Little or No Sew Costumes

Sew you need some costumes but can't sew, no problem. Here's a quick trick. Iron on Seam tape will do the trick in most cases especially for quick props. This year we had to have 2 of each specific costume in order to exchange real actresses for stage props. Seam tape is available at all stores that sell material including Wal-Mart. Material can range from stock material to sheets, curtains, pillow cases, burlap, whatever. A litttle RIT dye and you're ready. If you're going to buy material, go to businesses that make clothing or bargain material shops that sell seconds. Do it early as businesses normally have a run on black, orange and white material in the months preceding Halloween.

If you're going to use these costumes more than one time, I suggest reinforcing the tape with a little stitching

This skirt is billowing and uses a drawstring closure to adjust the fit. It's easy to make but uses a lot of material. You'll need some good strong string or hemp. 1st measure the waist and multiply it by 4 plus 2 inches. This is the width of material you'll need. Measure the length of the skirt from waist to floor and add 6 inches. Since most bolts of material are 42 to 54 inches wide, you'll need to do some cutting. For the bottom hem, fold the material making a 3" hem, then fold it again. Iron the double fold then put a strip of seam tape in the hem and iron again. The top is the same with two exceptions. The folds are 1" and the string is placed inside the first fold. The string must move freely. Lastly use seam tape to bind the long piece together making a big cylinder. Draw the strings to fit the waist, tie them off and you done. A billowing skirt fit for a princess, eh witch, oh, whatever. Want to make your creation look old timey. Fit her with a bodice and sash.

The quickest to make this is to take an old shirt, remove the sleeves, buttons and collar. Attach 7 eyelets to the front of the shirt as shone. Lace them together with a shoe string. The bodice should fit tight so remove material from the sides as needed and hem the sides back together using seam tape.

The bodice should contrast with the shirt underneath (white shirt, black Bodice with white or natural lacing. The sash is a simple rectangle 2 inches less than the circumference of the waist. Attach three eyelets for lacing. Lace the sash tight.


Capes start the same way skirt do. Measure the circumference of the waist then the length from the neck to the ground, (or from the neck to the waist for a Half Cape). Cut the material to these dimensions. Use seam tape to hem the sides of the cape. The bottom of the cape is a 3" double fold then seam taped. The top is a 1" double fold with heavy string inside the first fold. Seam tape the top. Pull the strings to draw the cape so it fits loosely around the neck. Use a gold chain to fasten around the neck when wearing. To add a collar, use posterboard covered with material and seam tape or sew to the top outside of the neckline.


The reaper costume is slightly more difficult and probably requires some sewing for strength. This is another billowing costume. Measure from the shoulder to the floor and add six inches. Loosely measure the circumference of the waist, Cut two rectangles to these measurements. seam tape hems on the long sides (shoulder to floor) together. On the top, mark the center both front and back. From the center go 4 inches toward the ends on each side and make a mark. From this mark go down 2 inch and mark the side. draw a line connecting these marks, cut the material then seam tape or sew the angles together. On the front side, find the center mark and mark down six inches. From the center mark measure three inches out to each side. Connect the three marks and cut a "V" per the picture.

Ok, cut the holes for the sleeves by measuring down 9 inches cut an elipse 2 inches deep so it looks like the picture. So much for the hard stuff. Next step. Cut two rectangles 24 inches by 18.5 inches. Fold each rectangle in half so the measurements are now 24" by 9.25. These are the sleeves. Tape or sew them down the long side. Attach the sleeves to the cloak using seam tape or sewing. Using straight pins to line up the seams maks it easier. The hood is two rectangles 14 inches high and 9 inches wide. Draw a gentle curve from top to bottom on on side of each piece. Seam tape or sew the two halves together along this curve. Mark the lower center of the back of the hood. Match this mark to the mark you made earlier on the back top of the cloak. Attach the hood to the neckline of the cloak by sewing or taping. Use seam tape to hem all ragged edges including the neckline. A rope around the waist completes the project. This project also works well using burlap when fitted on an armature and covered in "Monster Mud"