Introduction: Dressing THE BEAST

About: Graphic Designer/Physicist in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. I specialize in Photoshop fantasy creations. I always need some work if you need something designed. My website has contact information

Once you have your lovely Belle taking care of her own attire, we turn to the issue of THE BEAST.

The complete costume involves:

Frock Coat
Fancy Vest
Poofy Tie
Lace Cuffs
(White Under-shirt)*
(Hairy Dog-leg Pants with Tail)*
(Mask and Claws)*

*not part of the official instructable, but shown for completeness.

You will need:
Finery from an old wedding dress or similar for the embroidery on the jacket.
Gold spray paint, navy spray paint
Gold Thread Blue Thread
Sewing Kit (pins, etc)

Today you will be instructed on an easy Frock Coat, and Fancy Vest

Step 1: History and the Basic Strategy

I had built these items about 20 years ago for a Mozart outfit, but have reworked the items for THE BEAST. Being 20 years older, the originals were a little snug, so I remade them for you today, but you will see two jackets, for comparison as I used my original for a template.

The Vest I installed some nice "fatso" panels, which will work with any shirt and especially helpful for men to use female garb which is on the smaller side.

The basic Strategy

The coat and vest are similarly constructed. Fold under the collars, slice the fronts on an angle, add details. Simple. I did all of it by hand in several hours, you can use a machine as desired.

Step 2: Remove the Zipper

Simply cut both sides of the zipper off as close to the edge as possible if there is one.

Step 3: Remove Any Insulation

Costumes are hot, so we remove all the insulation, this is best done inside out.
To turn it inside out, you must remove all the structural sewing inside the liner, luckily this is usually lightly sewn. I used a rug hooking hook, but a stitch ripper or exacto knife will do. Slowly pull all the stitches out, so the inside liner is just a big bag attached to the outer shell.

To turn it inside out, I cut a 5" slice in the liner at the bottom corner where the zipper is, and just pulled it inside out. You can then rip all the padding out by hand (dont do this on a rug...lesson learned...or near the dog).

When done, return the coat to normal. Less hot now.

Step 4: Frock Collar

The Coat has a stand up collar and V-shaped Neck. I created this by just folding in the existing collar and cutting a little along the neckline.

Remove the top button on the coat as the V neck starts at button TWO.

Cut horizontally into the existing collar top to where they usually place the hood buttons (where the string starts on a typical hoodie if your coat has no collar button). Make your folds, and pin everything in place. The fold should be on a diagonal from just above your eventual top button (which is the SECOND one down) to a point 2" beyond the original collar beginning.

You don't have to cut anything off. Just sew everything to the inside, trying to keep it as invisible as possible when doing the inner sections. The new outer seam can be sewn through.

Step 5: Coat Tails

The coat tails are just a straight line sew folded under and cut off.

You want three buttons on your jacket not including the top one which you took off
A couple inches below you final button draw a line from the edge of the zipper, to the seams on the right and left bottom of the coat (ie. to where your hands hang normally at your side)

Fold this under and sew. Cut the remainder off.

Step 6: Jacket Back

From the small of your back down, about 8" across, pin and sew a small crease in both sides of the jacket.
From the front you cut off make a tube about 1" wide for a belt and sew the tube shut. Fold the ends under the crease and sew onto the jacket. Sew two gold buttons onto the edges

Step 7: Fake Embroidery

Cut some nice selections from your wedding dress, for the back, pockets, and collar areas.

Pin them on for fit arranging as desired.

I have found for this technique, less is more, as it gets heavy and cluttered quickly. I recommend one large dagger shape on the back, either below the belt you added or above it. Two shoulder sprigs, two collar endings, and two stripes across the pocket tops.

Place them on cardboard and spray paint the back and front Blue. Immediately spray the tops Gold. Mixing as you go. Make sure you get all the edges of the beads. No white.
When dry, sew the patches on. Someone to model the jacket while you pin them on works best. Try not to stick them so much that they quit, but enough to amuse yourself and any onlookers.

Your jacket is now done.

A variation on the back is to make a fancier Z fold on either side of the belt for a fancier look. this should make a flare out if your jacket is nice and wide. Basically you gold the seam into 3 layers In out In and sew the seams of the flare. You can see this on the longer lighter blue jacket in the last picture. I had done this originally as the coat was longer and I had more time.

Step 8: Vest

The vest remodeling is done in almost the same pattern as the jacket, except we fold the stand up collar down to remove it.

Add some fancy buttons or pins down the front.

Slice up the sides of the seams, and add a triangle from bottom to the underarm as your fatso pad as needed.

Step 9: Vest Sewing

The vest just starts as a fancy shirt. Here it was a women's fancy metallic Paisley number. The XXL women's section at the thrift store tends to have the more colourful items to choose from and fit better on men obviously.

The key here is to make a nice dove tail on the front, and fold under the entire collar into a nice V shape that falls down to the centre of your Pecs in your chest. The back shirt tails are just cut off and sewn straight across.

Bottom: Choose the point at about your belly button and fold in a straight line to about half way across the front shirt tail you would normally tuck in. Pin and stitch along the seam, and then stitch the folded under part invisibly as you can on the inside. This adds some stiffness to the corner to keep it on instead of cutting.

Collar: from your pecs fold the entire collar inside itself, including the back collar to make a collarless rear of the shirt, and a nice V down the front. Pin and sew the entire seam. Then stitch the rest of the under folded part invisibly as you can. This adds stiffness.

Back: you want the back just to be a straight ling across you belt line like any vest. Take the entire back shirt tail you normally tuck in your pants and fold it up in a straight line. Pin and sew this seam. Remove the excess. Make it as nice as possible, as you can wear this outfit for other occasions with and without the jacket and you can see it then.

Side Expansions: this shirt was to snug and distorted the buttons at the front. so I added a side panel in contrasting colour to each side. I carefully opened the seam along both sides (one at a time), and added a wedge of fabric about 3" wide at the base, that tapered up to the armpit. I sewed this inside out so it didn't show. The whole panel is 8-10" long

Step 10: Cuffs

The cuffs are just an elasticized tube 2-3" wide, with lace on one side, elastic on the other, and joined at the ends.
The tube is about twice the length of you full hand.

Cut your fabric 4-6" deep (gets folded down) and twice the length of your hand.
Attach stretched elastic.
Attach lace on other side.
Join the ends.

Step 11: Front Scarf

The front scarf is made from two circular pieces cut down the middle, and a belt for the neck added.

Make a 2" wide tube for the collar, just longer than your neck size. Add Velcro or other fastener to the ends. Make sure it fits nicely without choking you.

Cut two circles 1 foot diameter from your scarf cloth.
Make one cut from outside to the centre on each.
Sew lace around the entirety of each circle outer perimeter (but not the slits)

Now this sounds more complicated than it is. Fold each circle in half along the slit, with the exposed lace on the INSIDE.
Butt the two circles together along this fold, with both slits at the top of that fold.
So you now have kind of like two taco shells beside each other with the bends touching, and the slits on the same upper part of the taco fold.

Sew the slits sitting on the table together.
Sew your collar along the remaining slits. it should stick out about 3" beyond the circles of fabric.

Strangely when you unfold the edges it makes a nice puffy scarf for the beast.

Step 12: Accessories (Chip on a Chain)

To add some cuteness to the costume. I took a necklace and wore it like a pocket watch, but instead of a watch the chain held the broken teacup CHIP from the movie. I bought the toy from a thrift store. It was difficult to find and then I found 3 of them in a bag at once. Lol. it rains it pours. I added his mother to the chain later.

I slipped the necklace through the button hole, and used the pendant as a backstop on the button hole end, and shoved the china into my coat pocket and pulled them out now and then. Sometimes I left chip dangling with the mother in the pocket. Kids really liked that addition of chip.

Belle carried a rose in a lantern that night. But beast could carry this as well.

Step 13: The Fur and Rubber Bits.

I also wore a mask, gloves, and fur dogleg pants. These were commercial products but they completed the costume.
Always remember to wear CLOTH gloves inside rubber gloves so that the contact doesn't make you sweat.

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