The Making of Harry Potter Robes

Thursday, 21 July 2011, 8:00 | Author : Kricket
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I’ve never before had time to make the Hogwarts school uniform, but with the story coming to a close and a midnight premiere to attend, I managed to find the proper motivation.  Enamored by the main characters, I decided to make the Gryffindor House robes.  (A decision which sparked great debate since, according to Janet, I should be placed into the Hufflepuff House; however, some people should consider that Houses might also symbolize what you wish to become.)

There are two styles of robes to choose between: Years 1-3 or Years 4-7.  Harry Potter Wiki provides an extensive history on the various styles worn at Hogwarts from 1938 to 1998.  Your choice of robe affects the thickness of the stripes on your tie, the placement of stripes on the cardigan, the size of your house emblem, and whether your robe has colored lining.  Also, note the differences between the male and female uniform requirements as this isn’t always clear beneath the robes.

Only once I started patterning did I realize that there was one major challenge to making this robe–there were no visible seams.  I really did think I was crazy to come to this conclusion, but I watched Order of the Phoenix all the way through and I also found confirmation from Darth Eagle’s Tutorial.  If you haven’t made robes before you might not understand the depth of this problem.  Usually there is a seam that runs along the base of the neck which connects the hood to the body of the robes.  But they don’t have this seam, which means that the front facing extends into the depths of the hood.  Also, there is typically a seam that runs vertically down the center of the hood, they don’t have this seam either, which implies the seam is located on the underside of the hood.  Faithfully following these rules, I attempted to make an “authentic” movie version of these robes.

After two weeks of work, I manged to finish the robe (two hours before midnight), but I still don’t understand how the movie costume techs built a seamless robe.  It is a puzzle that begs to be solved and I’m hoping to revisit the problem once I’ve taken a substantial break.  If you have any insights on this matter, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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