Thursday, November 1, 2018

A Last Minute Refashioned Slytherin Uniform

On Sunday evening the brother requested a Halloween costume. Earlier in October he'd stated his intention not to dress up this year, and I tried to talk him out of that boring decision.  So honestly, his Halloween costume request was rather a pleasant surprise, and one I couldn't turn down.

He wanted a Hogwarts uniform. A Slytherin uniform. According to the Pottermore house quiz, my brother has been sorted into Slytherin House, and he is quite thrilled about this. Apparently Slytherin suits him. After all, the Slytherin House colors are green and silver, and green has been this boy's favorite color ever since he could talk!

Now, onto the sewing. Sunday evening my brother requested the Slytherin robe, and I agreed to make it. Almost immediately, I went "shopping" in my fabric stash. I came up with a queen sized black sheet and an elastic waist polyester skirt in just the right shade of green. The sheet had already been cut into for another project (and I have no memory of what this project was), but it looked like there would be just enough fabric left in it to make a robe. Who knows where the green skirt came from, or how it wound up in my refashion bin, but it would work perfectly for the hood lining and facings!

In my pattern stash I had Simplicity 8723, the official Harry Potter robe pattern, seridipidosly grabbed last time Simplicity patterns were on sale at Hobby Lobby.

Fabrics and pattern assembled, I was only missing one key element for the basic robe costume - the house patch, to be sewn to the front of the robe. There was nowhere in town I could buy a slytherin patch (I checked), and I didn't have time to order a patch. So, I improvised. Sunday evening, less than an hour before they closed, I dashed into Joann's and bought a quarter yard of Slytherin quilting cotton. It was covered in Slytherin house badges, perfect!

I carefully cut out a badge and fray checked the edges. It worked. The Slytherin badge had been obtained, and I could now begin making the robe.

Monday was my day off work, so first thing in the morning I began the robe construction. It took a bit of finagling, but I just managed to squeeze all the robe pieces out of the "fabric" I had. The robe front, back, sleeves, hood, and inseam pockets were cut from the partial black sheet. Nothing but scraps was left when I was done.

The front facing, back facing, and hood lining were cut from the green skirt, along with sleeve hem facings - which had not been included in the pattern, but I decided the robe needed. The sleeve hem facings are only about 2" wide, but the provide a clean finish and a pop of green whenever the inside of the large flared sleeves is visible. A much nicer finish than just a plain turned hem would have been. Once again, by the time I was done cutting out the facings and hood lining, nothing but scraps was left of the skirt.

After a quick trip into town to visit a thrift store late Monday morning (more on that later), the robe was sewn up easily Monday afternoon. There was nothing particularly complicated in the construction at all, and I never even pulled the pattern instructions out of the envelope. They simply weren't needed.  The hardest part of this project was definitely just fitting all the pattern pieces onto my limited amount of fabric when cutting!

Once the robe was assembled, the final step was attaching that Slytherin badge. I appliqued it to the front of the robe using a tight zig-zag on my sewing machine.

Then the robe was ready. I presented it to my brother once he got home from play rehearsal Monday night, and he was thrilled!

The costume was completed with basic black dress pants and shoes and a white button down my brother already had in his closet. The finishing touch was a green and gray striped silk tie I found at the thrift store Monday morning.

I'd gone to the thrift store hoping to find a solid green tie we could paint stripes on with silver fabric paint. But such a tie was not to be found. Instead I found a tie that was already striped, resembling the official Slytherin uniform tie. Nothing at all had to be done to it to be costume suitable, and that was just fine with me!

On all Hallows Eve, as soon as he was released from Muggle school, my brother transformed into a young wizard, ready to hand out candy (and eat a few pieces himself) at my parents' church's Trunk-or-Treat event.

At trunk-or-treat, he ran into a couple small Gryffindors who groaned when they saw him and complained "Ugg, a Slytherin." The brother replied by snarling "Gryffindor" Yes, house pride was alive and well in that church parking lot. Thankfully, all students remained respectful of the Gryffindor head of house, Professor McGonagall.

Even the Slytherin!


  1. So fun! Sometimes the challenges that come at the last minute give the most pleasure when you manage to achieve them! Especially if you do it from the stash!

    1. Yes! And it feels so good to get fabric out of my stash!