So, you are looking into getting a custom fur-suit made? Great! We can get that done for you. But first, we will need a DTD!
A DTD, or a duct-tape dummy, is a body form YOU make for us to build your costume on. It consists of wrapping your body in duct-tape(you will need help from a friend(s)), cutting yourself out, and mailing us the shell. This provides us the MOST accurate means of building your custom costume by giving us a perfect mold of your body shape!
You will need:
Duct-Tape, at least 3 rolls. Brand-preference: 3M gray multi-use
Painters Suit Coverall
You will also need 1 or 2 friends to help, and a tall household item (like a broom) to rest your arm on.
Remove all articles of clothing except your underwear. Excess clothing will distort your DTD, make the process hotter and uncomfortable, and you risk cutting your nice clothes.
Put on your coverall. These can usually be found in any hardware store (Lowes, Home Depot), and are a bodysuit made of a very thin paper-like material.
Coverall will be very baggy. Pull coverall up so fabric is flush against your groin and place a belt of tape around your hips to hold coverall in place.
!!!WARNING!!! : When placing tape, place in strips (ie. Do not roll tape around body continuously, cut it into pieces) to capture shape but DO NOT pull excessively tight. You risk cutting of circulation in limbs and restricting breathing.
Carefully define groin region by placing strips of tape from the belt line and between the legs.
Make sure tape is pulling coverall to be flush against skin. Accuracy in pivot-points (groin, knees, armpits, elbows) is crucial for accurate patterning.
Wrap a strip of tape half way between groin and knee. Fill in all of that region between belt and leg-strips with tape to complete a pair of “shorts” on the model.
Wrap a plastic bag around ONE foot (so tape doesn’t touch your skin), wrap your heel in tape, and attach taped foot to the leg of the DTD.
Fill the region between the “shorts” and the attached foot with strips of tape. Remember to attach tape in strips and to not place it too tightly.
***Unless asked to do otherwise, you will only have to tape ONE leg and ONE arm for your DTD. Make sure you do the same side for each. Ie. Right arm, Right foot, and Right leg.
Lift arms and put a belt of tape around chest, directly underneath the armpits. Then, wrap a strip from the arm pits, up and over the shoulders.
This step should be pulling the coverall flush against the armpits. It is crucial to accurately define this pivot point.
Fill in shoulders, back, and all space in between there and belt with tape.
(We ran out of orange tape for the tutorial and started using white. This is not a necessary step, all one color tape is fine)
Tape up the neck a little. If your coverall does not have a neck-piece to tape on, you can protect your skin with paper towels or toilet paper to extend the neck.
If your coverall has a zipper, TAPE OVER THE ZIPPER. The duct tape will not stretch and will hold an accurate form of your body. The fabric and zipper, however, could stretch or rip which could result in a distorted DTD and a badly-fitted costume.
Starting from the wrist, wrap a strip of tape around your wrist and tape inwards, completing the arm.
Arm MUST be held out in a T-pose for DTD.
Tape arm on same side as taped leg.
If coverall does not reach your wrist, please extend arm with paper towels or toilet paper, and extend tape past your wrist joint.
With the sharpies, draw lines on top of shoulders down to wrist.
Draw a line around shoulder, under the armpit, and down to the hips.
Draw a line from the outside of your foot, up the side of your leg. This line only needs to go up a little past your knee (unless you have difficulty getting out, in which you can connect this line to the one going down your side from the armpit)
These lines are where you will cut the dummy to get out.
Draw dashed lines over every guide-line you just made on the body. The dashes will help you match-up and re-assemble the body later.
Very carefully, cut along the main guide-lines to release the model.
Please be extra cautious not to cut your friend! Medical Safety/Bandage Scissors are ideal to make sure you avoid snipping the skin, but are not necessary.
Also be careful not to cut model’s undergarments!
I like to cut arm-line first, and then side, and then legs. This allows model to relax arm and breathe easier sooner.
If model is struggling to wiggle out of dummy, extend and cut out the lines more (make sure to dash them).
Once fully cut, wiggle model out of dummy. You now have a perfect-matching shell of your body!
Tape DTD back up using the dashes you made as guides to re-assemble.
With sharpie, please write your legal name AND character name on the chest. Please refrain from adding unnecessary markings to the dummy.
Once finished, package and mail to me!
Congratulations on finishing your DTD, I look forward to making your costume!