Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Bunny Ears

When it came time to making a set of bunny ears for my white rabbit costume, I went hunting around on the internet for some inspiration. I found some great images and some horrible tutorials, so I thought I would add to it all with a tutorial of my own (hopefully not horrible).
I took the same approach that you would take if doing millinery, so there is no glue involved in my process.

Materials – paper, pen, scissors

Step 1
Come up with your pattern. After looking at many pictures of adorable bunnies and bunny costumes, I decided to make my ears in proportion with my head. I measured the height of my head to choose the length. From there, I measured a flat point of 7cm across the bottom and then free-handed the curve of the ear. I folded the ear in half and made sure both sides were the same.

Materials – paper scissors, stiff buckram, millinery wire, pliers, fabric scissors, bunny fur (outer ear), polar fleece / felt (inner ear), small embroidery or manicure scissors, matching thread, hand-sewing needle, fabric pen

Step 2
Transfer your pattern shape onto your buckram and cut out directly. This is what the paper scissors are for (you don’t want to destroy fabric scissors). Cut out the same shape in the inner ear fabric. Trace the ear shape with about a 2.5cm seam allowance onto the wrong side of the fur fabric. Use the small embroidery scissors to slide along the wrong side of the fur fabric to cut out your shape. Make sure to cut two of each.
Step 3
Cut a length of millinery wire long enough for the edge of the ears plus about 20cm. Leaving 10cm at the end of the ear, start sewing the wire to the edge of the buckram. I use a simple whip stitch using a double strand of thread. Repeat on the other ear.
Step 4
Position in the inner ear fabric onto the buckram on the same side as the wire. Stitch the fabric on with a running stitch close to the edge.
Step 5
Trim your fur. Using your embroidery scissors, trim about 1cm of fur away from the backing. This will be the seam. The reason for trimming is to make it neater to sew on and reduce the bulk from the seam. It also stops extra bits of fur from getting caught in the seam.
Step 6
Position the buckram ear onto the centre of the fur. Wrap the fur around the edge, fold in your seam allowance and pin in place. It can be a little bulky around the top of the ear, but if you just ease it in, it will fit.
 Step 7
The tricky part. I used a whip stitch here, but you can use what you feel comfortable with. Slide your needle under the edge of the fur fabric, catching in the inner ear lining fabric. This is to sew the fur to the ear. Sew all the way around the ear to secure. You may need closer stitches at the top of the ear to secure the eased fabric.

Step 8
Now you can attach your ears to your chosen headpiece. If you are going for a headband, pick a tight one, the ears can weigh quite a lot. Once attached, bend the ears to your chosen position.

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