Saturday, May 10, 2014

A Dinosaur Train Party - Dinosaur Tail Pattern

Dress up is so much fun, and I found out how much fun it can be with these dinosaur tails, made for my son's Dinosaur Train themed 4th Birthday party. 

Our gorgeous son in his dinosaur costume.
I found one awesome site RUNNING WITH SCISSORS detailing how to make dinosaur tails, and it is this site that inspired me to make dinosaur tails for my son's 4th Birthday party themed after Dinosaur Train.   I am not an experience sewer, hence I wanted to minimise my time at the machine.  I decided to use the fold of the material to minimise one sewing edge of the tail and I used stiff felt instead of sewing the armour/sails endemic to each species of armoured dinosaur and I wanted more than the generic spikes of the Giganotosaurus.  I also wanted to remove the stuffing easily for washing and I wanted to stuff these tails cheaply - with shredded paper. 

So how did I do this? my instructions are probably not as good as running with scissors, but please go back to their site and go through the detail - my pictures should then make sense.  I did my tails in expensive patchwork material - it was soooooo pretty and scale like! and I allowed 30 inches per tail.  A much cheaper version would be in basic one colour fabric.  I free hand drew the tail shape onto Stampin' Up! packing paper - as you can see used, but never the less it did the job.

The first step was the pattern, I made my tails 25" long and ran the flatter side along the fold line.  The tails were 10 1/4" wide - 20 1/2 when the fold is opened flat.   The straps varied but 12" seemed to work (ND need 2 of these ie 4 in total if not on a fold line) and the 3/4 circle diameter was  6 1/2".  I used one of my son's cereal plates. 
This is the pattern cut out and pinned ready for sewing.  Yes that is my mud map/pattern in the top RHS corner...
I cut these shapes out of stiff felt.  I have degeneration in my shoulders, along with arthritis in my hands so I wanted to minimise sewing.  I did end up cutting two each for the tails of the Steg and Wuerhosaurus...just to be anatomically correct!

 The spikes/armour was placed inside as show below with the spikes facing toward the fold line.  These are the pieces after sewing.

And pin the straps inside of the tail (which is inside out) AFTER you have added your Velcro - sorry I didn't photograph the Velcro on the straps.

You may need to pin the first spike out of sewing ways harm ...
These are the circular pieces set on each other to make a circle.  This is the entry point to stuff the tail and although none of our stuffing came out, you may like to add a clip, spot of Velcro or a button to seal the opening more securely. 
I doubled sewed for strength and appearance more than anything.
This is the circle pinned on - note the pencil marks...I used these to line up with the inside of the tail to ensure even ruffling/gathering.
 Once this was sewn on, turn them inside out and stuff them...

 The tails on display, ready for the picking





A very BIG thank you to Running with Scissors for inspiring me to sew Dinosaur Tails for our wonderful son.  I hope you have as much fun with these at your party as we did.