Monthly Archives: April 2015

The Tale of the Toga

Staying ahead of schedule is not my forte. There are many reasons for this, some good, some not-so-good. Regardless, at 12:30am on Tuesday morning I found myself in the unnerving position of needing to come up with a toga costume for the Spring Musical…in less than 7 hours.

One of the reasons for this dilemma was that the white sheet I had mentally tagged for this task was covered with paint. Having been used as a drop-sheet, this was disappointing, but hardly surprising. I tossed the sheet aside, went upstairs, and started evaluating my assets. White pillowcases are too small and I didn’t really want to sacrifice the set. The flat sheet was too big and I felt the same way about sacrificing that. Pink housecoat was not going to cut it, neither was the Princess Merida Halloween costume.

Although I don’t have a bunch of material lying around the house, I do keep some worn out clothes, especially t-shirts. In the past I have made some really fun stuff out of old t-shirts, and we just happened to have one of Darren’s white t-shirts that had shrunk in the wash and was now unwearable. This was promising, but it wasn’t long enough, so Darren scoured his dresser for another plain white shirt worthy of sacrifice to a good cause.  I pulled out a long black velvet ribbon from my hoarded collection of old things (I’m pretty sure it dates back to high school) and added a vintage necklace to the collection.  I did a Google search for some reference photos, brushed my teeth, prayed for inspiration, and went to sleep.  Just before I drifted off, I had an idea….

Here’s what I did.
  1. Iron the shirts.  They are going to get completely wrinkled, but it helps to start with everything looking nice.

  2. Use the longer of the two shirts as a skirt.  Luckily, the neckhole of Darren’s shirt fit perfectly around Cate’s waist. You can either leave the sleeves as is or tuck then in.  I toyed with the idea of cutting them off, but then you would have been able to see the holes. And besides, leaving them is less work.

3. Put on the shorter shirt like a regular shirt, but put it on backwards.  This gives the costume a drapey look, just that much more removed from Hanes. It also has the benefit of coming down lower in the back, which is very classical looking.

4. Cut the sleeves up to the neckline.    This allows the sleeves to fall open, revealing the shoulders.

5. Tie the black ribbon around the waist, adjust the folds so they lay nicely.  

6. Put on the necklace.

7. Put the hair up in a clip. You know, cause they had plastic hair clips in Ancient Greece. How else do you think they kept their hair up?

I was actually really astonished with how well this turned out. Darren came upstairs to take a look and he was really impressed as well.  And Cate? That face says it all!!