How To Make A Costume Of Sergeant Pepper

How To Make A Costume Of Sergeant Pepper

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," the Beatles album released on June 1, 1967, was a flourishing of independence and wonderful creativity during the "Summer of Love." For the cover, the Beatles posed in quasi-military uniforms, surrounded by cuts of dozens of their heroes, such as Edgar Allan Poe, Dylan Thomas, Bob Dylan, Tom Mix, Frida Astaire and Dr. Livingstone. The Beatles psychedelic colored satin costumes (lemon yellow for John Lennon, sky blue for Paul McCartney, fire red for George Harrison and fuchsia for Ringo Starr) are very much recreated today by the tribute bands and for special events, You want to have a Sgt. Pepper suit, you can sew it yourself or ask a seamstress for help.

The mold

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To make your own Sergeatn Pepper costume, the website "The Costumer's Guide to Movie Costumes" recommends McCall's military uniform mold number 4745 The website recommends using the long skirt of the mold, but not the center back seam, and open the back of the skirt or the center with buttons. The jacket opens in the center of the front and uses hook-type closures. The real molds used in the Beatles' costume were the work of theater costume designer M. Berman, and were sold at auction in 2011 for US $ 5. 963.

Fabric and seams

Satin fabric, with its slippery surface, is not the easiest to cut or sew. Simplicity Creative Group recommends special care: satin can be torn in different directions, so use a special mold pattern and mark with seamstress chalk, since fabric markers can fade. Use serrated edge scissors to obtain a clean cut. Start with a fine needle, and if there are still jerks, switch to a microtip needle. Use small dots If you use polyester yarn for satin, use a flexible needle and a medium point. In "The Costumer's Guide" it is reported that the Beatles' suits have sleeves and pants lined in white, and that the rest of the jackets are lined in the same exterior color.


Costumes must look real, from military medals to buttons. Creating the details is quite difficult. The Costumer's Guide website says that the buttons on John and Ringo's suits are gold, and that Paul and George's buttons are silver. Paul's buttons, according to the site, "are buttons of the London Fire Brigade, from 1948 to 1965." The braided macrame cords have contrasting colors: orange for John, lime green for George, plum for Paul and blue for Ringo. Shoulder pads, chevrons, satin strips and ribbons on the edges add even more contrast. For the medals, you can try to get replicas that look as similar to the originals: Paul and George carry their MBEs, but John Lennon had already returned his as a mode of political protest.John borrowed several World War II medals from the mother of former Beatles drummer Pete Best. John also carries margaritas on the shoulders. If you're going to disguise yourself as Ringo, Sgt. Pepper patches, worn on the album cover and alternated, were designed by Joe Ephgrave, and the replicas are for sale.

Other options

If you're not making the costume from scratch, you can get commercial costumes from about $ 30 to several hundred dollars. You can always improve them with medals or other accessories. Dye a military uniform, for example, one of the style of the Civil War, in blue or gray, may not be practical, since you must achieve a lighter color on a heavy fabric. If you want a made-to-measure costume, the seamstresses charge from US $ 25 for the hour of work, and you must include the cost of materials. Get organized with time, as the seamstresses have other clients, particularly near the parties. Consider the client's rule of three, says "The Costumer's Guide": "You can get something cheap, something quick or something quality, but never all three at once."

And in the end...

What made the Beatles want to dress up as military for the album cover? "Somewhere in our minds, I think the plan was to wear flashy uniforms that really were in against the idea of ​​wearing uniforms, at the time everyone was dressed in 'I Was Lord Kitchener's Valet', and the boys in bands used soldiers and placed flowers on their rifles, "McCartney tells in the book" Anthology ". McCartney and Harrison wore their uniforms again later for music videos during their solo careers, and Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, loaned his to several museums, while Starr's jacket was shown at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Cleveland, Ohio. The album, of course, was considered the number one of the 500 best albums of all time by Rolling Stone magazine. "John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were never so reckless and united in their race towards magic and transcendence, "the magazine opined.

Video Tutorial: How To Measure Yourself For Your Sgt. Pepper Suit ft. Cellophane Flowers.

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