How to Make a Kid's Marco Polo Costume

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Marco Polo was a 12th Century explorer who traveled through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and China. He met Kublai Khan during the peak of the Mongolian Empire and served as his ambassador for about 20 years. He was, in fact, gone so long that when he returned to Italy his family did not recognize him; he had adopted the ways and clothing of the Tartars. His attire consisted of the long cloak for which the Tartars and Cossacks were known.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy fabric such as velvet or wool
  • Metallic braid
  • Matching thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Barrel buttons
  • Chalk
  • Pins

Take the following measurements: length from nape of neck to the floor, width of extended arms from wrist to wrist, girth at widest part of body plus 4 inches.

Lay out the fabric in a single layer and, with chalk, draw on the wrong side a rectangle across the width that is 6 inches high and the length of the extended arms.

Determine the center of that rectangle and draw a perpendicular line the length of the coat as determined by the measurement in Step 1. Add a hem allowance.

Draw a lateral line through the bottom of the line in Step 3 that runs all the way across the fabric.

Divide the girth measurement by four and mark this distance on either side of the center point determined in Step 3.

Draw a line from the bottom corner to the outer point marked in Step 5. Repeat on the other side. This creates a long trapezoid on the bottom of the rectangle and is the back of the coat.

Duplicate this shape to create the front of the coat; following the same nap direction. Cut this piece straight down the middle into two equal parts.

Align the pieces with right sides of the fabric facing each other and pin baste them together.

Sew from the bottom of the coat to the armpit and continue to the wrist of the sleeve. Repeat on the other side.

Cut a semicircle large enough to accommodate the neck through the center of the front and back creating a neck hole.

Turn the raw edges of the fabric inward and hem around the front edges of the coat.

Turn the coat inside out and lay it flat. Draw a line from the center of the neck to the outside point of the coat bottom. Mark a point that is the same length as the measurement from the nape of the neck to the bottom as determined in Step 1.

Draw a curved line from this point to the center bottom. Cut along this line trimming the bottom of the coat.

Hem the bottoms of the coat and the sleeves.

Cut the braid into three lengths measuring 1/2 the girth measurement. Fold them in half and lay them in parallel lines across the front of the coat, pinning them in place on one side only.

Sew the braid down leaving loops open at the ends toward the center of the coat just large enough to accommodate the buttons.

Stretch the braid across the front of the coat and mark points where the braid ends. Sew barrel buttons at these points.

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References

  • "Oriental Costumes, Their Designs and Colors"; Max Tilke; 1922
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