I’ve been wanting to make a Michael Jackson costume for a while now, mainly because of the Thriller jacket (Who didn’t want to own one back in the day?!), so I finally tackled it this year!
I started off with a quick sketch of Michael to get his proportions correct. Started the sculpting process until I had everything right. Then proceeded to make a mold and cast of the head, added a helmet inside so I could wear it comfortably, eyes (two sided so I could rotate them), primer and paint with an airbrush. The whole process must have taken me about two months total and many, many trips to the hardware store. It was much more intensive than any of my past costumes and I ended up using multiple tools to finish the job including a dremel to sand, cut and smooth out surfaces, jigsaw to cut lumber for the internal helmet structure support, modeling clay and tools, wire, gorilla glue, a cordless drill, many screws and nuts, and of course my trusty old duct tape.
Creating the jacket was a whole other process. My sewing skills very limited, I had to learn a few new techniques including creating a patter for my size (I’m 6’4″ with long arms), cutting it, making ribbing using a thin foam underneath the plastic material, and adding a zipper. It turned out pretty well!
A few things I failed to foresee:
1. People expected me to dance as well as MJ in his prime
2. Everyone was generally excited to see me except for a few small children who I almost scared to death
3. Had more fun than expected!
Hope I made MJ and all his fans proud.
P.S. I might wear the Thriller jacket after Halloween, if it survives that long. :D
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