Columbia's Tail Coat (Construction)

You can probably apply this method to most commercial tail coat patterns (the Costume kind).  I cut a complete 2nd set of all pattern pieces for the lining whether the pattern calls for it or not.  Lining your tail coat will extend its life.  I only apply the black sequin fabric to half of the front lining pieces - no need to add bulk all the way to the side seams.

I bag-line my sleeves and tails separately, leaving the tops open to turn out.  After you've turned them right side out you can attach the lining and sequin fabric together with a running stitch and there-after treat them as one-piece when setting them into the torso.

I construct the torsos separately - the sequin fabric and the lining.   Then I set the sleeves into the sequin torso, and attach the tails to the back.  At this point it looks like a tail coat sans lining.  You could try it on and adjust accordingly at this point.

With the tail coat laying face-up, I fold the sleeves and tails up onto the torso so all the torso edges are clearly exposed.  With right sides together I lay the lining torso down.  Carefully lining up seams and edges, pin together then sew the entire perimeter.   You are effectively bag-lining the whole tail coat.  Trim your corners and curves accordingly.  Grade your seam allowance if you need.  Then pull the jacket right-side out through on of the lining's arm-holes.  Finger-press around seams.  If you must use an iron - use a low setting and a press cloth and do it quickly (never let an iron touch the sequins directly).

You can close up the lining's arm holes by hand with a quick whip-stitch.  Apply your buttons to the outside and you're done!

Photos of my finished tail coat are in this entry.


  1. Could you do a how-to for how you lined the torso? I'm not sure how to attach the black sequin lapels to the gold sequins + the lining. If that makes sense. I'm thinking cut the black sequin lapels where the "roll line" would be (and cut the lining piece up to the roll line?) then attach the black sequin lapels to the lining and then attach the lining to the main jacket like you said?

    1. I actually don't even cut the lining, I just position the black sequin fabric right on top of it. I attach the black sequin fabric to the lining to just past the roll line - from there on I treat it as one piece. I'll try to grab a pic sometime!


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