Coming up with an original idea for a costume can be a challenge, whether for Halloween or any other costume party. Making a costume yourself can be much less expensive than buying or renting one, and costumes that can be made from supplies you already have in your home will be the most economical. Dressing up as a Greek god can be done easily and inexpensively.
Items you will need
- Measuring tape
- White bed sheet
- White thread
- Sewing machine
- Tailor's chalk
- Safety pin
- Iron and ironing board
- Gold paint
- Tape or stapler
- Pencil or marker
Fold a white bed sheet in half lengthwise. Turn a loose-fitting T-shirt inside out. Place the T-shirt on the sheet with the neckline of the T-shirt as close as possible to one of the short open ends of the folded sheet.
Trace around the outline of the T-shirt, starting at the neckline and stopping at the bottom of the T-shirt's side seams. Add an extra 1 inch at the neckline and at the ends of the sleeves to allow for hems. Do not trace along the bottom edge of the shirt.
Measure your body from your collarbone to the desired length for the finished tunic. Measure this length, plus 1 inch for a hem, along the center of the shirt, starting at the midpoint of the neckline and continuing past the bottom edge of the T-shirt as far as necessary. Mark this spot on the sheet with tailor's chalk.
Draw a straight line with the tailor's chalk, perpendicular to the folded edge of the sheet, that extends from the mark you made in step 3 all the way across the folded sheet.
Draw two vertical straight lines with the tailor's chalk, extending past the side seam lines until they meet the horizontal line you drew in step 4. Set aside the T-shirt. Cut along all the chalked lines.
Pin the two pieces of tunic together along the side seams, underarm seams and shoulder seams. Place the pins as close to the cut edges as possible, spaced about 1 inch apart.
Draw a slightly deeper U-shape along the neckline on the front of the tunic to give a more comfortable fit. Start the U-shape at one of the neckline edges at the shoulder edge. The lowest point of the U should be 1/2 to 1 inch below the cut edge. Cut along this new line.
Measure a long strip of bed sheet, about 3 inches wide and at least 3 yards long, to make a belt. Cut out this strip of fabric and fold it in half lengthwise. Pin along the long edge, keeping both short ends open.
Thread the sewing machine with white thread. Stitch the side, underarm and shoulder seams of the tunic, leaving a 1/2-inch seam allowance, using a straight stitch on the machine.
Fold over 1/2 half inch toward the wrong side of the tunic at the ends of both sleeves, at the neckline and at the bottom edge of the tunic. Fold over another 1/2 inch, so the cut edge will be inside the fold. Pin in place and stitch with a straight stitch to hold the hems in place.
Stitch around the long pinned edge of the belt, with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Attach a safety pin to one of the open ends and insert it into the tube of the belt. Push the pin all the way through the belt and pull it out the other end to turn the belt right side out. Remove the safety pin and press the belt with the iron. Fold about 1/2 inch of the open belt ends to the inside and pin in place. Stitch.
Paint a sheet of cardboard with gold paint. Let the paint dry.
Draw an oval, about 1 1/2 inches wide by 2 1/2 inches long, on the gold-painted cardboard. Trim the oval into a leaf shape by tapering one end to a point. Measure the circumference of your head, starting at a point slightly above your eyebrows. Divide this circumference measurement by the length of each leaf to determine how many leaves you will need to make a crown. Draw one or two extra leaves to allow for some overlap.
Cut out the cardboard leaves. Lay the leaves on a flat surface, end to end, overlapping them about 1/8 inch. Tape or staple them together to make a leafy laurel crown. Place the strip of leaves around your head above your ears and slightly above your eyebrows. Mark the spot where the ends of the strip should meet to fit snugly. Remove it from your head and join the ends together with tape or staples.
Put on the tunic, tie the belt around your waist, and wear the crown. Go barefoot or wear sandals to complete the outfit.
If pressed for time, or if you lack basic sewing skills, make a simple toga from the sheet. It will not need to be cut or sewn. Hold one corner of the sheet at your front shoulder, allow the sheet to drape to the floor, and wrap it around the back of your body. Bring one of the other corners of the sheet around your back and attach it to the first corner with a pin. Tie a corded belt snugly around your waist. Use the belt to adjust the length of the sheet so it does not trail on the floor.
If the costume is too long, there is a danger of tripping. Adjust the hemline so it is several inches above the floor.