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Topic: I made a meerkat! UPDATED! Now with pics of the rare 6'5'' meerkat-of-the-shire  (Read 2853 times)
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« on: March 15, 2012 06:18:08 PM »

So sometime last year, probably around Halloween because that's most likely when I was talking about costume making, my little brother told me he wanted a meerkat costume. This is the time at which I point out my little brother, is 21 years old, in his third year of university, and a 6'5'' 210lb rugby player. He's also a little odd.
It took me a little while to figure out exactly how to create this monster. Originally I figured I would combine tutorials for hoodies and harem pants, and tack on a tail somehow. Then I remembered that stashed in my closet I had some footsie pyjamas. Using them very loosely as a template, only making them considerably wider and dropping the crotch to somewhere knee-level, I set to work on 5 yards of tie-dye khaki fleece with my rotary cutter (I have a new toy...). I basically took the dive-in-headlong approach, and figured out how to make it as I went. I free-handed the hood, sleeves and tail, using a hoodie of my own for reference just to get some idea of what shapes I needed things to be. This is the first time I'd set in sleeves since my final piece doing my textiles technology GCSE when I was 16. And that went...poorly. I'm super proud of myself as both sleeves are pretty much identical, and I didnt have to unpick a single stitch. The tail is set in like a sleeve too. And yes, the sleeves are orangutan long, mostly because my brother is definitely part-ape, but also because this way they cover your conspicuously-human hands.

Weirdly, I feel like the ears are my favourite part as they stand out from the hood by themselves, just the properties of the fleece mean theyre both light and strong enough to hold themselves up. It's got a single strip of velcro all the way down the front, and a hook and eye at the top just to add a bit of strength to the fastening.
The coolest part... To achieve life-like meerkat colouring, I spray painted the back and the tail. And myself, oops. I tried to mix a suitably dark brown from my fabric paints, but the colours I had were a little too... girly. In the end I raided the stash in the basement and grabbed superduper industrial spraypaint DH uses to paint model rockets.

Sadly my pictures are kind of sucky, and I had already mailed it to my bro back in the UK before realising thing. I did DEMAND he send action shots when he gets it though. I'll update this if he ever produces the goods.
It was surprisingly easy to put together once I'd had a couple of epiphanies as to how to engineer it. It's also wicked fun to run around in. I am absolutely making myself a dinosaur costume in this way. And one for my partner in crime, my 4 year old son... Then we can terrorise the library together and snack on books...
Action Shots!
I think he think's he's camouflaged by the tree...
The stripey socks definitely add something to the ensemble...
My brother is a giant goofball...
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013 07:43:02 PM by meleriffic - Reason: changed non-working images to links » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012 04:11:11 AM »

Yeah, you have GOT to get some action shots of him in this...I'm trying to imagine a rugby player in it and it's just too funny!! Great job putting it all together from scratch too!

I also love your idea of terrorizing the library with your son...that would be cute and would gather lots of smiles!!

47 different personalities and a craft for each one! Wink
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2012 06:14:41 AM »

Can't wait to see those action shots...

the description (and the mental picture I had of your brother) just made my day.

Excellent work!

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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2012 08:47:13 AM »

I hope your brother knows how lucky he is to have such a talented sister!

Can't wait to  (hopefully) see shot action pics  Grin

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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2012 12:48:19 PM »

you make it sound Simples!!

sorry, we have a little character in the uk called Aleksander Meerkat. you should check him out on youtube lol.
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2012 01:04:44 PM »

MrsFlibble, I'm a British expat now living in Massachusetts, I know all about Aleksander! I always felt bad for Sergei... By leaving the UK I have escaped my dad's terrible Aleksander impressions, but clearly not Aleksander's influence...

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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2012 03:38:26 PM »

We need to see the giant meerkat in action!  Smiley


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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2012 07:42:49 PM »

So, my brother happened to be back at home to go to a rugby match with the girlfriend at the weekend, and since I'd sent the meerkat there and not to his house (this is what happens when he fails to give me his address despite requesting things be made for him...), mum managed to get photos of the giant meerkat-of-the-shire stomping around the garden. My original post has been updated accordingly.
I do worry about that boy...

« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2012 12:59:18 PM »

i adore that tail! how awesome Cheesy

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