Monday, 30 April 2012

Discovering Harry Potter and 'how to make a super quick Gryffindor robe'.

Okay, so we're a little late to the party, but my little Sibs has just discovered the joy that is Harry Potter!

On a visit to the library a few months ago she spotted the DVD 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone', and wanted to borrow it. So we did a bit of a deal - she could watch it after reading the book.

It took quite a few weeks to get through the book... in fact I seem to remember that we needed to extend the loan, but she persevered and then we sat down a couple of weeks ago to watch the DVD.

Every few minutes she would press pause just to tell us what was going to happen next! Neil managed about 10 minutes before finding a very important job that he just had to do, and I sat through the movie knowing exactly what was coming next even though I'd never read a page!

It was an enjoyable afternoon - we felt that we had ticked another thing off the imaginary list of childhood achievements. So the next book in the series was ordered and Harry Potter wasn't really discussed much more.


She was invited to a Harry Potter themed birthday party. It was all a little last minute (got to love the laid back Australian attitude). It then transpired that it was fancy dress....(of course it was!)

This house then quickly became a Harry Potter house. Wands were sourced - knitting needles, chopsticks, even drinking straws!  Youtube clips were watched over and over again, spells were noted in a special book ...
It was just registering in my mind that I would need to think about some kind of a related costume...


"Can you make me a Gryffindor robe please?"

"In two days?"

Quick trip to Spotlight to get the fabric and a few hours later - ta-da!
A very much simplified version of a Gryffindor robe.

It was actually quite easy to make. I had a few images on the ipad and I opened a few tutorial sites and patterns to give me some ideas. Then I just modified things to suit the lack of time that I had what I wanted.

Here's a few pointers and some hints and tips if anyone needs to whip one up pretty quick.
I didn't take photos as I was making it so have tried to explain things as well as I can.

  • I bought 2 metres of black cotton/calico and 2 metres of reddish lining material. The width of the material was 120cm (or there abouts.) This cost $25 Australian.
  • To measure and to get the shape of the robe Sibs lay on the floor with her arms out to the side and I drew an outline of her body leaving a reasonable gap around her.  It was easier than measuring. Without wooden flooring and chalk you could use paper.

  • Fold the fabric in half with the uncut side at the top across the length of the arms. This made it 1m shoulder to ankle.
  • Cut out following the outline but leave the top uncut
  • Do this with both black and lining fabric. I cut the sleeves of the lining longer so that I could fold it back over the black fabric. See photo above.
  • Just to make sure that the sides were even I cut out around half the outline, folded the fabric in half length ways and cut again following the same side....hope that makes sense!


  • Cut up the centre to make the opening of the robe

    • Hem stitch the sides of the fabric  remember to make sure that it's inside out before stitching!

    • Fold in and press the cuffs of the sleeves and the front opening of the robe about 2cm as this will make it easier to stitch together at the end.
    • Turn the lining robe inside out and place inside the black robe.
    • Pin the robes together and sew
    • If you want the sleeve lining to show, turn it over the black fabric and sew.
    • If you're confident of your sewing skills than you could use red cotton to sew the lining in place. Otherwise with the red fabric on top I used black cotton in the bobbin and red in the machine.
    • We didn't have time to source an iron-on Gryffindor crest so the next best thing was to print the crest and make a badge.


    Thank goodness Sibs wasn't too bothered about the little details, she was just happy to get a robe. As time wasn't on my side, I didn't include a hood or buttons. Sibs really loved the red lining and in hindsight I could have cut the lining a little bigger and folded back along the opening to make it show a bit more. Instead I just folded the opening out and ironed a crease. I suppose it depends how true to the original you want to be?

    The outfit was complete with a white polo shirt and a tie and as we didn't have a grey skirt she just wore black trousers. To try and imitate Hermione Granger's hair, it was washed and plaited the night before the party and then the plaits taken out just before she went.

    The party was a great success and I think this robe will continue to provide some enjoyment in a nine year old's world of make believe...

    4 Comments and thoughts:

    1. You are multi-talented!Thats a fantastic robe,and at such short notice.I bet Sioned was so pleased.Well done!

    2. Well done Beth, there is no end to your talents!!Laura is the one for Harry Potter, there isn't anything she dosn't know about him!!!! I wish good old google had been around in my day for kids costumes!!!! She looked great xx Wendy

    3. I am so impressed, Beth! Harry and his friends haven't found Planet Baby yet but when they do, you'll be my first port of call ☺. J x

    4. Oh my, Beth! You did such a great job here! First, I LOVE HP, all the books have been read by me at least 6 times... yep, I'm a potterhead...
      Your daughter is a lucky girl with such a creative mama!
      Maureen x