How to Make a Homemade Graduation Gown

Classic graduation gowns can easily be made at home with simple sewing skills.
Classic graduation gowns can easily be made at home with simple sewing skills. (Image: honors graduate image by Leticia Wilson from

Graduation is an important milestone, but the last thing you want to worry about when making sure you've met all your requirements for getting your diploma is paying for the gown. Even if you don't have a lot of experience with sewing, you can make your own graduation gown. Unlike many sewing projects, with this one, you don't have to worry about a perfect fit, because the gown is supposed to fit loosely.

Things You'll Need

  • Polyester fabric
  • Tape measure
  • Chalk
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Zipper

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Take your tape measure and measure across the widest part of the person's shoulders, from her shoulder to the wrist, and then from the top of the shoulder to the ankle. Write down the measurements.

Fold the fabric in half and draw a rectangle: The width measuring a quarter of the shoulder measurement plus one inch, and the length from shoulder to ankle plus one inch. Example: If your shoulder measures 30 inches you would draw the width of your rectangle to be 8.5 inches. If the length of your shoulder to ankle is 40 inches, you would draw the length of the rectangle at 41 inches.

Pin the fabric together around the rectangle and cut it out. Make another rectangle with the same measurements, pin and cut this one out and set them both aside.

Unfold the fabric and draw another rectangle measuring half of your shoulder measurement plus one inch and the length from your shoulder to ankle plus one inch. Cut out this rectangle and set aside as well.

Now draw two rectangles for the sleeves, the width measuring 21 inches and the length is the length of your arm. Cut these rectangles out and put them aside.

With the right sides facing each other pin together length wise a narrow rectangle to a wide rectangle. Sew the length together making sure that you have a one inch seam. Leave a 10-inch gap at the top of the rectangle for the sleeves. Do the same thing with the other narrow and wide rectangles. Sew the top of the narrow rectangle to the top of the wide rectangle.

Fold your sleeves in half length wise and pin just the length. Sew them and make sure to have a half-an-inch seam length.

Pin your zipper onto the narrow rectangle and sew into place then do the same thing to the other side. Make sure that the gown is inside out. With the wrong side of the gown facing you and insert the sleeve so that the right sides are together. Pin the sleeve and sew it to the gown, the sleeve will look a bit ruffled when sewn into place. Do the same thing to the other sleeve.

Hem the narrow rectangles just below the zipper. Fold the ends back one inch and then stitch into place. You need to do the same thing with the sleeves folded back on inch and sew together. Then you can fold the bottom of the gown up one inch and sew into place. Try the gown on make sure everything is accurate.

Tips & Warnings

  • When making your measurements and sewing your seams make sure to leave a 1/4-inch allowance for each seam.


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