Fabric:1 yd sweatshirt fleece + quilt batting
Making this costume was an exercise in drafting. As with any costume, it must imitate the real thing while still being practical for moving, walking around, and in the case of a dog, going to the bathroom. The most challenging part for me was drafting a realistic looking flipper. I started out with a few sketches, followed by some paper pattern pieces. In the muslin phase (pictured below in plaid), I tried out at least five flipper variations until one started to look right. The flippers and tail were then interfaced and sewn together with quilt batting to give them extra body. B was a very patient model!
I am really pleased with the final look. The front flippers drape nicely on her bowling-ball shaped body, and the tail rests just above her own. It's especially cute when she's sitting down. While I originally intended to make her a seal, I was also tempted to add little ears. A study in marine biology will tell you that it's the sea lion that has external ear flaps, so a sea lion it was.