Saints are popular figures to emulate, both in life and in jest, for a costume contest at church or school. Saint costumes can be as varied as the saints themselves, as saints ranged from priests, monks and popes to friars, nuns and bishops. With a few simple materials and a little creativity, you can make a host of saint costumes. Create your own friar outfit, giving your child an opportunity to portray one of the friars who are saints, such as the well-known Saint Francis of Assisi who loved animals, gave away everything he owned to help the poor and created an order of mendicant friars.
Things You'll Need
- 2 to 3 yards of brown or black fabric
- Brown and black thread
- Sewing needle
- 5 to 6 feet of rope
- Measuring tape or ruler
Have your child (or whoever will wear the costume) stand against a wall with his arms outstretched and feet together. Use measuring tape or a ruler to measure the person’s wingspan (from fingertip of left outstretched hand to fingertip of right, outstretched hand) and height from chin to ankle. Double the chin to ankle measurement. Measure the person from armpit to fingertip and from armpit to ankle. Add six inches to the armpit to fingertip measurement. Write all the figures down.
Lay brown or black fabric flat on the floor and cut its width to the wingspan measurement you took and its length to the doubled chin to ankle measurement you recorded. Fold the fabric in half lengthwise.
Measure up the distance of the person’s armpit to ankle, beginning at the bottom of the folded fabric. Draw a curved arch between the two points. Draw a straight line from the end point of your first measurement to the left edge of the fabric (distance should equal the measurement you took of the person’s armpit to fingertip). Repeat these steps for the right side of the fabric and when all lines are drawn, cut the fabric. Set aside the fabric pieces that you cut out from the right side of the fabric.
Draw a half circle in the top middle of the remaining fabric and cut along it to create a neck hole for the costume.
Use a sewing needle and brown or black thread to stitch together the two pieces of fabric where you made cuts. Take the reserved right side fabric pieces and lay them together so that the straight edges face left and down. Stitch the curved right and bottom sides together to create a hood.
Open the hood and sew the bottom edge to the neck hole of the costume with a sewing needle and thread. Put the costume on the person and tie the rope around his waist to complete the friar look.