How to Make a Homemade George Washington Costume

Written by kelli nottingham
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How to Make a Homemade George Washington Costume
Sewing skill is necessary for project (sewing image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

The first President of the United States, George Washington, was renowned for being a striking and imposing figure in his military uniform. His look is instantly recognisable, from his prominent uniform to his powdered wig. You can create your own George Washington costume with only a few sewing tools and some fabric. However, because the construction of the garments may be too complex for sewing novices, some sewing experience is recommended.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Historic costume sewing pattern
  • Fabric
  • Sewing pins
  • Scissors
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Notions

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  1. 1

    Measure yourself while wearing your undergarments so you get a good fit for your costume. Measure your hips, waist and chest. These measurements are used to purchase your sewing pattern and fabric.

  2. 2

    Buy a sewing pattern for a men's historic colonial costume that features: a fitted vest that falls below the hips, a fitted jacket that has long tails, a shirt with long puffy sleeves, and trousers that end at the knee. Check the back of the envelope for the correct size you need to purchase.

  3. 3

    Buy the correct amount of fabric required to make your outfit. You want to make cream-coloured trousers, shirt and vest, and a dark blue jacket. Read the back of the pattern to see what notions, such as buttons or trim, you may need.

  4. 4

    Cut out the pattern, using the measurements on the back of the envelope to determine your size.

  5. 5

    Pin the pattern to the fabric and cut out the pattern pieces, making sure to mark any pattern markings with the tailor's chalk.

  6. 6

    Pin the pieces together as directed by the pattern instructions. Try the garment on to test the fit. If you need to make any major changes, this is the best time to do so. The vest, jacket, and trousers should fit well to create the proper look.

  7. 7

    Sew the pieces together as explained by the instructions. After sewing any major seams, such as the side seams of each garment, try the piece on again to make sure it fits the way you want.

  8. 8

    Hem the sleeves of the jacket to fall just below the wrists.

  9. 9

    Attach gold-coloured buttons down the front of the vest and jacket.

Tips and warnings

  • To achieve the military look that Washington wore, you may want to make epaulettes to go on the shoulders of your jacket, using home decor fringe.
  • Top off your look with a white wig, which can be purchased in costume shops. If you don't want to buy a wig, use costume hair paint to colour your hair white.
  • White knee socks and black shoes can be worn, or for a stronger military look, put on some black knee boots.
  • Take care when trying on garments with straight pins in it, that you do not scratch yourself.

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