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September 15, 2009
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Fox Tail Pattern by NecoStudios Fox Tail Pattern by NecoStudios
Because I've seen a lot of questions pop up regarding tail patterns, especially for canine/vulpine, I thought it might be an idea to share mine...

This is the humble beginnings of this tail: [link]

And this is more or less the starting point of just about every tail I've made so far. Cat tails would be a fair bit thinner, and some like this tail ( [link] ) have had darts added to give it a curve as well as using a slightly more rounded tip, but they have all started from a very similar pattern.

Speaking of darts, those are the little black triangles you can see on the pattern. I photoshopped them in for the purpose of giving an example of how to make a slightly curved tail instead of a straight one. If you were to use a pattern like this one and sew the triangles together (IE: sew the black lines together) and it will make the tail curve. The more darts you add (and the wider they are at the base/edge) will give it a sharper curve. Less darts (and/or a thinner base/edge) will result in a softer curve.
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animelover140 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
Question (actually a few): I know the length is 30 inched, so the width of that, when sewn together is 13 inches? If so how long is the width before sewing and how far apart are the darts from one another? Also how much of the 30 inches is the tip? Also why cut it out like that rather than doing two halves of the tail and tip then sewing them together, because that's what I see in most other tutorials? Sorry for asking so many question, this is my first time making a tail and I want everything to be right.
NecoStudios Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014
I'm afraid I don't recall exact details for lengths and widths on this tail, as I do each tail completely from scratch and don't tend to use set patterns (I sketch the pattern onto the fabric at the time), but if it's 30 inches long then the width across before sewing would have been somewhere around 13-20 inches, depending on how thick of a tail is wanted.  This is flexible as some people like thicker tails than others, and end thickness can change depending on how thick a pile of fur you use to make it.  If the fur is extra fluffy you'll want a slightly smaller internal width to compensate (unless you want a massive, fluffy "butt pillow" as a friend of mine once referred to super fluffy tails), or if the fur is shorter you might want an extra inch or so on the width.  I'm not sure what you mean by "the width before sewing" though... all widths I include tend to be the width before sewing as that's the best time to get the most exact numbers.  After it's sewn the fur pile can add length or fluffiness and make it seem a different size.

The darts in this example are about 2 or 3 inches apart, but you can add as many or as few as you need to get the curve you're aiming for, and you can space them out as much as needed as well.  For this tail the tip was probably 6-8 inches of the full length (this was done about 5 years ago, so my memory for the exact numbers on this is a bit... lacking).  But this is another thing where it is incredibly flexible and you can have as much or as little of a tip as you desire.

Why did I do the pattern like this, instead of as two halves?  Because I find it easier and it has the extra bonus of being one less seam to potentially pop if the tail gets any abuse and one less seam to have to perfectly pick fluff from to hide it.  Especially for uncurved tails, I prefer to use as few pieces as possible to retain maximum durability.  However I do use the two halves method on some of my other tail types, like husky tails, as it suits my method better.

If you are nervous about getting things wrong, and don't want to waste your fur fabric (as it can be rather expensive) trial your pattern using another (cheap!) fabric.  Get the cheapest you can find (usually some sort of cotton fabric used for quilts is the cheapest) or even something like an old sheet that will never be used again and test your pattern using that.  Cut each piece out, sew them together, and stuff it with something like newspaper or old t-shirts and see what you think of the look (make sure to remember that fur adds bulk to any pattern!).  If you like the look and are ready to move on to making the tail with fur you can even seam rip the "test tail" and use that as your pattern.

Hope this helps.  Lemme know if you have any other questions.  :)
animelover140 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2014
This helps me a lot, thank you so much :)
FlamestormTheDragon Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
how would the pattern look if you say were sewing it onto pants (making a Halloween costume)
NecoStudios Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013
You mean sewing the tail base onto the back of your pants or something else?  (Sorry if this is way late since I know today is Halloween!)
FlamestormTheDragon Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
lol it's fine, I already finished the costume (my dad was able to hand make a template)
Gummy-Warlord Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2013  Student General Artist
I'm wondering: "Why use darts when you can just make an originally curved tail pattern?"

Are darts more efficient or do they add some sort of added volume or something?
NecoStudios Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013
Because it better preserves the natural grain of the fur to produce a more realistic look to items, especially tails, but anything that has any kind of curve to it such as some of the seams you might get on fursuit heads. Both faux fur and real fur have a set direction it will run in, known as the grain, and even long fur will follow this set direction. As a result, darts can preserve the appearance of the grain of a tail without needing extra panels of fur to be sewn together.

Without darts, to achieve the same look, I would have had to do the fox tail pictured in 2-3 times the number of pattern pieces. To give an example, when I make my curved husky tails (two colors) I use four panels, which gives a slight curve, which are sewn together and then darts are added to make the curve tighter. If I didn't use darts the same tail would take upwards to ten panels to get the same look. And more panels mean more seams which can also mean more weak points to potentially have a seam pop on.

End of the day though, you could use an originally curved tail pattern. I just prefer not to unless I have no other options to get the look I want.
Gummy-Warlord Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Student General Artist
Thanks so much for the reply! It served as a very good explanation and, quite honestly I didn't know like a quarter of the stuff you said before-hand.... XD

Currently I'm working on my first tail (whoop to finding 3.5in furs for a fantastic floofiness!) and that makes you reply doubly helpful. :3

Thank you!
AngelPookie95 Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Student General Artist

I'm trying to make a wolf tail for my friend.

But i'm having issues finding a good pattern/measurements to make it.

Can you help me please? D: this is my first time making a tail..i make ears...
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