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Put your scissors to those old t-shirts and make something pretty today!
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This year my son, Alexander, wanted to be none other than the incredible Harry Potter. And although I wanted to create as much of it myself as possible, I find making clothing apparel a bit intimidating. So it’s been my task to find the simplest approach to creating a full Harry Potter wardrobe that includes a hooded robe with the Hogwarts emblem, a grey “sweater”, a necktie, a Gryffindor scarf and of course, a wand. It took me about 2 days to complete and was less than half the price had I purchased the same items from a store. Let me show you how I was able to use assorted Fiskars tools (paper crafting, sewing and even gardening) to do just that.
Use an existing red/dark red tie or find one at a local thrift store. In my case, my son already had this clip on tie in his closet. I cut half inch strips of yellow adhesive vinyl (or you can use masking tape that is painted yellow) and create the diagonal pattern on the tie. Fold the edges around the back. Notice the stripe on the knot runs in the opposite direction just as it would on a real tie.
Next, create the grey “sweater” by using an inexpensive dark grey sweatshirt. Cut a 4 inch to 5 inch line straight down from the collar. You want enough of an opening to allow the tie to show through. Pin back the edges to form a v-neck and stitch with grey thread. Trim off any excess material with Pinking Shears.
My husband was the clever maker of Harry’s wand. He used the Fixed Handle Pruning Saw to remove a dead tree branch from our yard and cut it to about 12 inches. He left the rough knots and surface but using the take apart knife from the Cuts+More Scissors, he carved and trimmed the piece down some to narrow it at the tip. He then stained and sealed it with a clear acrylic.
For the robe, I started by taking a few measurements of my son. I measured the distance from the top of his shoulder to his mid calf. I also measured his arm length from should to wrist as well as his chest to his mid calf. I wanted the robe to be very roomy and I knew that the no-pill fleece material that I had chosen would be very forgiving of any errors I might make.
With my Rotary Cutter, I cut the fleece to 48 inches wide by 80 inches high (long). I then folded it in half to 48 inches wide by 40 inches high. The fold would be the top of the robe – neck and shoulders. I folded this piece in half across sideways along the center of the body vertically. (See diagram)
Next, I cut out a wedge to create the arms and shape the angle of the robe. The fleece is 4 layers at this point and the layers may be thick but I was still able to cut with the Rotary Tool and Acrylic Ruler.
Unfold the robe part way to see the entire shape of the robe. With right sides in, stitch along the edge under the arms and down the sides of the robe. Leave the bottom open. Find the center line for the robe opening and cut from the bottom to the top where the neck will be. Cut 5 – 6 inches from the center to each side – this will be the opening at the neck, a total width of 10 – 12 inches wide.
I finished the edges of the sleeves, along the bottom of the robe and the two edges where the robe opens. I folded the material in .5 inch and stitched to give it a more finished look. However, if you’re using fleece, you can leave the edges raw and the robe will still look fine.
To create the hood, I placed 2 pieces of fleece on my cutting mat – about 2 feet square. I then used one of my son’s hooded sweatshirts as a basic guide to shape my hood but I increased the overall size by 4 inches and gave it a pointed shape. I made the bottom of the hood 12 inches wide to match up with the neck opening on the robe.
I cut the 2 hood pieces out with my scissors. Then I stitched the top and back together with right sides facing in. I folded in the front hood opening by .5 inch and stitched it for a finished edge. To attach the hood, pin the bottom edges from end to end along the neckline of the robe, right sides together. Stitch across twice to secure it. Trim any excess off with Pinking Shears.
The finishing touch on the robe is a Hogwarts emblem that I printed on cardstock, laminated and cut out with a craft knife. Add a few adhesive glue dots to the back and press it onto the front right side of the robe.
To create the Gryffindor scarf, I again used fleece in dark red and yellow. I cut 21 – 14 inch wide by 4 inch tall strips with yellow being on both ends.
I stitch together 5 or more at a time, alternating colors. Once I had a few larger segments complete, I stitched these together.
In total, the scarf is over 70 inches long. With all the panels stitched together, I folded the scarf along its length with right sides in and stitch along the entire length of the scarf to create a tube. Turn out the scarf and adjust it so that the seam is at the back, then stitch across the width of the top of each end piece – leave the bottom open to cut. Cut strips at each end and tie the opposing strips to create the fringe.
With the costume complete, my very own little “Harry Potter” is going to have a very magical Halloween. Mischief managed!
yards of black material (no-pill fleece recommended); .5 yard of yellow fleece; .5 yard dark red fleece; dark grey sweatshirt; red tie; white polo or buttondown shirt
Yellow Adhesive Vinyl – Daisy Accent It All by Glue Arts