewing supply stores.

Both these materials are easy to work with and relatively comfortable to wear.

Here's an example using these materials, blue whale costume:




You're so lucky to be making the Caterpillar costume, I would love to make that one!   Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009 02:55:38 PM »

That whale is amazing!!!!

Good luck with the caterpillar costume, looking forward to the pictures!
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2009 01:57:16 AM »

I am currently helping with the costumes for an amateur play this year being Alice in Wonderland.  For the caterpillar we have taken an old sleeping bag.  I made "feet" from a sock pattern to make them more "round".  Real hands and feet I've made a sleeve type thing our of the same fabric of the feet.Slit holes for the hands and feet and with the hood just filled it with filling and tied it off to make the "bump" (for want of a better word).  Ours needs to move from set to set so we've made a complete costume. Until "they" decide whether he is sitting on the mushroom or not this is our plan.
That whale costume is just awesome\incredible!
Good luck with your costume!
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N30Nb100d
« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2009 09:42:36 PM »

I was the caterpillar in a high school version of Alice in Wonderland a few years ago  Cheesy
we made the costume out of a sleeping bag too (like Jinjeet Phoenix said). We found one that was neon green and sleeping bags already have the poofy segments so it worked well as a base for the caterpillar body.
As for the mushroom, you could also combine the foam/crinoline ideas (this is just worked out in my head so I'm not sure how it would work in reality, but it's an option): if you make a "crinoline" base to reduce weight, you can cover it with a thin layer of foam to cover the skeleton and give it a soft, smooth surface that your top fabric should lay nicely over.
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