How to Make a Chiton for Kids

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Men, women and children all wore chitons in ancient Greece.
Men, women and children all wore chitons in ancient Greece. (Image: Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

The loose, flowing tunic everyone wears in movies about ancient Greece is called a chiton. Chitons had an open design that kept the ancient Greeks cool in the hot Mediterranean weather. People of all ages wore these draped garments -- adults wore them long and kids wore them at knee-length. If you want to make your own outfit for Halloween or a costume party, a chiton is a quick, simple project that doesn't require any special tools or skills.

Things You'll Need

  • Old sheet
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Safety pins
  • Rope, belt or sash

Fold an old sheet in half. Stretch out your arms to the sides and ask an adult to hold the sheet against you, with the folded edge by the fingertips of one of your hands and the long side of the sheet level with your shoulders.

Ask the adult to put a row of pins going down the sheet at the end of your other hand and a second row of pins going across the sheet at the level of your knees. Have her put the pins through both layers of the fabric.

Cut through both layers of the sheet along the lines of pins, or ask the adult to do it for you. When you have finished cutting, the double-layer of fabric should be as long as you are from your shoulders to your knees and as wide as your arm span.

Lay the fabric flat on the floor, still folded in half. Find the middle of the top edge of the fabric. Measure 6 inches to the right and left of the middle point, and put a safety pin through the two layers of fabric on each side.

Pull the fabric over your head, and poke your head through the space between the two safety pins. On the side of the garment where the fabric is folded, put your arm through the gap between the fabric and the safety pin, so the side of the chiton is under your arm. Lift your other arm above the open side of the chiton, and have the adult safety-pin that side closed.

Tie a rope, belt or sash around your waist. You can pull the top part of the chiton up a little, so it billows over the belt, or you can leave it tight.

Tips & Warnings

  • To make a more feminine version of the chiton, before you pin anything, fold the top 6 inches of the fabric down so they create a draped layer in front of the upper body.

References

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