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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quick Greek/Roman cloak and tunic tutorial

I love reading sewing blogs written by creative young moms and I am happy I still have a couple little ones to sew for! When I see all the cute little outfits these amazing seamstresses make for their little boys it makes me think of my own boy and how I loved making him costumes when he was little way before they had blogs.
 Back when I took all of his photos with a film camera.
 Well, that little boy is 18 now and off to college in September. He just got into UCBerkeley,yay for him! 
 I hadn't made him anything in years. Teen boys aren't generally too interested in having mom make them clothes...
Some of my favorite outfits for him were :

Zorro in preschool
A gladiator costume I made for him in kindergarten
A wolfboy in first grade
Ash Ketchum from Pokemon insecond grade....
I searched for hours to find the photos of these costumes. I have them put away in photo boxes. I took them out of their albums some years ago because the older albums take up so much space and get the pictures kind of sticky. Going through piles of old pictures is a bittersweet experience. Photos of friends I had lost touch with, My kids as babies, fun trips we took, me ten years younger and ten pounds thinner.... I got totally side tracked from finding the Halloween pictures and spent the whole night going down memory lane!
 I only found one photo and it was a bad exposure so I didn't want to go through the trouble of scanning it. 
Above and below are two of my favorite photos my father tool of my son .
"Oliver throwing a raspberry box over a subway grate in Paris 1998"
"Climbing an old wall in St. Guillaume le Desert, France 1998"

Back in the day I took tons of pictures, and had doubles made so the result is piles of photos in boxes. I was always a little superstitious about throwing photos away so I have thousands of pictures going back of my life! Now it's the opposite. I don't develop most of them and I should to in case I lose all my files, God forbid.
So back to the Spartan costume.
My son came to me in his typical laid back fashion.
"Mom I need a spartan costume for classical day at school tomorrow."
He handed me a long tube of  red cotton knit ribbing his teacher had given him.
This reminded me of the funky curtains his other teacher sent to me to make some Shakesperean costumes for the class. When teachers find out you sew they are always asking you to help with school projects.
How was I going to pull a costume together in two hours and find time to watch American Idol and last weeks Project Runway? It was mom's TV night and I was looking forward to it!
AND it was 7:30 PM.
Here is what I did:
This tutorial is for a knit fabric cloak.
Measure the width you want your cloak to be and the length and cut your knit fabric.
Turn it into a big oval by rounding off the corners.
Cut a hole the size of your subjects' head about a foot down from the edge.

See how jaunty he is!
I made the head hole a little too big.
How I made the tunic:
I pulled out some black poly fabric from my "I never use this crap fabric but I never know when I might need it with four kids" black trash bag stuffed in my shed. Yes, being a fabric hoarder does come in handy sometimes!

Sew two rectangles together. Leave gaps unsewn for the arms and neck.
Hem the seams.
 Thank goodness for my cover stitcher which hems and finishes at the same time!
Sew a trim piece bought for fifty cents at the garmentdistrict onto the bodice to give it an air of authority.
Have son help by making an applique of the Spartan symbol.
Throw some flip flops and basketball shorts on and
voila the coolest looking Spartan soldier at the games if I do say so myself!

At school, the kids built their own chariots. They had a decathlon, performed classical plays, read poems, and ended the day with a chariot race. 
My sons team The Spartans won!

Pin It Photobucket


  1. That was so nice of him to tell you so far in advance! :)

    He's a cutie and his outfit was definitely the best, glad to know that my 'sewing for the kids days' still have many years left!

  2. This reminds me of every fall when kids come up to me and say "Hey, ummm, I need a rec letter from needs to be mailed by tomorrow." Teens are so good at planning in advance :) Good thing you have a fabric stash! That is a good-looking costume, and your son was totally adorable as a kid! Congrats to him on getting into Cal!

  3. My 4 year old wants to be a spartan, but doesn't want to 'wear a skirt'. W Weser Ning for costume ideas and he saw the picture of your son in shorts! He is adamant now about having this costume. Thanks for putting up your great ideas!


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