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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Hermione Granger (from Harry Potter) costume (Hogwarts cloak and tie costume) - made cheap or for FREE! Here's how to do it...


Making a Hogwarts cloak, patch and tie


This can be used for any of the Hogwarts Houses and characters


My oldest daughter has discovered the wonderful world of Harry Potter. She loves Hermione Granger (not a bad role model, I think.) My girls like to dig into the fancy dress box we have, and try to create costumes for their characters. When none of the fancy dress clothes work out, they then dig into their own wardrobes, to try to create something similar.
She did a great job of teaming her school skort, with a white t-shirt, ruffling her hair to create the 'Hermione' hairdo, and using a pencil as a wand. She even tied an old blanket around her neck for the cloak.

I thought that the 'Harry Potter Game' might be short lived, but both her, and my younger girl, still enjoyed playing it regularly, so I decided to try to make a basic 'Hogwarts' cloak, and Gryffindor tie.

Here's how to make your own Hogwarts cloak and tie. You can modify this to be appropriate for any of the four, Hogwarts school houses.

You need a large piece of black material. I had a large piece of stretchy black material, that I had left over from a previous DIY project. The material you need does NOT have to be stretchy. As I didn't want to buy any new material, I used this piece.

Your material needs to be at least the width of your child's arm-span, from wrist to wrist.
If you want to hem the cuffs, you will need it to be perhaps the width of their span of palm to palm.
Measure your child from shoulder to ankle. Now double this measurement.
This is the length of material you need.

Lay your material on the floor. Fold it in half length ways:


Then fold the material in half again, so you have a fold at the side and the top. Ask your child to lay down on the fabric, and position their shoulder, just slightly below the fold on the top of the fabric, the middle of their body needs to line up with the side fold:



With chalk, draw a line where you would like the sleeve to be. I made the sleeve wide and angled it in to taper towards the armpit area. then mark from that area, to your hemline, angling outwards so your cloak doesn't just hang straight down. Then simply cut along your chalk marks (preferably while your child is NOT laying on the material though - I just put the scissors there to show you what I was doing lol!).

At this stage DON'T cut the length of your cloak, or sleeve
lengths shorter - all will be explained a bit further down.



Pin the arm seam and side seams. By having the material folded in half lengthways, you have eliminated a whole seam - your shoulders of the cloak are now seamless. 
Sew up your arm and side seams. Overlock if you have an overlocker, use the overlock stitch if you have one on your sewing machine, or simply cut with pinking shears to stop the material on the seam fraying.

If the sleeves and length of the cloak are quite big - DON'T cut them shorter. Simply make a larger hem - fold and fold again if necessary. Then sew the hems. By not cutting the cloak and sleeves shorter, you can simply unpick and roll out the seams to make lengths longer, as your child grows :)

You will now have a cloak that's almost finished. Lay the cloak out flat on the floor again. In the centre, cut one layer only, from the bottom, up the the top 'shoulder'. Now depending on your material you may or may not need to cut a basic neck hole (semi circle) out of the back of the cloak. Because our material was stretchy, I did not need to cut anything away from the neck.

Then, hem up one side (continue round the top) and down the other side.

You now have a basic cloak.


Making a patch


Go online and search out the patch/badge that you need for your relevant Hogwart's 'House'. 
In my case, we did a Google images search, and used the tool to find 'large' size images. 
This should give you something of reasonable quality.
As my girl wanted to be 'Hermione' we did a search and found the Gryffindor patch.

If you already have some iron-on transfer paper, you can print out your 'patch'. 
Iron it onto some white material, cut it out and stitch it onto the left hand, breast part of the cloak.

We didn't have any iron on paper. We no longer have a colour printer, so our neighbour kindly offered to print out several versions of the patch, onto regular paper. If you don't have access to a colour printer, you could get it printed at your local stationery supplies store, print onto photo paper at a store.

Failing that, you can print it black and white, or try and draw it out, and get your kids to colour it in :)


We're lucky enough to have a small laminator. After cutting out the patches, we laminated them. 

If you don't have access to a laminator, wide rolls of sticky tape can do the job just fine. 
Cover the front and back of your badge with a few layers. When cutting out, leave a small amount of sticky tape around the edges. It helps to stop the ink running if your badge gets wet.

Sticky tape a basic safety pin to the back of your patch.

Pin your badge to your cloak.

(Remember to take your badge off your cloak when washing!)


To make your Hogwart's outfit a little more complete, try making a tie.

Search on the internet, to see what your house's tie looks like. 

If you're a real stickler for detail, note that the younger students and older students wear slightly different ties. Younger students have ties with thicker stripes and older ones have ties with thin stripes.


For making a paper tie:


If you don't have access to any material of those colours, why not simply draw out a basic tie shape. You can make it with either coloured pieces of paper/card, or simply colour in the tie with texta/felt tip pens.
If you are making it with pieces of paper, some of the following instructions, regarding laying out the stripes may help you.  After you've made  your paper tie, laminate or use sticky tape (see instructions for the patch above), and then sticky tape a safety pin to the back.


For making a fabric tie:


I raided my fabric scraps box and was lucky enough to find some pieces of material of similar colouring to the Gryffindor tie. If you can't find material, small squares of felt can be cheap to buy from your local craft/haberdashery store.

For the purposes of the following instructions, I'll refer to the gold and red used in Gryffindor, but you can replace these colours with your house colours.

Draw out a basic tie on paper. I looked at my google image to work out the order of the colours on the tie. Cut out your template and lay it on your background colour (in this case gold) material. 

Cut the top 'knot' of the tie off your template.

Trace around your tie pieces. These will make up the front of your tie. Trace around again. 
These will he back of your tie.
Cut out the ties, leaving a 1-2 cm border around your pencil lines.


Cut your gold coloured material into strips. You need your strips to be long enough to hang over the edges of the template you've drawn onto the gold.
Lay the strips over your tie pieces, trying to get the angles similar to each other.  

(this photo shows the fronts of two ties, as I figured I may as 
well make an extra tie for my younger girl at the same time)

Carefully lay the back pieces of your tie material, with the pencil lines showing up, on top of your stripes and tie front pieces (so you basically have the right sides of the tie pieces together. 
Pin the pieces, being careful to pin the stripes in place so that they don't move around.

Sew around the tie pieces, following your pencil lines. Leave the top part of your main tie piece and the bottom part of the 'knot' piece open and un-sewn.



Trim your edges down, closer to the seams. Your pieces should look a bit like this:


Turn your pieces right-sides out. Join the knot piece and main piece together, by pinning the open seams together, right -sides together, and sew (so your seam will be at the back of the tie.




I sewed a small loop of material onto the back of the ties. This loop can then have a safety pin attached. 
This can then be pinned to your chosen t-shirt or shirt for your outfit. 



Well, this is a pretty rotten pic of the finished item. I'd forgotten to pin the 'patch' on for this photo too.

If you'd like to go for the full 'Hermione' look, try to recreate Hermione's messy hairdo with a crimper or waver iron. And LOTS of hairspray.

My daughter wore this with a white tee, school skort and shoes. Hermione hairdo too.

She won a prize for 'best girl's costume' in her school year for 'Character Day' at school :)



Have fun with your creating and let me know how you got on :)

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