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Monday, August 24, 2015

The Eggless Horseman! DIY Chicken Cowboy Costume

Do or do not...there is no try-Yoda.   I do believe he had this chicken costume in mind when he said that.

It started as something I was completely awestruck with...And then it became an obsession...And then it became an very serious plot...and then it became a very intense workout...and then it became reality.

This was a labor of love as well as super mega cheapness.  I did NOT want to spend a grand on a cool costume (the one I found online was $1500 and so fabulous).....

Be warned!!!  I AM NOT A SEWING DESIGNER.  I do design knit and crochet patterns- you can see them (and all my other random craft craziness) on my facebook page.  I do not like to sew and I consider myself a novice.  I have had no formal training-I taught myself to sew to keep my mind occupied while my hubby was deployed a while back.  Don't attempt this if you need a perfect pattern-this is merely a guide for someone who is adventurous.

You will need (always err on the side of caution and buy more if you think you will mess up or need a larger size-I am a size small and I just scraped by with what I bought):

2 yards white faux fur-do not skimp-buy the really nice grizzly long fur...
2 yards yellow flannel
1 yard white (for lining)
.25 yards of red felt
3 sheets of yellow felt
1 sheet of black felt
velcro  (you'll need just a tad more than what fits around your waist)
Polyfil (stuffing)
plastic grocery bags (a crapload)
chicken wire
pool noodle (preferably white or a very light color)
Jelly Belly Jelly beans (or snack of choice)
Tissue Paper (Or whatever you want to use for a 'pattern')
Overalls that you don't mind destroying
socks and/or cowboy boots (maybe knit or crochet them or make some out of brown felt)
Yarn for reins (which I still haven't made)

To begin, I sketched my ideal chicken shape onto paper to use as a guide.  Then I laid out some tissue paper (to use as a pattern-I had to tape a few sheets together) and used a sharpie to draw my chicken's body shape (be careful because sharpie will BLEED THROUGH TISSUE PAPER so put newspaper underneath or do this outside)

 I then cut out my chicken's body shape-I  made sure it would work for the size chicken I would need by holding it up to myself and making sure that back portion would be enough to go half way around my waist.  At this point, you  may need to make your chicken bigger or smaller depending on your size...

At this point you will be stressing out because you will be needing to cut into that expensive material.  Pour yourself a nice bowl of jelly bellies....or chocolate...just not alcohol.  You will be using sharp objects! haha!  

Using my chicken's body pattern I cut two pieces of my faux fur material (your fur should be folded or laid so that when you cut it you will have two mirror image shapes-I kept the wrong sides together as I cut).

I then cut two wedge shapes-one for the back of the head and one for the belly of the chicken-each were cut with the fold at the bottom so when you open them they are like a pointed oval shape.  Unfortunately I don't have a photo of the head wedge but this is the belly wedge, but I basically just wanted to add a little depth to the head and also the belly.  


I then sewed my chicken body together, strategically placing my wedges where I thought they would help give a little extra depth...Sew them with the right sides of fabric together and then turn right side out.

 Using my red felt, I drew a comb, using the sharpie and then cut it out (in the same manner as the chicken's body-you need two pieces to sew together). 

 I then sewed my little chicken comb together and turned it right side out.  I lightly stuffed my comb and then I pinned the comb to the center of the head and hand sewed the comb to the head.
 Using my yellow felt and a cup I thought was a good size for a chicken's eye I used my sharpie to draw a circle and then cut out my eye.
 I had to use a smaller cup for the black-and since black sharpie doesn't' show up on black felt I had to make a pattern by drawing it onto a piece of paper first.
I then hand sewed all my little eye bits together and then made the waddles...Which I also forgot to take a photo of-SORRY!  I did put my eye ball on the red felt though, and outlined what I thought was a good waddle shape onto the felt and cut out two-one for each side.  The eye bits then got hand sewn onto the waddles and the waddles got hand sewn onto the face.

For the beak I drew a beak shape onto the yellow felt-for this I used the fold of the felt as the top portion of the beak so I wouldn't have a seam on the top of the beak-I then used the machine to sew the front and bottom of beak-leaving the back of the beak open to lightly stuff and then hand sew onto the face. 

At this point I was rejoicing because I could tell my chicken was going to actually look like a chicken.  Of course I tried it on and got all excited.

Now was time for the destruction of perfectly good overalls.  I actually purchased these for 40% off at Target-they were wonderful overalls so I tried really hard to rip the seams nicely so I could sew them back up if I wanted to actually use these again for real.  You need to rip out the whole crotch area so your legs can fit out the opening and you can pull them up over your waist with the legs dangling at your sides.  I then just used socks for at the bottom of the pant legs...I used safety pins to keep them on-I just didn't want to sew into these jeans.  I stuffed the socks and the legs of the pants with grocery bags loosely.  I had contemplated newspaper, but it is always rainy on Halloween so I figured grocery bags won't get all soggy.

 I decided I needed a lining for the chicken's body that my body will go through-I just used my white material and made a tube that would be large enough to fit around my waist with a little extra room and then made a big hem on the top so I could put some elastic through it.  Instead of completely closing my chicken up, I wanted to be able to access his innards so I used velcro to keep the lining attached to the body.

I don't have a good photo of the innards of my chicken because I had to build it while it was inside the chicken.  I felt like a surgeon.  I put the pool noodle in the bottom of the chicken and that is my base-I put both the ends together and used duct tape and some strange wire things hubby gave me to keep it still.  I used chicken wire and made a long tube that went from the base to the top of the head and attached it to the pool noodle. I did the same thing for the tail.  

The chicken wire was a really good decision because it doesn't add a lot of weight and then you only have to stuff a little bit around the wire....

For the chicken legs I just used some old pants I have and traced the outline of them onto the yellow flannel and cut out two of those...seamed up the inner legs and then sewed the body together...
 I then used tissue paper to make a chicken foot pattern, sort of using my own foot as a template.

Each chicken foot needs two pieces of felt cut with right sides together ....then sew the outer edge of the foot seams-leave a portion open though so you can turn it right side out and then stuff.  You'll then sew closed your hole...After it is stuffed you can sew closed the inner foot part.

 I didn't really like how the foot hangs on me, so I am going to be putting a velcro closure on the back of the feet so I can keep them in place..I am also going to be putting elastic across the bottom so it will hug my shoe.

Now you need to immediately put your chicken cowboy costume on and go scare your girls! :) 

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad that you are blogging and love the chicken!!!!