This year Kitai is a Monterey Bay Sea Otter. Most of him is the Monterey Bay but his tail is the Otter's tail so it makes him both :)
I make sure he can sit and lie down in his costumes because comfort is key to him being a good sport and dressing up once a year.
A side view
That's Kitai's tail!
A little smile?
Being a good sport and loving treats is why Kitai is willing to wear a costume each year. On a normal day he gets two treats. During his annual costume fittings and photo shoot he gets around 15-18 treats per day. Yeah, he's all in for that!
Each year I try to think up not the best dog costume ever, but the funniest dog costume I can think of that hasn't been done before. I'll rack my brain then when I think I have a great idea I'll go to Google images and see if anyone has posted any photos of my idea before. If there are none (or maybe one) I'll move forward with the concept and begin sourcing the materials I'll need to create it. Sometimes it's easy, other times very challenging.
It was Hubby's idea to have the otter hold an Otter Pop! Brilliant!
The fish, seaweed and ocean were all made of felt.
My Inspiration came from a trip to Monterey earlier in the month where I saw two sea otters right there in the water. Sadly my camera lens wasn't strong enough to catch them so far off from shore but they were out there.
Britex Fabrics in Union Square on Geary St. If you like to sew and have never been to Britex be sure to take a peek the next time you're in town. You'll love it! The first brown otter fur I saw was perfect. I had told the woman helping me that I was shopping for my dog's Halloween costume so she said "You don't want that one." I asked "How much?" She said "$170.00 per yard." The next one I liked was $145.00 per yard. She said "You want this one." I asked "How much?" She replied "$29.00" per yard." She was right! I only needed a third of a yard so it wasn't very expensive.
The second fur is what I used to make the otter's face. I thought the third fur (also purchased at Britex) would be perfect but it was too long.
The fourth fabric was brown vinyl which was conveniently available at Britex. All in all it wasn't too bad sourcing my components. Two trips to local fabric stores for the blue ocean felt and the face fur and picking up the plastic eyes were all I needed. The green and white felt I had leftover from previous costumes. And we had Otter Pops at home.
This is how I made the otter. I used some red felt to pin together a pattern cutting and shaping each element before cutting it out of the fur.
The head was very tricky. It took two tries before I figured out to just make it like a beach ball using panels.
Once I had the overall design pieced together in felt I took it all apart and laid each piece on the fur, outlining each shape with a white pencil you can purchase at a sewing shop.
That's what it took to make a sea otter. The thing is this costume took several more days to make than all of his other costumes which I usually begin working on the day before Halloween and finish on Halloween night. I knew this would be trickier so I started a few weeks ahead in case I needed to consult with some designer friends for sewing and pattern making tips. It all worked out in the end though and I'm already trying to decide what Kitai will be next Howloween. I already have a few ideas....