Saturday, June 18, 2011

Hogwarts School Uniform: Ravenclaw

-Edit- Because I keep getting asked, on all my pages, despite multiple disclaimers, please note:
Thanks for the interest, but I do not have time to sew for other people and I get these emails constantly at Halloween!


Here's another past costume, my Hogwarts School Uniform from Harry Potter. I probably made this sometime between 2006 and 2008. It took me a couple painstaking years to do this one, and I've redone the shirt and skirt of it. And, now that I've seen the exhibit, if I ever find the *perfect* fabrics, I wouldn't mind re-doing the shirt and robe, too. So here's a bit about my Ravenclaw Uni.

And oh look, I've learned how to use jump breaks... click the link for my explanation and all my pretty pictures:

Now the reason I chose to do Ravenclaw is because I love this house; Blue is my favorite color, their common room is gorgeous (I love the night sky full of stars), their ghost is my favorite, plus it has the added benefit of NOT being the houses everyone else does. I also chose to do the POA style robe because I liked it better than the early years. I didn't start this uni til I was a few years into college, and thankfully with my looks and this figure-destroying outfit, I can still pull off the look of a teenager. All the  pics in this entry were from a few years ago, back from when I still had long hair.

I started with the skirt, which is made out a charcoal gray wool to match the sweater. Since POA came out, there are now several different skirt types that can be worn, along with slacks. I modelled mine after GOF Hermione's skirt. It's a fairly simply shaped skirt. The front is basically a giant box pleat which hides the closure. One side has an inverted box pleat and an underlap, while the other has one pleat and an overlap. It closes with two buttons, though I'm considering adding a couple snaps for stability. I made a note from when I saw the exhibit, that the hem has a double row of stitching, about 3/4 to an inch up. It's not a heavy fabric.

Next I did the shirt. I know a lot of people just buy commercial shirts for this costume, but I decided to build mine because I couldn't find a decent white button-down for someone my size. There are a certain combination of things in this shirt that are specific... it isn't shaped for the girls in any way. It has a cuff with two pleats, and a specific hem, pocket and collar shape. There are a couple differences, I noticed two different pocket shapes, and some people had a box pleat under the back yoke, and some had two shoulder tucks. I used a cotton/poly poplin. When I saw the exhibit I saw that the shirts aren't really a pure white, but has the slightest yellow/off-white tinge to it. There are 4-holed buttons (stitched up and down =, not in an x), and it had a shiney, rounded shank button at the neck closure.

I don't remember where I got the tie, but it's polyester and snags a bit. I bought a pretty silk one from, bit it's comically wide. When I get the courage, I'm going to fix it to be the proper shape. I wear plain black opaque tights. For the shoes, it should be noted that girls really don't have heels on their shoes. Boys wear lace up dress shoes. Girls wear loafers or mary janes, but no real formed heel. I had trouble finding Mary Janes, and found these loafers in the kids section (yes, I can apparently fit a kid's size 3). I've never noted buckles on anyone's shoes, but I couldn't find anything else and thought the interesting buckle feature looked witchly anyway.

Next I got my sweater from and I can't recommend them highly enough. They make all styles of school sweaters and scarves, in wool or acrylic, and may seem pricey for the average joe, but for a custom-made costume sweater, it's a steal. I also bought a vest from them when one of the movie premieres was moved from December to July.

Next is the robe. Let me tell you, this thing kept me up nights. It's deceptively simple, until you consider the hood. The thing that bugged me most was not being able to tell if there was a seam in the lining of the hood and trying to figure out a way to do it without one. Not like anyone would notice but me. I noticed when Cedric was talking to Harry in the courtyard, his hood was flipped in a way that let me see there was no seam between his hood and his robe. There is also no seam down the center of the hood, which means the fronts of the robe and the hood are one long piece. The hood should end at about the bum when down. To get the proper shape of the hood, I had to study Malfoy, both flipping up his hood in the Hippogryph class mocking scene, and when he was spinning around after being de-ferretted. The sleeve is longer in the back than the front. There are also pockets hidden in the side seams of the robe. The hood is lined in the house color, and that lining extends in a strip down the front inside of the robe (no seams). The other half of the front lining and the back lining is just a plain black coat lining. The sleeve is also lined in the colored fabric.This version closes with a cover button and loop.

-edit- Here is my basic pattern for the robe. It's on Flickr because for some dumb reason, it shows as a broken link when I load it to my server or here.


This is just a basic representation and would have to, of course, be adapted to size. The hood should end at the bum. The sleeve should end at the wrist on the top (middle of pattern) and about at the knuckles on the underside. The front is one long piece, on the fold at the top of the hood. The curve you see in the hood over the shoulder will connect to the back neckline. The whole front is cut as one piece, where the hood and long lapel piece is your house color, and the rest is the lining. Don't forget to add seam allowance for those pieces to connect.

It should be noted that the fabrics for this are wool... the black is a light/medium weight wool with a very very fine twill weave to it. The colored lining is a regular, lightweight woven wool, and the color is very dull and muted. I bought my patch from a place called Patch Palace on eBay. The real patch is embroidered and mounted onto some kind of really heavy felted fabric with no finished edge. Mine, the color shows up a lot brighter than it actually is. My fabric, is thicker than the real stuff is, and I will remake it if I ever find the perfect stuff... so long as I can still get away with looking like a teenager. Hey, the chick who played Moaning Myrtle was about 40!

I have a number of accessories to go with this. I got my real wood wand from Alivan's

I also have the Monster Book of Monsters (closed with my ren faire belt), Quidditch Through The Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, The Tales of Beedle the Bard both print and limited edition, and a quill and ink well. I've dabbled in calligraphy, though my handwriting is not that good.

And so there you have it! My Hogwarts Robe. I've worn this to about half of the movie premieres and will be wearing it again this July! I wore this to Dragon*Con 2009 at the Yule Ball and received an Honorable Mention in the Young Adult Lit Costume Contest -- For Accuracy!


  1. It's better than robes they sell commercially. I haven't really made many costumes and the ones I have made were very very simple. This seems like a really good robe and I think it would be a fun challenge for me to tackle sometime, because I just don't like those WB robes. Seriously, this looks perfect to me.

  2. this looks better than anything you buy which costs alot more! I wish I was good enough to make it, but mum won't let me make a robe without a pattern.

  3. Hi there! Have you ever done commissions? I've been trying to find someone to sew this exact Hogwarts Uniform skirt for me for a while! Would you consider sewing one for me if I provided the fabric and paid you? I hope so! :)

  4. I'm looking at your patter and wondering is there a seam up the back of the skirt? You never show pictures of the back of the finished skirt (and neither do the films or display pieces) so I'm a bit puzzled (I'm a novice sewer). Thanks for posting this guide though, it's been really helpful!