If you need to produce a set of costumes, here is a simple tutorial. NOTE – these are designed to fit easily over regular everyday clothes, and give an impression of first century Bethlehem fashions – they are not meant to look perfect. If you are outside, in December, it will be cold – so you need roominess to go over fleeces, woolly jumpers etc.
I have made mine from all sorts of leftover fabrics – sheets, curtains, old duvet covers etc. Three sizes – large [for tall men, and generously sized ladies] medium [smaller adults, and teenagers] and small [children]
The pattern is based on a simple T shape
For each costume you need three equal sized rectangles of fabric. If you are using up remnants, you can make one of these a contrast fabric and use it for the sleeves.
Cut the third rectangle in half, and fold each piece in half. These are the sleeves [Folds are at the top]
Begin by seaming right along the top of the two main rectangles.
Now open up and sew the sleeves in place
Fold in half again and sew under sleeve seam, and side seams
For adult angel robes, cut a curved slit at the neck measuring 10” long and 1 “ deep. This will drop over the head easily. For children make the slit 7” x 1”
For coats, cut straight up the centre of the robe, making a V at the neck. Hem all edges which look like they will fray!
If you can make these on an overlocker, that will save hours. The sleeves are long – but they are easy to roll up – but will cover any ‘ordinary’ clothing underneath.
Put a safety pin inside at the bottom of the V, in case people want to pin the robe closed. Supply a few sashes [strips of fabric 2” wide and 60”/48”/36” long] as many people will want to cinch their rob in at the waist.
18” squares of fabric, with more sashes [1” wide, 36” long] will make easy headwear for shepherds, Joseph and Mary. Tinsel haloes for angels, and long strips of bright fabric wound round as turbans will do for the Magi. Don’t forget to wrap up some ‘gifts’ or find other suitable ‘gifts’ for the Magi to present. Sticks and toy sheep are useful shepherd props.
If you have more time, make some elaborate Magi head-dresses, and trim the edges of coats, and hems of sleeves with fancy braids and trims.
Here they are on a hanger. Pictures of them being worn will appear later – after we have done Get In The Picture!