Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Faux Tails

I've been meaning to get some photos of the 'Tailed Coats' we used for Scrooge for ages; since I happened to have a camera with me while I was working w/costumes yesterday, I snapped a couple of quick shots. Most of the coats are dark blue or black; this one happens to be light enough that you can see what was done.

Disclaimer: this actually was not my idea; the guys' costumes that came in the donation from the church in Florida (including this one) were all done this way.

Anyway, what those clever Floridian seamstresses did was to
1)cut away the front of the coats from the waist down...from the front edge to the sideseams
2)Attach the cutaway portions to the bottom of the back of the jacket so that the finished edges met in the middle, and the cut edges were in the new seam and along the sides (Um, I just noticed that on this coat, the finished edges are the outside and bottom of the tails; they adjusted the cut edges to fit, turned them under, then met those edges in the middle)
3)finished the raw edges (bottom of the front, along the sides) with bias tape, or gimp applied over a serged or zig-zaggged edge.


This jacket is especially interesting because of the pockets...I believe it was, in its former life, a 70's 'leisure suit' type coat; it had flapped patch pockets. The flaps were retained on the front, and the patch pockets are, um, adorning the tails. Amusing up close...but barely noticeable on stage.

I've made costume tail coats from scratch and this way; I must say, this is a great quick-and-dirty answer to the guys costume dilemma.

I just wish I'd posted it early enough to help out ladies who are costuming Dickens shows this year....


  1. Hey Lisa,

    I agree with you: Those tail coat costume alterations are VERY clever. Truism: Volunteer seamstress workforce--need for a way to prevent burnout and feel not only appreciated but creative and clever when making large groups of costumes--this is a way to do that! Awesome! I wish for you a joyful Christmas and safe traveling.

  2. Very Clever! I like it. This is one I'll have to remember, as I have a colleague who wants to do a Victorian Christmas thing one year.

  3. I was gonna say very clever. Oh what the heck, Very Clever! :D

    Love the nativity peeks too!