How to Make Your Own Ancient Roman Clothing

Written by roz zurko
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Ancient Roman clothing was loose and flowing. Most of the clothes were simply excess material that wrapped around the body. The sandals were wrapped with material that went all the way up to the knees. The men and women wore basically the same type of toga with the colours denoting different statuses in the Roman community.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 3 white sheets, one queen and two twin
  • 1 blue queen sheet
  • Sewing machine
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Pair of flip-flops

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    Ancient Roman Clothes

  1. 1

    Make a toga out of white linen sheets; the ancient clothing was made from fine white wool, but sheets are easier to find. Fold a queen sheet in half and cut a hole on the fold for the head to fit through. Sew both sides up, 6 inches in from the edges, and stop 2 feet from the top. This goes over the head and the arms go through the spaces left by the 2 feet that are not sewn. Cut a white twin sheet in half lengthwise and sew the short ends together. This will leave you with one very long piece of toga wrap. Tie it around your waist, then drape the excess over the shoulder and around the rest of the body. You will not have to worry about this toga unravelling and leaving you exposed, like the ones that are made only from wrapped up sheets. The bottom sheet keeps you covered and prevents mishaps. This can be done without sewing the sides up and by using buttons instead.

  2. 2

    Put together ancient Roman sandals using an inexpensive pair of flip-flops. Cut four strips, each 5 feet long and 4 inches wide, from a twin white sheet. Fold each lengthwise and sew the sides together, leaving 1 foot from the end not sewn. You will have four pieces. Take one of the strips and use the end piece that is not sewn to hand stitch over the flip-flop toe separator and up one side of the flip-flop strap. Take another piece and do the same thing, ending up on the other side of the flip-flop strap. To wear these sandals, put the flip-flops on and wrap the strips in back of the ankle first, then crisscross around and up the leg. You can use any old sandal for this technique, just hand stitch the sheet piece over a piece of the sandal to get the same effect.

  3. 3

    Use a solid navy blue queen sheet to make the "palla," a toga wrap often worn by women in ancient Rome. The palla was made out of yards of extra material; the Romans liked to drape themselves in large amounts of textiles. This toga cloak is made by cutting the sheet down the middle lengthwise and sewing the two pieces together end to end, making a very long piece of material. You will have one long continuing piece of sheet. This is the simplest of the Roman clothes to wear; it wraps and drapes around the body with both ends meeting in the front after coming over the shoulders.

Tips and warnings

  • Toga wear is not tailored and is probably the first "one size fits all" clothing line. As long as the sheets are neatly pressed, you will be wearing ancient Roman clothing. You can always use pins to keep it in place if you are going to a party.
  • If you are making a quick costume for a party, you can staple the under sheet garment instead of sewing it.
  • It may take you a few tries to wrap the palla before getting it to feel comfortable and not unravel as you move.

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