If your youngster's recently learned about the Grecians or the Romans and can't wait for a little bit of imaginative play reenactment, you can surprise him with a brand new costume that will make him feel fit to ponder with Aristotle and Hippocrates and other great ancient minds. The best part is you don't have to break the bank for the costume and you can show off what a recycling savvy mama you are at the same time.
Start with an old, white pillowcase for the project and lay it flat with the closed, short end in front of you. This will become the top of the toga costume.
Draw a wide neckline across the center of the end in front of you. If you need a little guidance for the neckline, lay a large plate half-on the pillowcase and trace along the half moon shape. Simple, right?
Cut out the neckline and try it on your youngster to make sure it's wide enough. While you have the costume on your kiddo, make a mark where the costume touches about mid-calf. Now he can go back to playing while you continue on with your hard work.
Cut along the bottom of the costume along the mid-calf mark. Now you don't have to worry about trips and falls during his imaginative play. You can turn up the bottom and make a finished hem if you like, but he'll probably be just as happy with a ragged edge and you can save those extra few minutes to sneak in a cup of tea.
Make two slits for the armholes, each about 1/2-inch below the top of the costume. Make each slit about 4 inches long.
Cut a strip from the cut section of pillowcase and use it as a tie to cinch the waist of the costume.
Pull out an old white sheet from the rag bin and cut a long strip, about 18 inches wide by 72 inches long.
Fold the strip in half lengthwise and pin the fold the pillowcase. Pin it at the back waist of the costume, near the left side. Wrap one end up and around the right shoulder and pin it in place. Leave the remaining end free to dangle. He can hold this end in his hand as he struts around in Grecian or Roman glory.
Sew the pinned sections to the pillowcase to complete the toga. That's it! Now it's time to reward yourself with that cup of tea before anyone notices you're done.
- Nifty, Thrifty, No-Sew Costumes and Props for Children; Carol Ann Bloom
- If you're worried that the dangling end of the toga may become a trip hazard, bring it up around the front of the pillowcase loosely and pin it to the top right corner. Sew a few stitches to keep it in place and get back to those few minutes of quiet enjoyment.
Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.
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