Dog Costumes: Templar Knight and Joan d’Barc

OK!!! It has been a while since I’ve posted anything creative or crafty on this blog, so I think I should and shall!

I guess it would have been better had I organized things before trying to post this. Might have to do this in a few goes.

End Result:

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Initial Concept Art

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Materials

  • Gym mat foam (about a quarter inch, and half an inch)
  • Craft foam (thin)
  • Velcro
  • Fabric
  • Sewing Machine
  • Yarn
  • Someone who knows how to crochet
  • Belt
  • Spray paint (primer, color, clear coat)
  • HOT GLUE
  • Heat gun
  • Painter’s tape
  • Willing model
  • Lots of treats

Process

There’s not much to say besides trial and error! I actually started with old pillow cases and going from there to the foam. I knew I had to do 2 pieces in order for Liana to be able to wear the armor. I used 2 images from online to model the little details on, but mostly it was from my imagination. The Templar costume was mostly fabric so that was a matter of time, effort, and having someone who knows what they’re doing with a sewing machine.

Helpful Hints

  1. The little crosses and fleur-de-lis are MUCH EASIER to paint/color if you do it before gluing them on. Otherwise you have to sit there and painstakingly apply painter’s tape only to find that it doesn’t matter because spray paint will get underneath the seams anyways and the end result looks terrible if you look closely.
  2. If you wish to use acrylic paint, do not mix many colors together and try mixing it with white glue. That way you can try to avoid cracking.
  3. Speaking of cracking, when you’ve shaped the pieces to the way you like it and painted it, MAKE SURE that you somehow keep it in the shape you desire. If you need to fix it, use a bit of heat before attempting to bend/shape it. It will crack.
  4. When attaching Velcro to the foam, no matter of roughing up the surface seemed to help keep it in place. Hot glue was essential to keep in place.
  5. The spray paint smell can be overpowering. I ended up having to put it all outside for several days in the sun, but overall it was just time based. I think I ended up with a month before the smell mostly disappeared.
  6. If you decide to use armor, DO NOT try to let the dog jump into the car with it. It will break and the poor doggie can’t move well. It might take time and effort, but take it on and off in the car for both costume integrity and dog comfort.
  7. If you want to take pictures, don’t do it in blazing sun because the armor is too bright for that lol.
  8. Say it starts to crack. No biggie. It just means that they’ve been through battle! That’s how I make myself feel better about it.
  9. Dogs don’t typically like things on their heads. Even though Gable’s coif has ear holes and everything, I mostly kept it around his neck and it still looked cute because in history those things were so heavy anyways most knights would do the same thing during periods of rest.
  10. Don’t forget leash and harness holes!
  11. Something I didn’t realize until later and didn’t utilize myself is the securing of the weapons onto their backs. For both dogs it kept moving around and falling off. Easy solution would be to secure the belt around like I did in these pics, but like a horse, just get a piece of leather (craft stores sell strips) to somehow wrap from the belt and around their chest. Surefire way to keep things in place. Wish I’d thought of that earlier.
  12. When attaching Velcro to the fabric costumes make sure you don’t place it horizontally parallel, because otherwise it will balloon. It needs to be at an angle to have a tight fit. It didn’t matter too much with the Templar, but the fabric under the armor reallllly needed that not only for looks but also movement.
  13. Despite the pillowcase templates, in the end the person who ended up sewing (my mom) used their existing coats as a guide. So basically I wasted hours when I could have just traced the pattern from something that is knowingly fitted.

Joan d’Barc

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Templar Knight

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Weapons

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20150826_14465520150827_101306  20150827_143626 20150827_142632 20150827_183800  20150828_173501 20151029_204434 20151029_204501 20151029_204611 20151029_204629

 

And there you have it!

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