How to make a medieval costume

Written by ehow contributor
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Need a medieval costume for a Renaissance Faire or Halloween, but don't know how to make one? Don't despair--making a medieval costume can be easy and relatively pain-free! Follow these simple instructions to become a Lady or Lord in a very short time.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Medium weight material, 3 to 4 yards approx.
  • Scissors
  • A marker or pen
  • Straight pins
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks, or fabric glue
  • Inch-wide trim
  • Sewing machine
  • Matching thread
  • Soft leather or cloth shoes
  • Leather belt or chain belt

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  1. 1

    Find a t-shirt that is loose fitting and set it aside. Measure yourself from shoulder to instep for a long gown, or from shoulder to mid-thigh for a tunic.

  2. 2

    Select a traditional or classic style print. Use a solid color material that is the same color and texture on both sides. Choose the colors brown, blue, maroon or gold for the most authentic look, and use subdued hues. For the trim, look for material and colors that compliments the costume.

  3. 3

    Take the material and fold it in half, with ends meeting ends. This gives a long, wide, rectangle. Fold this rectangle lengthwise, smooth fabric to remove any bunches or creases underneath. Lay the material on a flat surface like the floor or a table.

  4. 4

    Fold the t-shirt you have chosen in half, sleeve to sleeve, and lay it on top of the material, fold to fold. Pin the t-shirt to the material with straight pins.

  5. 5

    Trace around the t-shirt with a pen or marker, an inch from the material without marking the folds. When the end of the t-shirt sleeve is reached, keep marking at an angle, to make a long "wizard" sleeve.

  6. 6

    Making a gown, at the bottom edge of the t-shirt, keep straight with marker at the same angle until floor length.

  7. 7

    For a tunic, keep going 4 to 5 inches further than the bottom of the t-shirt, or desired length. Mark a rounded collar, just like the t-shirt.

  1. 1

    Unpin t-shirt from material and cut on marked lines. Do not cut the folds.

  2. 2

    Unfold material. Using a sewing machine, sew up the two sides of the costume, leaving a 1/2-inch seam.

  3. 3

    Turn inside out. Try it on and see how it fits. This is the time to make adjustments.

  4. 4

    At the collar, cut a slit down from the middle about 4 to 5 inches. Take decorative trim and either hand sew around collar and down sides of slit, adhere with fabric glue or carefully hot glue, using small amounts the size of a seed. Do the same around edges of sleeves and hem.

  5. 5

    Accessorize a tunic with a wide leather belt and a drawstring bag. Add a chain belt worn low on the hips, with one long chain hanging from the middle with a gown.

Tips and warnings

  • (Ex. Measuring 55 inches from shoulder to instep, that would equal 1 yard, 19 inches X 2 = A little over 3 yards. However, always buy at least a half of a yard extra just in case.)
  • If waist measurement exceeds 40 inches, buy material that is wider than 45 inches. 60-inch wide material gives the best creative advantage.
  • Don't use primary colors
  • Take careful measurements. Be sure to double the measurement from shoulder to hem.
  • If a tunic has been made, wear with tights similar to the colors selected for the costume or black.
  • Footwear can vary from soft leather boots to sandals. Tied soft sole leather or cloth shoes in brown or black are the best, substitute leather ties for shoelaces.
  • To make a medieval costume look more authentic, there are no zippers, snaps, hook and eyes (or any modern-day accessories) showing on clothing.

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