Saturday, December 31, 2016

Harry Potter family cosplay (or how I sewed a Dumbledore costume out of random thrift store items in just 2 nights)

Have you ever tried to knit or sew nice things for someone you love to find that they just don't ever... actually wear them?

Yeah, me too. I gave up knitting for my husband after two consecutive hats and a pair of fingerless gloves went unworn for years. I can barely convince my daughter to wear the latest dress I made her. My toddler could care less about Mama-made clothes.

Halloween costumes are ANOTHER story. They did not want to take these off! (Yes, I realize this post is several months belated).

I had originally intended to just buy all the costumes (we've had a lot going on)——but soon realized that you can't actually buy Professor Dumbledore or Professor McGonagall costumes--just the hats. I also found out that they don't make Harry Potter robes in toddler sizes.

The basic costume details

  • For all costumes: We got the wands on eBay (some are knockoffs, some are just used proper ones), plus the hats, ties and scarves.
  • Dumbledore costume: Spent way too much time studying photos of Dumbledore and sketching my ideas and almost ran out of time. Made under and over-robes from some thrift-store curtains, thrift-store shirts, and discount-store gray shiny polyester fabric. Sewed on lots of trim and embroidery at random. There really wasn't time to make it the right way, so instead of making a pattern I just pinned and draped everything directly on him repeatedly until it was done. You do NOT want to look too closely.
  • Harry Potter costume:Bought gray sweater vest at kid's clothing discount store, and toy glasses at Amazon. To make the Nimbus 2000, husband darkened a cheap toy broom with a paint marker and lettered it with a Gold Sharpie (thanks to fellow Professor McGonagall at Cation Designs for the inspiration). Bought a larger-size Gryffindor robe on eBay and hemmed the sleeves and length to the right size (left extra fabric so I can let it out later).
  • Hermione Granger costume: She already had the robe (just because), so just added tie, socks, skirt, scarf, wand, cauldron and vest. Only actual sewing was to the skirt, the discount store skirt I bought was way too big and I took it in.
  • Professor McGonagall costume: Hat, wand and brooch from eBay. Plus a black knit turtleneck dress. The green velvet robe I sewed together from some cheap Halloween store velvet capes—I altered the fit and added armholes. I meant to make big sleeves but ran out of time. CLOSE ENOUGH.

Bonus images of my husband's previous favorite costume I made for him, from our pre-kid days: Two-Face. (I cut two thrift store suits and ties up the middle.)

Wishing you all the best New Year possible! The kids are with my parents for a few days so I am hoping to take a sew-cation day tomorrow and finish the dress and top I cut out months ago and maybe even start something new. Stay tuned!


  1. Best looking Harry Potter group I have ever seen. It looks great fun - beautiful children!

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  3. You all look toooooooooo cute!!!!!

  4. Oh my gosh, a pleasure to read you again! And I would like to know where you find your "used proper" wands.

    Oh, wait, you mean toy wands......
    Wishing you and yours the better holidays and a expectation-defying new year.
    Yes, going to keep living in hope. I have kids, too.

  5. You all look SO good. Your husband as Dumbledore is the best thing ever - looking good and obviously loving it! We don't usually do Halloween for the adults, but I'm working the long game to get my husband to be Dr. Strange in 2017.


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