My 9 year old granddaughter Alana loves the video game Skylander, and I love dragons, so together we designed the Alanadragon with traits from all of our favorite dragons. Once we made our sketches, decided the colors, shape, characteristics etc. we were very lucky to find the perfect purple fabric that already had scales! We also bought silver metallic fabric and some faux leather that we painted red for the breast plates and facial features.
To add texture and stiffness to the scales I painted the purple fabric with a magenta fabric paint. The mask is paper mache, aluminum foil and cotton balls all manipulated to create the specific features we wanted before covering it with fabric and painting the features – boy was that time consuming! I had an old set of wings that I painted and adapted to this character. I made every pattern piece for every aspect myself since we were covering 100% of her body but wanted full freedom of motion and vision.
The tricky part was the ‘breathing lightening’ aspect. Dad wouldn’t let us use light sticks –who knows ;-)– so I devised a clever way to velcro and hide some battery operated tea candles in the nose so it wouldn’t affect her vision. The effect is astounding! We attended our City of Tempe Halloween Carnival and the Alanadragon took first place (the judge that announced her called her “that fantastic purple thing”) in her age catagory against over 65 kids! People were fascinated by her dragon costume as she stayed in her ‘friendly dragon’ persona the whole night. The way she bounced and swung her hips when she walked made her tail sway in a most graceful manner and people couldn’t figure out how she had three claws on her hands and feet and could still have 100% freedom of movement.
She commented that her ‘paparazzi’ was following her for photos all night. The funniest moment was when she finally removed the mask and people discovered she was a gorgeous young girl with long flowing hair. It totally messed with their heads since she never broke character once while in full costume.