Come Fly With Me

Shoe covers, dragon horns, and a few other flotsam and jetsam…that’s what’s on my list of things-still-yet-to-do, at the moment. Yesterdaydragon claws was quite productive. I finished sewing all the little dragon claws while at work, but didn’t get a chance to sew them onto the hands and feet for Toothless. Much of yesterday was spent working on the wings. Mom was kind enough to go out and pick up some extra felt for me, so I could get right to work on making things, instead of spending important time out at the store, running errands.

First, I set Oogie’s dice out in the yard, so I could paint them and leave them to dry. Tonight, they will get a coat of reddish-brown paint, and maybe a coat of clear acrylic, to protect them.

The wings came together pretty nicely, once I figured out what shape I wanted to do. I was originally going to make wings that looked a little more “folded up,” but I ended up going with a design that looks more like “pre-flight.” I figure they will work better in pictures. Plus, what good are wings, unless they actually spread out like wings? I was also originally thinking of making them all black, but Mom picked up some charcoal gray, in addition to plain black, and I decided to make use of the difference. It’s not completely accurate, but I figure the contrast will help in pictures, instead of everything reading black. Have to think about how things will present in film/digital format.

Outlining the wing

Outlining the wing

Wing construction began with laying out the felt, and determining my desired shape and size. I pinned some binding I had sitting around to the felt, to make the outline visible while cutting, as my usual chalk pencil doesn’t mark on felt as well. After I cut the gray, I laid the felt template on top of the black felt, and cut the same shape. I lined the bottom edges of the wings up, but cut the black felt a little larger than the gray along the top of the wing. This would provide the pocket for the wire support of the wing, later.

I pinned the gray to the black and took the pieces over to the sewing machine, stitching the inner part of the wing to the back along the top edge. As I sewed the bottom edge of the wings together, I left strategic spaces open, at the tips of wings, and stitched in some boning channels. When everything was stitched together, I inserted 1/2″ plastic cable ties in the channels. They mimic the bone structure beneath wing membrane nicely.

Inserting the wire

Inserting the wire

I straightened two coat hangers (of the last four in my current stash!) for use as the wing supports along the top. The top 1/2″ of black felt was folded over and stitched close to the wire support inside. I wish I had planned for two hangers per wing – the weight of the felt is more than I expected, and they are weighed down a little more than I’d like, but it will have to do. Each wing includes a little extra wire at the end, so the wings can be inserted into the harness.

Finished wings!

Finished wings!

I went ahead and straightened the remaining two wire hangers, in preparation of making the harness tonight, as well as pulling out the hard plastic tubing which will be used as part of the internal support for the wings. I’m still unsure whether I’m going to create a harness that will be worn on the inside, or on the outside of the suit. I’m leaning towards inside, so less of it is visible. Robert is planning to be over tonight, and I plan to make use of his engineering skills to rig the harness.

Today’s “whilst at work” task has been spikes. I knew I needed to add some spikes to the head for Toothless, and down the center of the back. I forgot about the ones on the tail, and a few for the arms and legs. Thankfully, I packed along enough felt to make a couple of strands of spikes, that I can later stuff and stitch to the costume. I also finished the second boot cover for Oogie Boogie (the other one is on my sewing table at home).

Apart from constructing the wing harness, the other important task tonight is finishing the head for Toothless. The poor dragon is still in need of a pair of eyes!

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