How To Make A Graduation Gown

Even if you've never touched a sewing machine before, you can learn how to make a graduation gown. When you make a graduation gown, you don't have to worry about crafting a garment that will fit its wearer perfectly, since the gown will hang loose on the body. Whether you are actually graduating or just need a fun costume, sew up a graduation gown and get ready to walk.

To make a graduation gown, you will need:

  • Ruler
  • At least 5 yards black polyester fabric
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Scissors
  • Jacket zipper
  • Black thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Zipper foot
  1. Take your measurements. Measure around the widest part of your shoulders, the length from your shoulder to your wrist and the length from the top of your shoulder to your ankle. Record these measurements.
  2. Fold the polyester in half. Draw a rectangle on it that measures a quarter of your shoulder width measurement plus one inch by the length from your shoulder to your ankle plus one inch. If your shoulders measure 44 inches around and your height is 50 inches from your shoulder to ankle, draw a 12 inch by 51 inch rectangle.
  3. Pin the folded fabric together along the rectangle. Cut out two rectangles.
  4. Unfold the fabric. Draw another rectangle on it. This rectangle should measure half your shoulder width plus one inch by the length from your shoulder to ankle, plus one inch. Cut out the rectangle.
  5. Draw two more rectangles on the fabric for your sleeves. These rectangles should measure 21 inches by the length of your arm. Cut out the rectangles.
  6. Place one of the narrow rectangles on the wider rectangle, with right sides together. Pin along the long side, then stitch together, leaving a half inch seam. Leave about 10 inches unsewn at the top for the sleeves. Repeat, attaching the second narrow rectangle to the other side.
  7. Sew the narrow rectangles to the wide rectangle along the top.
  8. Fold each sleeve in half lengthwise and pin. Sew along the long edge, leaving a half inch seam.
  9. Pin one side of the zipper to one narrow rectangle. Put the zipper foot on your machine and stitch in place. Repeat, attaching the zipper to the other narrow rectangle.
  10. Attach the sleeves to the gown. Arrange the gown so that the right side is facing in. Insert one sleeve through the armhole, so that the right side of the sleeve is against the right side of the gown. Pin the sleeve to the armhole, then sew in place. You may need to gather the fabric a bit so that it lines up right. The sleeve will look a bit ruffled when it is sewn in place. Repeat with the other sleeve.
  11. Hem the bottom sides of the narrow rectangles, below the zipper. Fold the fabric in half an inch, then another half an inch. Sew along the edge.
  12. Hem the sleeves. Fold the bottom edge of the sleeves up one inch, then stitch.
  13. Hem the bottom of the gown. Fold the bottom up one inch, then stitch in place.
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