About the Star Feather Atelier

Formerly known as The Grotto Creations and Coral Sky, Star Feather Atelier is the new convergence of my art and crafts into a unified presence.I go by Willow, and use she/they pronouns. I have years of freelance experience creating cartoon art, as well as various crafts. My most favorite creations to make are animals and creatures, which stems into costume creation.I first became interested in the furry fandom in 2004, and have been creating anthro art ever since. Creating one of a kind works of art someone can wear has been my favorite creative outlet. I aim to make not just a character, but a wearable piece of art for my customers.

Commissions

Commissions are closed for the remainder of 2022


Pricing Guides

Fursuits are meant to be completely personalized, and should be seen as a wearable piece of artwork. Please read the information about pricing here, and make sure to review the terms and conditions below. Final prices will depend on factors like what extras you want, how many colors will need to be ordered, and any extra materials and labor that might be required.These prices are strictly labor costs! They do not include added supply costs, taxes, or shipping totals. All prices are in USD (United States Dollar)


Extras

Plastic claws and basic teeth are purchased from Dreamvision Creations. The price listed is for a standard set of 8 'Nubbinz' styled claws. Different types are available as well, please let me know if you're interested in getting another style or size. Prices vary by style and size. There are also options for plastic horns, spikes, and other items that I may be able to use. Feel free to ask about your options!


Safety Notes

Allergy Warnings: Heads are now lined with spandex/lycra interiors, which means the head will still be flexible while keeping the bare foam away from your skin. While the latex content is very low and likely not an irritant, it's important to know if you potentially have an allergy to the substance. If you have, or suspect you may have a latex allergy, please let me know so I can line the interior with an alternative fabric. (Usually simple cotton prints) All items come from a non-smoking, pet friendly home. I have a cat in my home, and while I do not allow him near my materials, dander and fur particles can still find their way into the fleece, foam, and faux fur.I do not recommend wearing glasses inside a fursuit.The interior of my suit heads are very breathable, but obviously limited compared to not wearing a head. If you have asthma or other breathing problems, a fursuit head may not be for you depending on your personal limitations. Please bear this in mind when considering an order.Paws of all kinds will limit your dexterity, so use caution when handling glass bottles or other fragile items while wearing paws. Do not drive while wearing paws, the materials used will not provide a good enough grip, and could become a danger to you and others on the road. Plush styled paws will not allow for ANY dexterity due to their construction. Keep this in mind if you're considering ordering this style.If you are ordering a suit with electronics, please make sure to practice safe handling while suiting! Battery packs within suit heads are typically housed in a pocket on the neck, so make sure to keep them from getting too wet while performing.If you are ordering a suit with an interchangeable tongue, or any other part that requires magnets, please read this section! The magnets I use are called neodymium, or 'rare earth' magnets. These are very strong, and have been known to cause damage to some older electronic devices. Please refrain from using cell phones, tablets, or other electronics close to the magnets on your fursuit head. They can also pinch the skin if not handled correctly, please feel free to ask if you have any questions about the magnets.


Measrements and other requirements

If you are interested in commissioning a custom tailored fursuit, please have ready a reference image showing at least a front and back view of your character. (and side view or closeup images if necessary) If you do not have a reference sheet, you can contact [email protected] to either commission a sheet, or I can find an artist to create one for you. Please take note that the more colors your character has, the more the price will most likely go up because I will need to order more kinds of fur. I do have a stock of fur styles and colors, and you can get a price drop if your character contains them. This will be addressed if you are chosen for a suit during a commission opening.Below is a helpful chart to show measurements required for my suits.


Duct Tape Dummy Information

Before sending your duct tape dummy to me, I have a few rules I'd like to point out. Failure to follow these rules can result in your DTD being thrown out, and you will be required to make another. Poor construction often leads to longer production time, which will also cost more money in the long run. Please review this section to avoid extra costs and time spent!

  • An excellent DTD construction tutorial can be found here, Mordrude's Monsters DTD Construction

  • Thin coveralls are a preferred base for DTD construction. They can be purchased individually from most home improvement or paint stores

  • If you use coveralls, cut off the hood and feet if they have these features, and tape AROUND the zipper! This will make it easier to get out of the dummy, and makes it easier to show me where a zipper will be placed on your suit. Most coveralls can be worn backwards as well (We'll go over your design and figure out zipper placement to fit your character markings and fur styles)

  • Make sure any cuts made to get out of the DTD are taped back up (The tutorial goes over how to make sure this is done accurately)

  • Double layer your dummy. The stronger it is, the easier it will be to work with

  • Please try to allow about a day for it to dry out before shipping, and disinfect if needed. This is mostly for sanitary concerns, a sweaty/stinky DTD will be thrown out

  • When shipping, fold the DTD gently (Fold arms in, then legs up, then the whole thing in half, hamburger style) Do not crumple or roll it up to try saving on shipping costs! DTDs received in this fashion WILL be tossed, and you will need to make another

  • If you would like to have your DTD sent back with your suit, let me know and I will do my best to preserve it (Not a guarantee, DTDs get a bit roughed up during suit construction)

  • Pants will require a DTD made that will cover you from the waist to ankles

  • Full suits will require a DTD made that will cover your whole body

Quote Information

Quotes are for anyone who may be 'window shopping' or looking to find out how much to save up for a future suit from The Grotto Creations. Keep in mind that this form is for QUOTES ONLY, meaning you will not have a slot in the commission queue, just an estimation on how much your suit may be. Quote amounts can only be guaranteed for my next commission opening, but no farther than that. Please be sure to read my commissions page and Terms of Service before sending in a quote request!

How are suits by The Grotto built?

This page will be a quick guide to how my suits are made for transparency on some of my methods. This is meant to dispel any concerns or questions about things like lining, sewing methods, foam work, etc.

Heads

  • Lining - Heads are lined with spandex fabric that is sewn to the interior. There is no exposed foam unless a cut has been made for wiring. All heads have a tag with the Star Fetaher logo and brief care info sewn into the lining edge.

  • Foam build - I work exclusively with foam base heads. I use upholstery grade polyurethane foam for building, but will occasionally use other materials like buckram or plastic mesh for stability and lightness.

  • Ventilation - Ventilation is mainly through the mouth, but I can add ear vents or a fan if asked.

  • Mouth details - Upper muzzles are hollowed out to allow for more airflow and keep the front of the suit lightweight. Mouths are lined with fleece. Standard lower teeth are usually cast resin (DVC made) unless the buyer wants plush teeth instead. Larger teeth like tusks or sabers will automatically be made plush, and lower teeth will match. Tongues are usually made from fleece, but might be another material if a particular look is needed. If tongues are made to be detachable and swapped, they will be attached via hidden magnets under the fabric. I do not make moving jaws, but because the mouths are foam based, they can be pushed/pulled open gently if needed.

  • Eye details - All eyes are made using plastic for the whites, and vinyl mesh for the viewports (Iris or pupils) They are painted and sealed on both sides, and will feature some embellishments like glitter flakes, or rhinestones. Requests like eye shine shapes, extra details, or specialty embellishments are allowed at no extra cost as long as these requests are simple (Examples: Eye shines are hearts or skull shapes instead of circles, extra shape embellishments like stars or candy cabochons) Eyeliner and eyelashes are made using felt.

Paws

  • Paw styles - I have 2 methods for making paws.

  • One is a pattern featuring larger fingers and meant to be interchangeable between left and right hands. The bottoms of the paws are shaved, while the top fur (excluding the fingers) is left long. Fingers can either be stuffed with loose polyfil, or I can make separate pillows to insert.

  • The second style is plush, and these paws have no dexterity at all! Pawpads on plush paws can be traditional like a classic plush doll, complete with stylized stitching to define them. Or they can be more defined pads with real stitching between each bean for more definition. All plush styled paws come with a pillow of stuffing for shape. There will also be a hand escape below the pawpad fitted with snaps or velcro so the wearer can take their hands out if needed.

  • Lining - My paws do not come lined, and I will not make this arrangement. Some style might require permanent lining.

  • Claws and other extras - Claws are not standard. Plastic claws and plush claws can be added for an additional price. Plastic claws are ordered from DVC, and plush claws can be made from a variety of fabrics (Fleece, minky, suede, vinyl, etc)

  • Pawpads - Pawpads are appliqued, and may or may not be stuffed depending on the fur they're attached to. Some furs provide a good enough cushioning, but others will require stuffing in the pads. Detailed pawpads on plush paws will always be stuffed.

  • Sleeves - Sleeves can be made to extend the suit to the wearers elbows or shoulders. They have a finished edge at the top. Sleeves to shoulders will be attached via two elastic straps. The sleeves are designed to be put on before a shirt so your clothes will hide the straps.

  • Cuffs - Paws will have the edge lined with a bias tape or a strip of minky or fleece as a cuff.

  • Trinket Paws - These are a specialty type of paws that feature a fabric backing, topped with vinyl, and filled with large glitter and decor. The fabric backing and decor will depend on the theme and overall look of the suit, and customers can leave input for the choice of decor. 20 gauge vinyl is typically used for this feature. Trinket parts on suits can also be used for tongues or large decorative markings. This is still an experimental feature and may not be available as an option for every suit.

Tails

  • Construction - Tail construction varies by shape and size. Standard tails will be made like a pillow, stuffed with polyfill or foam scraps. The tops are closed together with two nylon beltloops so you can keep your tail on with a belt. Tails with larger bases will have a wide round base made from fleece or another material, and have beltloops flush against the base to keep the tail upright. Some more complicated tails may need to be made with a foam core instead to hold the shape.

  • Squeakers - I put squeakers in the tips of all my tails, but there might be squeakers in another part of your suit as well! 😉 (This is TOTALLY random, not every suit will have other squeakers!)

Feet Paws

  • Construction - The standard for all feet paws are 'parade soles.' Parade soles are simple black soles made from half inch thick EVA foam, and stand up to walking around on most surfaces. Feet paws are fully lined and will be made to fit the wearers shoes inside. Feet are made from a foam base, then covered in fur. Some stuffing may be done in areas of the feet, which will consist of either polyfill or foam chunks depending on certain factors. I do my best to keep feet paws as lightweight as possible. Feet paws are meant to be interchangeable between left and right, unless the suits design is asymmetrical in the feet. Left and right tags will be sewn into the edge of the cuff if this is the case.

  • Lining - Feetpaws are fully lined with soft fleece and should be cleaned by hand.

  • Claws and other extras - Claws are not standard. Plastic claws and plush claws can be added for an additional price. Plastic claws are ordered from DVC, and plush claws can be made from a variety of fabrics (Fleece, minky, suede, vinyl, etc)

  • Cuffs - Feet paws will have the edge lined with a bias tape or a strip of minky or fleece as a cuff.

Body Suits

  • Construction - All body suits are completed using either a straight stitch, zig zag stitch, or overlock stitch depending on different areas and materials of the suit. Smaller details might be hand sewn. A body suit will require a WELL MADE duct tape dummy. Instruction for making one can be found at the bottom of my commissions page. Standard suits will be made with straight legs ending above the ankle, and sleeves that end at the wrist. A hole below the back zipper will be for the tail. All body suits will have a tag with Star Feather's logo and brief care info sewn into the body near the top of the zipper.

  • Lining and padding - Most suits will not have lining. It is recommended that you purchase a spandex body suit for a full fursuit. (Sometimes called a zentai) Suits that will be made with digi legs or other styles of padding will either require attached lining to be stuffed manually, or have pillow inserts. Which style will mostly depend on the shape of the completed suit as well as customer preference. Pillow inserts will have an open spot in the stitching so the wearer can remove filling and re-stuff for easy cleaning.

  • Zipper placement - Zippers will always be on the back of the suit unless the customer asks for it to be on the front. I typically use tough plastic sport zippers that separate on the bottom for easier access. The zipper pull will also have a long length of cording attached so the zipper can be easily found and undone in case of an emergency.

  • Plush suits - Plush suits are non-standard. They will have padded legs to hold the shape, as well as attached hand paws. Plush suits may also have decorative fake stitching along the sides if the customer requests them. All plush suits will have a satin tush tag with The Grotto's logo sewn into a seam on the hip, butt, or into the tail. Placement will mostly depend on the markings on the suit.

Props and Details

  • Props and accessories - Props and accessories can be made with a variety of fabrics and styles. I'm open to all kinds of additions to a suit, and willing to experiment! Many props will be made with fleece or minky, and are treated much like a plush or pillow. Pricing will depend on size and complexity.

  • Paint details - Paint detailing on fur is usually just regulated to the face, but may be on other parts if necessary. I use acrylic paint with a dry brushing technique (Paint straight out of the tube or mixed, no water) Paint is used for tiny details that can't be sewn or wefted into the fur, or to blend some colors when needed. I use thin coats so the paint doesn't make the fur have a drastically different or uncomfortable texture. If a full dye job for some fur patches is needed, acrylic dye will be set in. Please be aware that while the acrylic paint bonds to the acrylic fibers of fur very well, some can fade or wash out after frequent washing or friction. Be careful not to use any alcohol around painted areas of fur.

  • Other detailing - Other details like rhinestones or special additions (Whiskers, Cabochon gems, sewn in beads, etc) might be necessary for special details on a suit. I always make sure to find the most permanent way of attaching details like this. Whiskers are usually attached under the fur using super glue, beads are sewn in. Even though I do my best to make sure they are as permanent as possible, customers must be sure to take great care around these details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who works for you?
The Star Feather Atelier is run by one person, Willow. I prefer they/she pronouns.
What do you offer?
I currently make only partial suits (With or without feet) or heads. I also offer foam bases from time to time.
What about full suits?
Full suits are on hold until I am able to move into a larger place.
How long have you been doing this?
I've been active in the furry community since 2004-05, and made my first fursuit in 2008. Since then, I've been building things off and on until 2014 when I decided to open for commissions.
How long does it take for a commission to be completed?
This depends on what type of project it is. Tails usually take only a day or so depending on complexity. Heads are 3-4 weeks, partial suits are 4-8 weeks, full suits can take 2+ months. This all depends of course on complexity of the design, and my own schedule. I always do my best to keep commissioners informed of progress and potential completion dates once I start on their commission. (Commission start times depend on their position in my queue) As of right now, I am also keeping up with a part-time job, so some projects might take longer than others.
I'm not 18 now, but I will be this year, can I buy a suit from you?
You must be 18 at the time of filling out a commission form in order to make a purchase. You must have a parent or legal guardian contact me to purchase a commission if you are under 18. Anyone can get a quote however!
Why won't you make a commission for minors?
It's mostly a liability issue, and almost every other fursuit maker will agree with this rule.
When do you open for commissions?
I usually try to open for a few slots a couple times a year, and all opening announcements are posted here on my site, and on social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram etc
What currency are your prices in?
All prices are in USD
How are your suits made?
This is a pretty broad question, but I get it a lot. But for a general description on heads, I build the face using upholstery foam, line the inside with spandex, pattern and cut the fur for placement, then add the details like eyes, tongue, teeth etc. More information about how I construct my suits can be found on the Standards & Procedures page There are of course many other steps within this, and there's lots of tutorials and step-by-step demonstrations online to search for. I highly recommend checking out Matrices.net for tutorials and guides!
What materials do you use?
Upholstery foam, faux fur, fleece, minky, and other related materials. I do my best to work with easy to use and clean materials when making my products.
Where do you get your fur?
Mostly from places like Fursuit Supplies, Howl Fabric, Mendels, BigZ, CanFur, and Hairymann's Closet, but there's dozens of other resources I use like specialized Etsy shops.
How do you see out of a fursuit head?
Primary vision is through the eyes of the character. I use a vinyl mesh that allows the wearer to see while wearing. More unique suits may call for vision through the mouth or neck.
Can I really wear glasses inside a fursuit head?
Technically yes, and I can build a head to fit around glasses. Though I would not recommend it since your glasses can fog up while in use.
Can I have my suit done in time for a convention?
I am no longer taking requests for due dates and rush orders. Working on fursuits is a part time job for me, and my other responsibilities and obligations may sometimes slow or halt the process.
Can you make my really weird and unique design?
I'm always willing to take on an odd challenge if it's not too crazy. Your character doesn't even need to be a furry! Feel free to send an email with any questions.
What if it's a very abstract design that isn't actually furry?
Things like robotics and armor might be a little tough. The best products for those would be 3D printing, resin casting, and worbla. None of which I have the experience with, or access to. But I can usually think of some fun ways to make these features work with fabric. If that sort of look is not what you want, I know a few people I can send you to instead. Keep in mind, they're prices will not be the same as mine!
I have a head base I made myself/bought from someone, can I send it to you to be completed?
Unfortunately I no longer do this. I want to mostly stick to my own foam work to continue practicing and further developing my own style. I might occasionally make an exception if the base is in good condition or from a maker I've collaborated with or bought from, but this will be on a case-by-case basis. (I've worked on foam bases from Stuffed Panda Studios, KemoCube, and Dream Vision Creations. I have little experience with resin bases and would prefer to avoid working with them for now)
I have a fursuit part made by someone else that I want to match materials with on something from you, is this possible?
Possibly yes! Sometimes fur quality and colors can vary, so I can't always guarantee this can work. Your best option would be to contact the maker of your part, and ask if they can provide information on where they purchased the materials from, then relay that information to me.
Why use magnets for some of your parts?
I've tried using other options like snaps and velcro, but they just don't work for most of these additions. Snaps can't be hidden in fur, and velcro gets clogged easily. Magnets were the best option for my preferences.
How durable are your fursuit heads?
Some suits more than others, but for the most part I build the heads to be very forgiving! I work with foam bases, so they're softer, and won't break, scuff, and crack like a resin based head could. All of them endure a rough 'dog toy test' after shaving, which means I shake them out thoroughly to get excess fur particles off. I've tested dummy heads with being compressed for travel, dropped from a great height, tugged and pulled, and they've held up pretty well. Of course this does not mean do these tests yourself, purposefully using your suit for anything other than personal wear will void your warranty and I will not do repairs. The only thing I have not tested yet is a washing machine for suit heads, so just rely on hand cleaning heads for now.

Terms of Service

Please read this page before submitting a quote or commission form!

Restrictions
Certain restrictions apply to my policies. I do not do business with anyone under 18. To prevent fraud, new buyers will be required to provide a form of photo identification with a name and birth date to confirm identity. This ID must match the name you provide on your commission form, as well as your method of payment. If the identity doesn't match, then you will be denied a commission. Some exceptions can be made if you are in the process of changing your name (Gender reassignment, marriage, etc) but you will be required to provide proof of a legal name change request being processed. Birth names and other sensitive information are kept private, and will not be shown publicly for any reason. I will no longer be working with parents of children. My policies have been broken too many time due to fraud or customer error in the past to allow for this exception any longer.
Stylistic Limitations
Please note that only 'toony' styles are available for fursuits. Please take time to look through the gallery to get a better idea of what I can provide for you. If I do not offer what you're looking for, I will be more than happy to refer you to another artist who may fit your needs. Please remember that my prices and quotes are NOT the same as other artists!
Payments
To secure a slot in the production line, a 30% down payment MUST be made as soon as an agreement is reached. Quotes alone will not get you a slot for production. The down payment will put you on the production list, and cover the material costs. If you have the funds, you may pay for your whole project all at once. Payment plans are available, but will come at a slightly higher cost due to filing time and additional fees. All payment plans will have an additional fee of 5% of the total price added. You can begin payments at any time before your suit has been reached in the queue. Keep in mind that I will not send your project to you until it has been fully paid for.
Payment Methods
Square is now the preferred method of pay, but Zelle, or money order (Via Western Union preferred) or a mailed personal check can also be done. Paypal is now only available to customers outside the USA, I will no longer be accepting Paypal transactions for any future commissions! It's recommended that you send personal checks in a secure envelope with tracking information to prevent theft. Under no circumstance will any form of cryptocurrency be used for transactions with Star Feather Atelier. If you use crypto to pay, (Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc) you will be refunded, and permanently blacklisted from any future sales or commissions. In-person cash arrangements are also available to anyone in the Richmond, VA area.
Work in Progress Images
After materials are purchased and all pre-production requirements have been met, I will do my best to provide progress pictures once started to show the work being completed. Please do not frequently contact me for progress. Only if two weeks or more have passed since starting without word from me, you may send an email to [email protected] to inquire about the status of your item. All contact will be made through email ONLY, please do not ask about the progress of your project in places like Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok, as these are used more for quick and casual interactions and are not checked quite as frequently as email.
Deadlines
Typically I do not work with deadlines. Your project will be done when it's done. Exceptions can be made for small projects, but this is strictly on a case-by-case basis. Rush orders are no longer available. Every project is done one at a time to ensure that each suit gets individual attention. More complicated projects like intricate markings or working with materials/features I have little experience with will make the project work time longer. Please remember that most everything I make is hand made by only one person. No molds are used for foam bases, and hand sewing is still used for many areas of a suit, especially the head.
Shipping
All shipping is done either through the United States Postal Service, or UPS. If you would rather have your order shipped through another shipping service such as FedEx or DHL, please let me know. Tracking number(s) will be provided once your package has been sent. Please note that shipping prices often change. Expedited and overnight shipping can be extremely expensive. If you need your order within a timely manner, please plan ahead. If you are outside of the USA, shipping your order could end up costing more than the order itself, so please keep this in mind. International shipping can also take up to a month or longer depending on conditions to arrive. Another thing to note for international buyers, you will need to provide me with your phone number as well. I will not be responsible for potential customs fees once your order enters your country, you will need to pay for that yourself, so be prepared. I cannot ship to P.O. boxes or military bases. If you have a P.O. box or are currently living on base, arrangements should be made to have your suit shipped to a safe location elsewhere (Local friends, family etc.) Issues have happened shipping to these locations in the past. If you are local to the Richmond VA area, an in-person delivery can be made. This includes locations such as Midlothian, Short Pump, Chesterfield, Ashland, etc. I will not deliver to your home for safety reasons! Please have a safe public space in mind if you would like to arrange an in-person delivery. (A local park is usually the best option!)
IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT SHIPPING
I will take photos of the condition of the package at the post office if requested. If your package arrives in a severely damaged condition, DO NOT ACCEPT/OPEN THE PACKAGE. Please contact your local post office and show them photos to negotiate insurance policies, they will walk you through the procedure. For suits completed around the holiday season, I might hold your suit until after Christmas rush unless you want to get it sooner. Around the holidays can be a dangerous time to ship a fursuit due to the massive increase of packages being sent all around the world. The chances of your suit getting lost, stolen or damaged are greatly increased around that time of year.
Cancellations
If at any time a buyer needs to cancel their order, they may do so through email contact. I hold the right to cancel an order at any time. If I need to cancel, a full refund excluding the material costs will be issued. Receipts will be made available as well. Larger refunds may need to be made in installments.
Refunds
If a buyer has cancelled an order, only payments after the initial down payment are qualified for refunding. This is NOT negotiable. I cannot offer refunds after the project has been shipped unless damage has occurred during shipping, but I unfortunately can only insure most packages up to $600 if shipped via ground options. I always do my best to get as much insurance as I can for shipped packages.
Warranty
All fursuits come with a 30 day warranty. If any major damages occur, or if there is a fitting problem within 30 days of receiving your order, you can return it for a one time free repair. (Shipping must be paid by buyer to deliver item to me. Small damages such as a popped seam do not count as a free repair. If you need help making small repairs, you can send me an email so we can discuss it) If you are to make any alterations to any part of your suit, you are voiding your warranty, and I am not responsible for damages cased by alterations not made by myself. While my fursuits are not intended for this purpose, I understand that some may seek to use them for nsfw uses. I will not make repairs or alterations to any fursuit that has been used in that way, you'll need to find someone else. Under no circumstance may any products be sent back for cleaning only. A material guide and cleaning/care sheet is included in every order, and it is the buyer's responsibility to keep their product clean. (Side note: I haven't tested my suit head durability in a washing machine, so at this time I suggest against this cleaning method. Full care sheets can be made available to future buyers by email request) After the 30 day mark after receiving the product, the warranty will expire, and any repairs thereafter must be paid for. Please also keep in mind that while these creations are sturdy enough to be worn, the lifespan of your purchase depends on how well you take care of it.
---Please keep in mind that breaking any of these rules will most likely result in your commission being cancelled, and depending on the severity, you could be blacklisted.