Sew your own Harry Potter Costume

Last year I made my daughter a Hermione costume for Halloween and while a few of the photos have made appearances in other posts here and there, I haven’t blogged the details. Since costume sewing season is coming up quick, I thought I’d share how I made this super cool Harry Potter Gryffindor costume!

Before you HP purists get on us, we realized much later, Hufflepuffs wear the gold hood lining, while Gryffindors wear the red. It’s just a costume, though, so we can all relax! Right?? Ha!

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How I made a Harry Potter Gryffindor costume, complete with fabric and pattern sources, plus accessory ideas! || Pin, Cut Sew Studio #harrypotter #costume #cosplay #gryffindor #diyharrypotter #hermionecostume

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

The Pattern

I used with Simplicity 8723, an obvious place to start. I love making DIY costumes and if there’s a pattern available that’s anything close to what I’m going for, I use it. This pattern came out last Fall, so perfect timing.

I made Layla the adult small version and had to alter it down to fit her, especially the length of the sleeves. It’s not a hard pattern to adjust, though, the width is almost one-size-fits-most, and it’s easy to alter the length of the sleeves and hem. We love the pointy hood, it’s so fun!

How I made a Harry Potter Gryffindor costume, complete with fabric and pattern sources, plus accessory ideas! || Pin, Cut Sew Studio #harrypotter #costume #cosplay #gryffindor #diyharrypotter #hermionecostume

The Fabric

Costume satin is very inexpensive, so costume makers, rejoice! I’m pretty sure I got my black and gold at Hobby Lobby, but here is the black on Amazon and here is the gold. This fabric can snag if you use a dull needle, so I recommend microtex needles for these silky fabrics. They also fray, so finish those edges, either with a serger (I have this one and love it), a zig zag stitch or at the very least, pinking shears. Otherwise, these fabrics are not hard to sew, don’t be scared of them!

The accessories

The pattern does include the tie, but I didn’t need to use it since Target had the house ties in their Halloween section. Good news, they sell them year round online here! You can also buy them on Amazon here: Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw. We used a pair of black pants and a white collared school uniform shirt we got on clearance at Target to complete the outfit.

As for the wand, Layla DIY-ed her own! She used a piece of a wooden dowel we already had and used her hot glue gun to add texture in a spiral pattern around the handle section. Then she painted the whole thing brown. Clever.

How I made a Harry Potter Gryffindor costume, complete with fabric and pattern sources, plus accessory ideas! || Pin, Cut Sew Studio #harrypotter #costume #cosplay #gryffindor #diyharrypotter #hermionecostume

More Ideas

We did not purchase an iron-on patch, but that would have been super fun! You can find them very inexpensively on Amazon:

It would also be pretty easy to turn this pattern into the Harry Potter Quidditch player costume. The shape of the Quidditch cloak is the same, so you’d only need to change up the fabrics. I think I would use fleece to keep costs down, and felt for the stripes and number. A broom , some goggles, and a snitch would really take this costume over the top! This costume would be warm too, which is always a consideration in many states.

And since Luna Lovegood is my personal favorite, just for fun, here are Luna’s glasses.

If you want more Harry Potter inspo, I have a big roundup of the best Harry Potter tutorials and fabrics right here!

Cheers :)

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What's the Deal with Cosplay!? (And How You Can Get Started)

It is no secret that costume sewing is my favorite thing ever. My kids and I start talking about Halloween costumes in June and I like to get started in August. But there’s this whole realm of costuming I’m sure you’ve heard of, that takes “costume” and turns it into something over and beyond your basic poster board and sweatpants DIY dress-up.

How to start with Cosplay sewing, even you’re a beginner at sewing! Tools, inspo, books, patterns, all in one place. | Pin, Cut, Sew Studio

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that while I am not paid to promote certain items, I will earn a small commission should you purchase items through these links. For more info, see my disclosure policy.

Cosplay seems to have originated with the anime fan base, where people dressed up as their favorite anime characters, went to conventions that way and built community around this kind of costuming. Now Cosplay is defined more broadly as dressing up as a character from a book, movie, TV show or video game, or something inspired by any of those things. Often, cosplayers try to make a costume as historically accurately, or as “screen-accurately”, as possible.

Many of these costumes take hours on hours of work and are put on display at conventions! I don’t think I can fairly call myself a cosplayer, but it’s something I sooo wish I had time and money for (I almost titled this post, “If I were a Cosplayer”), and I sure do love to follow some cosplayers on the Internet! My absolute favorites to follow on Instagram are Hoppin’ Bobbin, who is currently finishing up an Edwardian inspired Ariel costume (using couture techniques, absolutely stunning!) and the husband/wife duo Michaelrburson and HobbitParty. These two have made James & Lilly Potter, Mary Poppins, Doctor Strange, and Luna Lovegood, among other characters. They also have a brand new podcast called Hold My Butterbeer (so clever).

The coolest thing about cosplay is that it’s brought a whole new generation of people into the art of sewing! Many, many cosplayers say they started sewing in order to make costumes for Comic Cons and other such events. Most of them just get started, learning as they go and improving with every costume. They even delve into pattern making skills, which is something most modern sewists are still afraid of! I find it so cool and impressive that so many are jumping into sewing with both feet and conquering difficult skills to make the costumes they want.

All that to say, if you want to start sewing cosplay, but you aren’t sure how or where to start, I have resources for you!

How to Get Started with Cosplay

Pick a Project

The best way to get started is to choose a project and jump in. Collect photos of the costume or start an inspiration board. Start looking for the right fabrics in the right colors. If you’re a beginner, accept that your first costumes won’t be perfect, but you’ll build skills along the way. On the other hand, be realistic. Maybe don’t start with the most elaborate costume on your wish list. Consider your budget in relation to the cost of materials and consider your free time in relation to how many hours a costume might take. We’re thinking about Halloween costumes right now and my daughter wants to be some manifestation of Eliza Doolittle from the Audrey Hepburn movie, My Fair Lady. At first she wanted this pink dress, but I know I don’t have the kind of spare time it would take to make that dress and I’m not sure I’d be willing to spend the money for the right fabric. It sure would stretch my skills, though, and I think that’s the appeal for many people who sew cosplay! This one, on the other hand, is totally doable! I already rounded up some patterns that can be adapted to work and I found a fabric for only $3.99 a yard!

Remember, always make a muslin before cutting into your good fabric!

Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle costume plans and inspiration. | PIn, Cut, Sew STudio.com

Patterns for Cosplay

First, if you’re not ready to start drafting your own patterns, check out McCall’s Cosplay line of patterns. They’ve done in incredible job of keeping up with the times here! You can find patterns for full costumes, or for cloaks, hats, and other accessories. If you’re new to reading patterns, check out my series on how to read a sewing pattern. I’ve used tons of commercial costume patterns with good success, (see my daughter as Hermione Grainger below, made with Simplicity 8723) so just hop on the Simplicity or McCall’s sites and start browsing. If historical costumes are what you’re interested in (did you know there’s a Jane Austen convention every Summer???), a few pattern companies to try are Reconstructing HIstory and Patterns of Time (they also have a sister site, Cosplay Much, where you can buy the harder to make accessories. These are just a few, but a quick google search brings up plenty more. Like I mentioned above, shop for patterns with an open mind. I plan to use this one for Eliza’s jacket and this one for her skirt. These patterns do not have Eliza vibes in the photos as all, but the lines are just what I need. It helps to notice the line drawings, rather than just look at the photos on the envelopes.

Harry Potter Hermione Grainger costume using Simplicity 8723 | PIn, Cut, Sew Studio.com

Cosplay Books

There are SO MANY how-to books on Cosplay available. This one on armor and props gets great reviews. The Make: series is always a good bet, so this one on creating sci-fi armor, weapons and props is sure to be good too. There’s also The Cosplay Handbook and How to Forge Foam Weapons. I believe Hoppin’ Bobbin swears by this Couture Book for advanced techniques. I have that book on my wish list!

Helpful Cosplay Tools: Some necessary and some that would just be cool to have

Obviously a basic sewing machine is a must, but a serger is so helpful when sewing fabrics that fray, which many costume fabrics do. You can of course finish seams in other ways, but a serger will make your life easier!

Hobbit Party uses a 3D printer pretty often to create little accessories that are hard to find, but are essential to a character. I don’t own one, but I can see that if I were to cosplay often, it would save a lot of money in the long run. And it’s definitely better than paper mache’. Haha.

A Cricut is another thing on my wishlist! I’m thinking of spending my birthday and Christmas money on one because my girls and I keep thinking of ways to use it! For cosplay, a Cricut can create logos, appliques, all kinds of things.

Rit Dyes are something you’ll become friends with if you need to get a fabric to just the right color. Remember, there’s dyes for cottons and natural fibers, then there are other dyes for sythetics.

Have Fun!

In my current phase of life, I don’t make time to sew costumes for myself, but in the future, my husband pinky swore we could become Comic Con people and dress up as Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, ha! We’ll see if he feels the same way in 20 years. For now, I’ll keep making fun costumes for my kids!

Get started sewing DIY costumes! | Pin, Cut, Sew Studio
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Costume Throwbacks

October is a very busy sewing month for me! As always, I have costumes planned for the kids (and hopefully there's time to make myself one too, fingers crossed), but I also volunteered my sewing skills to our dance studio, as they prepare for an original production in November/December. It's a good thing that sewing costumes is my FAVORITE!

Tomorrow I have a monkey tail tutorial to share with you ... you know, in case you ever need to make one. And in the works are an angel costume, a Pokemon Dragonite costume and a peacock costume, but those are all in progress. 

I got to looking through old blog photos, though and pulled these gems to reminisce about past years of handmade costumes. *sigh* looking at old photos of my little kids gets me all weepy, haha. 

I'll start with one of my all-time favorites, Buzz Lightyear! I didn't use a pattern for this (other than the hat). Just a pair of swats, foam board for the jet pack, a pile of felt, my scissors and glue gun. And probably Gilmore Girls and a beer, ha! Oh, and puff paint. 

Sweet Natalie as Belle. I used to eye roll when I found out I had to make a princess dress and now I wish they'd pick a princess dress because it's been too long since I've made one. I just can't be made happy. This pattern is out of print, but that' probably a good thing because the sizing was terrible, I had to take it in a ton. I think they replaced it with McCall's 5494.

Layla was an Egyptian princess one year. This one was fun to make, such fun fabrics! That's part of why I like sewing costumes, because I get to play with fabrics that I'd never get to otherwise. Pattern is Simplicity 2329.

Kelby was a dinosaur that same year. He loved this costume so much, he continued to wear it daily and/or as p.j.'s until finally, we moved to Hawaii, it was way too small, had holes and I was afraid he was going to sweat to death ... and I tossed it. I'm using this same pattern for his Dragonite costume this year, only I had to acquire a new pattern because I cut the bigger sizes off. Who knew I'd need it again? The pattern is Simplicity 1765.

Two years ago, my girls chose these monster girls, McCall's 6816. They were really fun to make! That was our first Hawaii halloween and it really bummed me out how much a paid for those fabrics that are super cheap at JoAnn's at the mainland. #paradiseproblems

Kelby was The Flash that year. I'm not sure I used a pattern for this, I think I made it up on the fly. Or should I say, on the flash. Hehehe, I crack myself up. 

I absolutely loved Layla in this Merida costume. This was our Virginia Halloween and we had the prettiest woods behind our houses, which made the photo shoot extra fun. The pattern is McCall's 1557 and I've actually used the cloak pattern included here many times. Costumes, birthday gifts, dress-up cloaks and a Kylo-Ren cloak for Kelby. I can make this sucker in no time flat! 

Natalie was a Renaissance Princess that year.  McCall's 6141 is out of print, it seems, but you can find it on Etsy and even Amazon. (Same cloak as above!)

And Kelby was Mario. I only made the hat (McCall's 6814), but he was adorable. Everybody said "Hey, Mario!" when they saw him, of course. 

There are more, but those are some of my favorites! Are you sewing costumes this year? What should I be? Last year I made myself a Minion costume. It was awesome. This year I'm thinking Amelia Bedelia, but I don't want to be mistaken for a plain ol' maid. Do kids all still know who Amelia Bedelia is? Mine do, but I wouldn't consider us mainstream, we're a little weird, haha. 

I'll leave you with one of my all-time favorite photos of my kids and me. I was Supermom, of course. Fake it til' you make it ;)

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