This is the fictional green dragon character named Yoshi, from the Super Mario Brothers video game. My daughter requested that I make this costume for her.
The first thing I had to do was find bright green and white materials for the bulk of the costume. After exhausting searches in every store in our area, I drove 2 hours to Miami, but still couldn't find anything close to what I needed. I finally did hours of internet searches and found what I hoped would work on Ebay. I ordered several yards of green and white fur from a seller in Taiwan. After several weeks, the material finally arrived and it was perfect. Unfortunately, I didn't order enough and had to place a second order and wait several more weeks for the second batch.
I finally had enough of the fabric to begin assembling the costume. Having never made this type of costume before, I had to make up the process as I went along. It was unlike anything i had ever tried.
The head was the first piece I made. If it didn't turn out well I would have scrapped the whole project. There is a baseball helmet that I built a wire frame over in the approximate size and shape I wanted. The wire frame is covered with foam cushioning, about 1/4 inch thick. I covered the foam with batting to even out the bumps and finally added the fur over that. The foam and batting are hand-sewn and glued in place. The fur was all hand sewn. The hardest part was achieving a symmetrical shape for Yoshi's head. After the fur was added, I had to take a small dowel and bits of fiberfill and stuff little bits here and there to smooth the shape out. The eyes are polar fleece fabric that I hand sewed on. I was satisfied over all with the way the head turned out and so went to work on creating Yoshi's body.
The body part of the costume was made in a similar manner. I used wire and shaped it into a frame which I suspended from a beam in my garage. The body only has fur over the wire frame. I didn't want the costume to be too hot or heavy.
I made a paper pattern over the body wire frame and cut out the furs. For these, I also had to hand sew. The arms and legs are fur tubes sewn to the body.
The hands and feet are made like gloves and giant slippers with elastic at the openings.
I added the turtle shell to the back after the body was completed. The shell is red and white polar fleece and hand sewn to the body. The orange spikes are also polar fleece and hand sewn in place.
There is a zipper closure in the back of the body that is covered by the shell when worn.
The head stays in place by using the straps on the helmet inside the head.
I can't say I enjoyed the process of making this costume. It was exhausting and very, very time-consuming. It took weeks of working every day to get the desired results. I am glad I didn't give up though! I think the end result was worth the work.
Every time my daughter has worn this costume she has been swamped with people wanting to take a picture with her. I get a kick out of all the smiles and hugs my Yoshi creation receives.