How To Make A Shepherd Costume

Shepherd Boy {or How to Make a Shepherd Costume}

How To Make A Shepherd Costume
So, I did end up finishing the first version of my boy's shepherd costume last night. That's why this morning, I asked him to do a fitting for me so I can make the necessary adjustments. As I said yesterday, I made this costume without measuring him properly - and without any patterns either. I just based the shepherd costume from a few ideas I found online.

Anyway, the boy wasn't crazy about the idea of doing the fitting. He pouted and whinged. Even argued about what real shepherds look like. You see, he never really likes dress ups. Even when friends and such enjoy looking like Spider Man or Superman, he refuses to be anything but himself most of the time. He doesn't even enjoy doing face paintings either. But, at least, I managed to get him to try the costume on long enough for me to figure out what I needed to adjust. And, to take these photos for today's blog post!

Although you can see smiles and laughs in the last 3 photos there, the first pic in this collage shows his real mood during the costume fitting. I just joked with him a lot while I was taking the photos, so I don't end up with a miserable looking shepherd boy in this post. Heh.

In any case, I'm quite pleased with how the shepherd costume turned out anyway in the end. After these pictures were taken, I made some adjustments. I made the neckline a bit smaller, as the outfit kept slipping off because I made the hole too big. I also decided to attach the burgundy/maroon shawl at the shoulder area, as I realised that it will probably just keep falling off and going all over the place if I left it as it was. Besides, I thought it was too long. So, attaching it to the main part of the costume meant I could shorten it as I gave it a draped effect.

Some of the things that I did to make the costume include:

1) Look for patterns/ideas online. Some of the resources that inspired me to make this include:

  • How to Make a Shepherd Costume - Some step-by-step instructions from Costumzee and a pic (I mostly took some inspiration from the pic, not the tutorial).
  • How do you make a shepherd costume? - This is just a question posted on Yahoo! Answers. However, some of the ideas shared by some folks were interesting. It's how I got the idea for using an elastic headband and a rectangular fabric (tea-towel shaped) for the head cover.
  • Sewing Projects for Kids: How to make a shepherd headpiece for your toddler's costume - A YouTube video that offers some step-by-step ideas. This is originally from ExpertVillage. The headpiece here is circular in shape and seems quite good. I was going to try making it, but didn't have enough fabric, so I decided to go for the rectangular shaped idea instead.
  • Sewing Projects for Kids: How to make a shepherd costume for your toddler - Another ExpertVillage video on YouTube. This is where I got the idea of just using two rectangular shaped fabric for the main part of the shepherd's costume. It didn't show how this piece was actually sewn together, but I just gathered ideas just looking at the video.

2) Used Calico fabric for the main part of the shepherd's costume. I bought this pre-cut fabric from Lincraft a few months ago, thinking I'll use it to practice some fabric printing. But, I never got around to it. Since it's in an off-white/beige colour, I decided it'll make a good fabric for the costume. This is how I made this part of the costume:

  • Cut two rectangular pieces of equal size. Pretty close to the size of a beach towel, folded in two.
  • Cut a half-oval shaped hole from one of the shorter sides of the rectangular fabric. Did it to both of the rectangular pieces. This is for the neckline.
  • Used a cream-coloured bias-binding for the neckline. I thought it might be good to put that there to avoid fraying.
  • Sew that side of the two rectangular pieces together, so that the two rectangular pieces have become one.
  • Hem the bottom part of the clothing separately.
  • Allot enough space on the side for arm holes (approx. 8 inches), then put bias-binding on those sides of the arm hole openings.
  • Sew both sides of the clothing - from the arm hole openings down to the bottom part.

That's done! That's the main part of the shepherd's costume. I know I probably could've stopped there and just used a tea towel with an elastic headband for the headpiece. But, it looked too plain for my liking.

3) So, I went on and created a shawl using a maroon/burgundy nylon fabric. Basically, I just pieced a long rectangular piece that's about double the length of the shepherd's main costume. Then, I hemmed the sides. I was going to leave it free flowing. But, as I mentioned earlier, after the fitting, I realised that that wasn't the best idea when a costume is going to be used by an active four-year-old. So, I ended up draping the shawl over the main part of the costume, making sure that drop is of equal length. Then, I left enough fabric at the back, to have a flowing draped effect. And, I attached the shawl at the shoulder sides. With that attached, no one needs to worry about the costume wearer dropping or losing the thing any time during the play/concert. ๐Ÿ™‚

4) Made the headpiece using the same maroon/burgundy nylon fabric. I'm not sure if a different fabric would work better to put this look together. I initially wanted a stripey fabric. But, since I didn't have one that's suitable in my stash, I just went for the matching option. This part was easy. Just provide a fabric that's big enough to put over the child's head - then hem the sides. The size I opted for is close to the size of a tea towel. Then, I used one of my own brown elastic headband as a way to put the headpiece on the boy's head.

5) Opted to use a curtain sash/cord as a belt. I knew a sash or a belt will be a good way to put this look together. But, instead of making or buying one, I just decided to use one of our curtain sash as the belt. I just hope it stays on during the Nativity play/concert - plus all the running around.

6) Sandals for the feet! We don't have leather sandals for him or anything like that. But, he has one of those typical black rubber sandals with red trimmings. So, I think he'll just use those for his costume. At least, the colour sort of matches. ๐Ÿ™‚

7) A makeshift shepherd's crook (or staff/rod). We still don't have this one at hand. So, hubby's hoping to find one tomorrow. Perhaps, an old walking stick or something. But, I'm sure any stick will do. Even if it's a branch that just fell from a tree.

So, there you go. My final "creativity weekend" post for the month of November.

And, this concludes my month-long contribution to NaBloPoMo '08 too. Woohoo. I can't believe I made it. 30 posts in 30 days. I'm going to share some more about my NaBloPoMo experience in another post one of these days. But, yeah!! ๐Ÿ˜€

In any case, I just want to say thank you so much to all of you who helped me along the way. I'm sooo grateful for all your comments and feedback. Really, really appreciate it. <3 'ya!

Now, here's the looking forward to December!

About the Author Shai Coggins

Shai has been managing and blogging here at ShaiCoggins.com for 17 years. Here, she writes about creativity, productivity, and how to recharge for a better, happier lifestyle. She is the author of Today: Life Journal, Colour Bliss: Kaleidoscopes, and a little known children's book. A serial entrepreneur, Shai also currently runs Vervely.com, a boutique digital media agency offering online content, community, and conversion marketing services. Her blogging experience and digital work have been featured in various media, including being listed in Fast Company's "Most Influential Women in Technology" list. Originally from Manila, Shai lived in Singapore and the USA before moving to Australia with her British husband. They have two children, a pet bunny, and a rambunctious rescue Labrador.

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