Scale model cockpit FPV

cool scale cockpit video

Funny Zoo Snap

man enjoys elephant My wife noticed this in the family archives.

RC Nitro motorcycle racing

rc motorcycle Motorcycle racing in Lilliput.

Manned RC Multicopter

manned multicopter
Here’s an RC multicopter big enough to ride on!

Make: Talk 004

make: Talk 004
I had a fun time talking to Mark Frauenfelder in episode 4 of his new podcast, Make: Talk!

One Man Basement Band

one man band
I feel like I could be getting more mileage out of my right foot.


liberty vintage motorcycles An Etsy portrait. Thanks, Danny.

Tequila Sleeve

tequila the champs
Champs sleeve

Wolf-Stelzer Book Lamp

Book Lamp
My friend Tess just made the cover of ReadyMade with her cool lamp design.

Tree Stump Bug

Can this be for real? The design is so awesomely Thunderbirds. Via

The Nothing Box

nothing box


Thunderbirds are go
Are Go!

Command Center

command center
Sweet assemblage spaceship’s bridge.

Four Drano’s

Watch the sink slowly, all but disappear from the design .

Toothpaste Aerosol

toothpaste aerosol
Aerosol toothpaste

Project Cornelius – Tunic Pattern

Part 2 – Making the Chimp Tunic. »

Image Courtesy of Apemania.com.

I can ‘t think of a better way to ring in the new year than to start working on my 2008 Halloween costume.

It’s been just over a year since I got my sewing machine. When I first got it, I had ambitions of cranking out a whole closet full of custom shirts, perfectly fitted to me, styled in vintage fabrics and cut just the way I like ‘em. Well, as it would happen, having a better shirt just wasn’t enough to motivate me to take on the challenge of creating a garment from scratch. I did manage to do some alterations here and there, but it wasn’t until Halloween rolled around that I found the real killer app for sewing – Costumes!

Last year I sewed parts of the whole family’s costumes, which was really fun and satisfying. This year, I am going to take the opportunity to sew up a whole POTA chimp suit from the ground up and hopefully gain some new tailoring skills in the process. Yes indeed, the prospect of having my own chimp suit turned out to be a sufficiently powerful incentive to get me sewing in earnest.

I looked into getting started in latex mask making but decided to leave that for another time, and have already contracted with movie makeup artist and avid POTA collector Matt Sotis to make my chimp mask for me. Check out the amazing work that Matt did on this orangutan.


Finding a Pattern

Since I am just starting to sew, I really wanted to work from a pattern. Unfortunately, you can’t just purchase a Planet Of The Apes Adult Male Chimp Suit pattern at your local fabric store, so I started searching for “Tunic Shirt” patterns on ebay. I placed a bid on Simplicity 8177 which is a pattern for a sort of quasi-African grooovy shirt from the late 60′s which appeared to have pretty chimp-like proportions. The pattern was published in 1969, the year after the POTA movie came out. I was outbid on the auction, but while brooding over my loss, I noticed that the image of the pattern envelope had little icons representing the pieces that were included in the pattern.

The Blow-Up

Wondering if this preview could serve as a pattern, I blew up the image in Photoshop and traced outlines of the front and rear panels and the sleeve. I then printed this mini-pattern out on a sheet of 8.5 x 11 paper, cut out the pieces and assembled them with tape. To my pleasure, the result did look sort of like a possible foundation for a chimp tunic.


I then put my opaque projector to it’s first practical test, using it to enlarge the pattern up to full scale. To determine the right size, I measured the width of one of my shirts and added a few inches for seam allowances and fitting.


After tracing the pattern onto a large sheet of paper and cutting the pieces out, I folded each panel in half bilaterally and trimmed them to restore their symmetry, which had been lost during this convoluted enlarging process.

Part 2 –
Making the Chimp Tunic.»

9 Responses to “Project Cornelius – Tunic Pattern”

  1. patrick Says:

    you are a mad-man.

  2. Jessica Says:

    Hey…I like it! I made my own sweater out of fleece and use it all the time–even in public! GASP! I was not bold enough to put the brown bib part of it–yet. That is a future project…But write to me and I will post a picture of it for you. I traced a sweater of mine for the pattern.

  3. Phill Says:

    Have you checked newer Simplicity patterns? They may still make this one under another name.

  4. Steve Says:


    I think that my blow-up method worked out well enough. but I do still need a pattern for pants. Maybe I’ll buy a pattern for those.

    The shoes with thumbs are going to be another matter.


  5. Jessica Says:

    Steve, be brave. Do what they do at Project Runway. Just take a pair of your pants and turn them inside out, study it how it’s sewn, and then lay the pants down onto your fabric. You can trace them at that point onto your fabric or just be brave and add enough fabric on the edges as you cut. And then sew away. Jessica.

  6. Matt Says:

    Great Stuff! Jessica, how are you? We’ve got to stop meeting like this! I did the same back in my custom mego days; find a similar costume, remove the threads, trace a pattern, sew and/or glue the two halves together, then turn it inside out.
    Steve, i’m in the home stretch on the mask. I’ll have pics for you shortly. I’ve enjoyed being given the time to do it right! Keep you posted, Matt

  7. Mark Says:

    Matt: Do you have a glyph for sale, or are you still making them? The perfect piece for my chimp suit. I’ve wanted to do this for years and this was the one I finally got off my A to do it.

  8. Jordan Shoes Says:

    I just read about this in the paper!It contains wonderful and helpful posts. How I wish I’d known about this blog before. I would have loved to have worked on this project! What a great accomplishment. Beautiful. Congratulations to you.
    by Jordan Shoes

  9. Steven Says:

    While a mask is nice, prosthetics are much better. For a few years now I have used and re-used appliances I bought frpm Scream Team. http://www.screamteam.com/samsimian.php

    This is as true a reproduction you can get, and when you talk, move your eyebrows, etc people are blown away. It is worth every penny.