Wizarding Robes – A Warm Choice for Halloween Activities
Do you have trouble buying off-the-rack costumes because they never seem to fit correctly? I certainly do! I have never been able to wear one without making modifications. Most commercial ‘Halloween’ costumes are often of poor quality and fabricated out of cheap materials. For the last six years or so, I’ve been making my own costumes for Halloween or conventions. Since I don’t have too much free time at the moment (thank-you grad school), I only get around to making about one a year (if I’m lucky).
A few years back, I needed an easy costume and quickly threw together a Hogwarts Gryffindor uniform. I purchased the cardigan from Lochaven International (supplier of the sweaters used in the films). This sweater is fantastic and incredibly warm. I also bought a Gryffindor house scarf. Both items are 100% lambswool. If you need to be warm this winter season and you’re a Harry Potter fan, I highly recommend checking out their site. Lochaven carries items for all four Hogwarts Houses.
I constructed the skirt myself. I found an excellent source of reference photos complied on Rebel’s Haven’s costume page. Although this website hasn’t been updated in a relatively long time, it provided me with some great tips to make this simple, pleated wrap skirt. I wanted the skirt to have some weight and texture, so I used some heavy twill fabric.
House Robes – There have been numerous officially licensed house robes on the market for years. They are a staple during Halloween season at stores, and higher quality versions are also available on WBshop.com and shop.universalorlando.com. I purchased a set of robes from wbshop.com and was greatly disappointed. They didn’t fit correctly, and the material was thin and cheap. I promptly returned them and decided to make my own.
Since I was living in Japan and Halloween was right around the corner, I didn’t have time to order a pattern, so I made one using an old zip-up hoodie and some reference photos. I stitched up a mockup, snapped some images, and was good to go. Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I purchased to patch. What I love most about my self-made robes is that the sleeves come exactly to my wrist, and the length falls exactly to my ankles, a perfect fit!
Last year my son insisted on having a Harry Potter themed birthday. I made him a set of robes using Simplicity pattern 8723. I think the patch came from Amazon. These robes don’t fit him anymore, but I’ve kept them. I was pleased with how they came out even if he didn’t wear them as much as I thought he would. Oh, and he prides himself in being a Slytherin.
My husband and I had a blast planning and decorating for his party. I’ve shared some images below. The House banners we found on clearance at Target. The Slytherin lamp was on clearance from ThinkGeek (which no longer exists). The Sorting Hat, Monster Book, mini cauldrons, 9 ¾ backdrop were all from Amazon. The Wizarding World is so expansive that there is no shortage of ideas or inspiration for decoration, food, or party activities. The event was a big success.