I wanted to make some kind of architectural costume for my bulldog, and since I love my hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, also known as the City of Bridges, a bridge was a no-brainer. I take my dog to a lot of events downtown, so I chose the Fort Pitt Bridge, which is probably the most famous bridge in Pittsburgh.
Safety and comfort are extremely important for pet costumes, so I used all lightweight materials. This costume cost less than $15 to make. I bought fabric paint, a wood rod, thread, and fabric remnants from the clearance bins at the fabric store to make the road and bridge structure. The tubing for the arches was from the hardware store, and I found the cars at the dollar store.
First I used an old, white pillowcase to make a base garment, complete with belly belt to Velcro around her waist. I painted street lines and then sewed the charcoal gray fabric onto the base garment to make the road. I covered the pieces of tubing to make the arches and sewed them onto the costume. I had to cut the wood rod to cover with yellow material to sew onto each end of both arches to keep them mounted at the same width. Next I sewed strips of the yellow fabric to make the crossbars across the top of the bridge. I crisscrossed two long pieces so they would help keep the arches in place. Then I spent several hours of several evenings hand tying thread to make each individual cable for both sides of the bridge. I tied each cable to the arches and then sewed the sidepieces on to secure the cable threads and create the lower level of the bridge. I hand sewed 5 toy cars onto the road. One of my favorite details is the exit signs which hang from the top of the costume bridge. I used actual photos of the real exit signs at both ends of the bridge. I just printed and laminated them and hand sewed them to dangle from the crisscrossed bars. They swing when she walks, and it’s super cute!
The bridge itself was so adorable, but I wanted to take the detail a little farther. In order to drive onto the Fort Pitt Bridge, you have to drive through the Fort Pitt Tunnel. I decided to make a headpiece of the tunnel. I covered a dollar store headband with leftover material from the fabric I used to make the road. Then I printed, laminated and sewed two photos onto the headpiece. The front is a photo of what you see when you’re driving through the tunnel, and the back of the headpiece is the photo of what you see in your rear-view mirror as you exit the tunnel onto the bridge.
Goblin has already worn this costume to twelve events throughout Pittsburgh, and it has been quite the crowd pleaser! We literally cannot walk more than a few steps before someone else stops us to ask if they can take her picture. She has been on the news, in the papers, and even in a local magazine in this costume. When I took her downtown a few weeks ago to do a photo shoot of her in front of the actual bridge, she was invited into a photo shoot with a wedding party! Several tour buses stopped and asked if the people on the bus could take her picture. That was a new one for me, but I’m so proud of this costume that I just cannot deny people the chance to take her photo. Little boys especially love the cars driving across her back, and so many people get a laugh when they see the exit signs swinging in the breeze or swaying when she walks. She just loves all the attention she gets while wearing it, and I know she’ll be wearing it for many years.
We really appreciate the opportunity to share our DIY costume. Thank you for offering a contest with actual judging.