Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Guinea Pig Jailer Costume

We have already met my guinea pig Annabelle. Like any crazy animal person, I adore her and attribute more human characteristics to her than is deemed socially acceptable. And, ever since the South Park episode where giant guinea pigs try to take over the world, I've been dying to get some guinea pig costumes. Unfortunately, those just do not exist for us peasants.

So, I decided it was time to make one. I gathered up some old clothes and my measuring tape and went to it.

First, I measured my guinea pig's length and waist circumference. If you have a snuggly guinea pig like mine, this is actually pretty easy to do. As long as she was on my lap, Annabelle was content with whatever measurements I needed.

I one of the old clothes I grabbed was a black tank top, left over from my t-shirt shag rug, and traced out my design.

I don't know how South Park did it, but the physique of guinea pigs doesn't really lend itself to costumes. For those who have not owned guinea pigs: imagine a hot dog bun with four toothpicks inserted almost completely into the bun, You now know what a guinea pig's body looks like. So sleeves were out. I came up with a pattern that essentially looked like a flattened frog.

And now came my favorite part: the PITS -- or "Pin It To Shit". I don't think I even used this many pins on my cat cape. I ironed and (very carefully) sewed the hem.

Next, using my rotary cutter, I sliced about six or so 1" strips of white cloth (also left over from the t-shirt shag rug). If you want to pin and hem those, go right ahead. I was so sick of pins at that point that I just tugged at the cotton so that the fabric curved inward and pinned the stripes curve-side down. I (begrudgingly) pinned the stripes into place and trimmed the extras.

One by one, I sewed along the inside edge of each stripe, essentially creating a long rectangle with my stitches.

Now, I did the velcro wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong here. The velcro needed to be on the opposite side of the straps from its counterpart. I should've twisted one side's straps so I wouldn't flub up. But, live and learn (and resew one side's velcro).

It all worked out in the end, as I had to do some readjusting anyway. On the first fitting, I realized that the straps were a smidgen too long, making the costume too loose.

One trick I used to put the costume on: in order to keep my usually-docile guinea pig from freaking out, I first just placed the costume on top of Annabelle while she was on my lap, and letting it stay there, as if it were a blanket. Then, before she could protest, I attached the one going under her belly. After a few more snuggles, I then (just as quickly, if not quicker) attached the one around her neck.

I'd say the costume stayed on her for about 30 seconds before she just slid out of it. Again, I don't know how South Park did it. Maybe they drugged the hell out of their guinea pigs. PETA would have a field day.


  1. What you did is very cute. I like her name :)

  2. Hi! I just found this post and I wanted to comment on the south park guinea pig costume. The costume was made by Cuddlycavies, they just ordered one. Those costumes stay a little better because they use elastic bands (the soft stretchy ones, is there a name for that?) that go around each limb, which makes it much harder for them to take them off.


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