Easy to Make Medieval Clothing

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A simple medieval-style dress
A simple medieval-style dress (Image: Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Whether you're going to a Renaissance Faire, a live-action role-playing game, a Halloween party or acting in a play, there are tons of different options for making your own medieval-style clothing. You may be surprised at how easy it can be to make a costume right out of your closet, even if you don't think you own anything appropriate. Gather some reference material, find a style you like, and see what you can come up with! With a little creativity, you can have an entire costume ready in a few hours.

Things You'll Need

  • Reference image
  • Spare clothing
  • Scissors
  • Sturdy string or ribbon
  • Leather belt or cloth sash
  • Sandals or boots
  • Approx. 3-4 yards of material
  • Chalk or colored pencil
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Measuring Tape

Altering Existing Clothing

Find out how authentic your costume has to be. If it's just for a Halloween party, you can use any material. For a more authentic costume, you'll need clothing made of wool, linen, or cotton.

Find something you can use for a tunic. For women, a guazy peasant top will do without much altering. An old button-down shirt will work, or even an old pillowcase with holes cut for the arms and head.

Cut a vertical line into your old shirt, from the center of the collar to midway down your chest (or just above your breasts, if you're female). Make small holes with scissors, parallel to each other on both sides, back up to the top of the shirt. Thread the string or ribbon through them to tie it closed. If you've chosen a button-down shirt, remove the buttons and cut holes where they used to be. Cut off the collar. Lace the shirt up the same way.

Tie your sash around your waist, or use your leather belt. Do not tuck the shirt in. Pair your newly made tunic with leggings and boots for a peasant or pirate-style costume.

Making Clothing from Material

Fold your material in half. Place a comfortable shirt flat on the material. Trace the outline of the shirt on the material, keeping in mind that you'll want the chalk and thread on the inside of your tunic.

Remove the shirt. Cut along the chalk outline.

Sew the two pieces of fabric together. You can also do this with a dress, if you have enough fabric.

Measure from your waist to the floor (in bare feet). Cut approximately two yards of fabric in a rectangular shape. This will be a drawstring skirt.

Measure an inch of fabric from the top of the skirt. Fold it over your string or ribbon and sew it. Keeping the seams on the same side, sew the skirt closed. Leave about two inches of fabric open where the string or ribbon sticks out. Tie the string or ribbon together to complete your drawstring skirt.

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