I have included three version of this tail so you can vary the tutorial to your skill level or project. All look really cool and it is hard to resist not running around in them! Use a non-stretch fabric for best results, I used a mixture of cotton and polycotton which I find works best!
WHAT YOU NEED
Something to measure with (I used a measuring tape)
Something to mark fabric (I used tailors chalk)
Hook and loop tape OR elastic
FABRIC CUTS Tail body: cut 2 rectangles I used 22″ x 10″ Tail back: cut 1 circle 7″ in diameter
Spikes: cut 2 rectangles 22″ x 3.5″
If using waist straps with hook and loop tape: cut 4 12″ x 3″ (this length measurement my need to be adjusted depending on waist size)
1. Take your two strips, lay them together and fold in half-length ways and pin. From approximately 4″ along the length with no fold, draw a straight diagonal line to approximately 1″ above the fold on the short edge. Cut along this line and you should be left with two cone shapes for the tail body.
2. Lay the fabric strips right sides together and pin in place. Draw a row of triangles along the strip for the tail spikes with approximately 1/2″ spacing between each triangle making the spikes shorter towards the end of the strip and leaving a 1/2″ fabric row at the base. Sew just outside your spike line and then trim the excess fabric. Turn the strip of spikes right side out. Iron flat for easier sewing.
Sew Tail Body
3. Pin the largest spike to the tall side of your tail piece, lining up the raw edges. Now lay the second tail piece with right sides together, pin in place and sew. Open the tail out and check the spikes are in place.
Refold the tail so the right sides are together again, pin in place and sew. Sew the smaller end of the tail with a curve rather than straight corners.
4. If using elastic, pin the elastic ends to the right side facing side of the tail body and sew in place. This will mean that once the tail is backed, the elastic edges will be inside the tail body.
If using fabric straps, put two strips right sides together and sew along the edges. Repeat for the other two strip to give you two straps. Turn the straps the right way round and sew the hook and tape tap to each end. Pin the straps to the right side facing side of the tail body and sew in place making sure one waist strap has the tape side down and the other tape side up. This will mean that the hook and loop tape is the correct way round and that once the tail is backed, the strap edges will be inside the tail body.
5. If you used a different sized tail body here is how to work out what size circle you need. Lie the tail flat and measure across the width of the opening, this measurement will help us get a circle the correct size for the tail back. Double this measurement and divide the result by 3.141. Fold the fabric in to quarters and from the central folded corner, measure this length away plus seam allowance and mark out moving round in an arc to create a curve. Once you have a quarter circle, cut out.
Pin the circle right side facing into the tail to the opening and sew around leaving a gap big enough for your hand to fit though so you can stuff it!
Stuff and Finish
6. Turn your tail right side out through the hole you left. Now stuff your tail! Once fully stuffed, pin the hole closed and sew shut. You can do this by machine or hand sew.
Adaptation 1 – Coloured Belly
Follow the tutorial in the same way however split the top section of the body and sew spikes between these two fabric pieces.
Adaptation 2 – Scaled
This adaption takes a lot of time cutting and frustration but the end result is worth it! In order to create the scale affect you will need to attach the scales to the tail body section before sewing together.
Cut out your scale rows in a similar way to the spikes however keep the triangles the same size . I cut out 8 rows at a time however you may need more depending on your tail body size. Don't bin the triangle of cuts as you can use these later.
Once the scales rows have been cut out you can lay the scales rows on to the body using the ½” row as a guide and pin in place. Once all the rows have been used trim of the row excess and use these to continue filling the body.
Once the body sections are filled, sew each scale row in place along the ½ row guide. Once the whole body section has been filled, check the scale.. Now, for any visible stitching or spaces that may have appeared take the off cut triangles and place these to cover and sew in place. I used some of my belly colour in my top scales to provide a slight pattern.
Follow the rest of tutorial in the same way ignoring step 3 for inserting spikes. If you are felling adventurous you could merge both adaptation together to create a scaled spiked two tone tail!
Tutorial by Sheridan Smith for the Craft Cotton Co 2017