Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A reader's request

I got an email asking about how to create a St. Patrick costume from a mom who doesn't sew. I thought I would share my answer here for anyone else with a similar problem...

What I try to focus on are the symbols of the saints or those things that identify them. For St. Patrick, the iconic image of him is 1) as a bishop 2) with a shamrock and 3) driving out the snakes in Ireland.

1. You can make a simple bishop's miter out of craft foam. Cut out two shapes like this and glue them at the sides so that they fit your son's head. You can then add a cross or ribbon decoration with glitter glue if you want. I think just a cross would be sufficient.

2. Give him a shamrock to hold. Cut it out of green cardstock or green construction paper. Here is a pretty basic one you can print off and glue to something sturdier.

3. If you have any plastic snakes or can find one at the store, let him hold a snake too or if you want to, you can make a stuffed one by filling a tube sock with rice and tying off the end. Draw a silly face on it or glue some googly eyes to make it less scary if he doesn't much like snakes.

As far as his actual clothes for the costume, a simple sheet folded in half with a neck hole cut at the top and draped over the front and back of him like a poncho can be tied around the waist and will look like a tunic. The sides will be open, so make sure he's wearing something that blends underneath like a white shirt and khaki pants or white sweatpants if using a white sheet. #4 in this article explains it differently. Or, if he is average sized or smaller, a Men's XL t-shirt tied around the waist with a sash might work just as well.

A plain rectangular piece of fabric cut with pinking shears doesn't have to be hemmed and can be draped over his shoulders like a cape. Cut with regular scissors, you might get edges that start to fray unless you use fleece which will not fray even when cut with straight scissors. You can see our St. Blaise for an idea of what I'm talking about although I would make it green for St. Patrick. If you really want it to look finished but can't sew a hem, consider using some No-Sew Hem Tape or Fabri-Tac or Alene's Fabric Fusion.

Lastly, here is a link to my friend Jessica's blog. The last couple of pictures in that post have some St. Patricks in them. Maybe this will inspire you, too!

Hope that helps!

1 comment:

  1. Great tips. I also find that felt can be just about the best thing for some costumes. I once made a St. Patrick costume by cutting a neck hole out of a large piece of green felt (purchased with a good coupon at any fabric store) I rounded the edges and sewed (can easily be glued) ribbon and such to make it look more like a chasuble. I even cut a large cross out of gold felt and put it on the chest and adorned it with rhinestones. The nice thing about the felt is that it lays nicely, doesn't ravel (so no sewing necessary), and it really holds up. This is a plus for those whose children regularly play dress up. The family that used this costume now uses it as a chasuble for ordinary time when they play "Mass."

    I have made numerous saint costumes with felt, my favorite being a beautiful red cape for Saint Dymphna. My oldest won the costume contest that year :)


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yourself!