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Forum > Creative Sewing > Ideas for a squirrel tail? ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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Ideas for a squirrel tail?
I'm making a costume for a school play.
sj3663
sj3663
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Date: 10/22/12 10:17 PM

Trying to keep it simple...making headband ears and a tail for a 7 year old to wear with a brown sweatsuit (velour) for a school production. I'll also cut out a light colored "belly" to fix over the front (may just try to safety pin so the sweatsuit isn't ruined).

I haven't come up with a great idea for the tail, though. I have fur and stuffing...but how am I going to keep the tail up?

Has anyone solved a similar problem with a costume? Oh, that she could've been a bunny. Oh, well. Fun challenge, right?

simplystitches
simplystitches
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Date: 10/22/12 10:39 PM

Use a heavy wire. When you sew the seam allowances make them wide enough that you can stitch the sa and within the sa make a casing for the wire. Cut a long tube with a rounded end and the wire can run along both sides and around the end.

Most hardware and big box stores sell plastic coated electrical wire by the foot. It's surprisingly stiff wire. If you have any stiffer wire that will hold a good shape use that instead.

Debbie

Miss Fairchild
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In reply to sj3663 <<
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Date: 10/23/12 0:27 AM

Quote:
Has anyone solved a similar problem with a costume?
Yup. Years ago I made DS a black widow spider costume. Now this was waaaaay before there was a pattern; late 1970's. I made him a black jumpsuit, and stitched black socks with batting inside to the side seams. At the toe ends of the socks, I hand sewed 20 lb test fishing line (DH used to fish for sharks) between each toe end, and stitched the end onto DS's sleeve. I'd suggest you fill the tail, as usual, then hand stitch a length (maybe about 18") of fishing line to the tail end, and then stitch the other end of the fishing line to the CB seam. That way, the tail will move as the wearer moves (much like DS's "feet" moved when he'd run across a yard)

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tinflutterby
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Date: 10/23/12 0:32 AM

With regards to the belly there is glue you can paint on to make a self sticking applique that is removable(great for unwashable appliques too) Used it when my kids were small for exactly this kind of situation.

BeeBeeSew
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Date: 10/23/12 7:58 AM

You may want to tie the end of the tale to the child's back (of the sweat shirt) as well. I'd probably use fishing line or similar - it won't show from the stage and will help keep it standing up and won't let his pants fall down (I hear that's a bad thing to happen to small children in front of classmates ;-) ) The wire inside will give it the shape but placing a stiff but unsupported item on the back of pants is just asking for trouble.

PattyE
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Date: 10/23/12 8:59 AM

Maybe you could use a coat hanger...just bend it to the shape you need.

JKimes
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Date: 10/23/12 12:00 PM

I would use fishing line to attach the top of the tail to the back of the costume. I don't think there's anything strong enough to hold it up otherwise, and squirrels often sit with their tail touching their back.

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stirwatersblue
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In reply to sj3663 <<
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Date: 10/23/12 1:11 PM

Quote: sj3663
I haven't come up with a great idea for the tail, though. I have fur and stuffing...but how am I going to keep the tail up?

Have you ever seen a squirrel tail up close? It's actually not the plump, solid thing we imagine (and see in stuffed animals)--it's a very thin whiplike tail with LOTS OF FLUFF. All that bulk in a squirrel tail? It's just fur. Here's a great photo (of a whole squirrel, thankfully!).

So I'm wondering if it might be easier to come up with something thin, lightweight, and fluffy--than trying to work with getting a heavy stuffed faux fur tube to stay in place. Maybe affixing thick flexible wire to a couple maribou boas? (Here are some on ebay.) Or short fluffy lengths of yarn sewn to a strip of backing fabric that will flare out when wrapped around padded wire? Something.

Alternately, if you want to continue with your current plan, this blogger has a great tutorial.

Have fun!
-- Edited on 10/23/12 1:21 PM --

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~Gem in the prairie

sj3663
sj3663
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Date: 10/23/12 9:22 PM

Thanks, everyone, for your time and input.
I think that fishing line is the way to go! Hopefully it's that simple...will definitely try this out in advance.

Stirwatersblue, I definitely see the potential in your suggestion...if I didn't feel like I should use this fur I already have, I would go that route!

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