How to Recreate Medieval Costumes

Written by laurenkrotosky
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How to Recreate Medieval Costumes
Make a medieval costume with a sewing machine. (sewing image by pncphotos from

Create a medieval costume as a clever option for a Halloween party or school play performance. Recreate the look of medieval clothing with tunics and tights for men or long gowns and head pieces for women. Put your costume together with some basic sewing materials and tools for a cost-effective alternative to buying a more expensive costume. With a few tricks and tips, you can recreate a medieval look in a quick and easy fashion.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Tissue
  • Pencil
  • Fabric
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Tights
  • Headband
  • Super glue

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  1. 1

    Take down some basic measurements. Measure the distance between your shoulders and the width of your waist. For women, measure your height from shoulder to feet. For men, measure your height from shoulder to knee.

  2. 2

    Draw a basic sheath dress shape on a piece of tissue paper made for making sewing patterns. Design this sleeveless dress shape to correspond with your measurements. The drawing should be as wide as your shoulders at the top, and flare out in an A-line. For women, make the shape the length of your shoulders to feet. For men, make the sheath the height of your shoulders to your knees to recreate the tunic shape traditional for medieval men.

  3. 3

    Fold a piece of fabric in half lengthwise to achieve a double layer of fabric. The amount of material should be about 2 yards for a woman or 1 yard for a man. Jewel tones such as scarlet, emerald and deep purple work well for medieval costumes. Fabric made of poly-satin or brocade would wear well. Attach the tissue pattern to the fabric with straight pins and cut out the shape with scissors, leaving an extra 1/8 inch around the edge for seam allowance. You should now have two identical fabric panels.

  4. 4

    Sew the two fabric panels together at the edges. Sew side seams and the top of the shoulders together, leaving the neck and arm holes open. Also leave the bottom of the dress open for your feet. Fold over the bottom hem and sew down to make a smooth edge. Do the same with the neck and arm hems. Turn the material inside out so the rough edges of the seams are now on the inside and the smooth edges are on the outside.

  5. 5

    Hem a piece of leftover fabric that is about 3 feet long and 1 foot wide, creating a sash. Tie the sash under the bust for a woman with the bow at the back. For men, wrap the sash around the hips to make a belt, tying the bow at the side of the hip.

  6. 6

    Make a headpiece for women by hot-gluing any leftover fabric to the outside of a head band, so the fabric drapes down the hair like a veil when wearing the headband. For men, pair the tunic with tights for a complete costume.

Tips and warnings

  • Men can carry a plastic sword for an accessory.
  • Make sure seams are sewn tightly to prevent tears.

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