Greek Kit on a budget
The second of our £30 classical kit challenges,
we were very pleased for what we were able to achieve for under £20. Our
aim here was to make the look as practical as possible, and to keep it
visually distinct from the Roman look (for which see the
Roman kit tutorial).
Low status Greek: tunic and cloak
- a needle, or preferably access to a sewing machine
- 1.5 metres of 5ft width cream/unbleached white cotton/polycotton. Do
not pay more than £4 per metre, you can get it for £1 if you really
try, or try charity shop bedsheets (mmm, prehemmed!) (You really want
linen, but it tends to be too expensive, get linen if you want to spend
more.) - We got some double-width polycotton for £3.50 per metre (i.e.
about 10ft wide) which means you need less than a metre of length - £3
- white thread - £1
- Charity shop leather belt - £1
- 3m of wool, linen, or any suitable heavy fabric. We were lucky and
found some moleskin on sale at 99p a metre - £3
- Charity shop brooch or cloak pin - 50p
- TOTAL: £8.50
fabric down the middle so that when you cut the pieces they are
Cut out two pieces shaped like this, one for the front and one for the
back (with a higher neckline on the back piece). Make it quite roomy, if
it's too baggy round your shoulders and waist you can always take it in
later. Do not forget to leave 1" seam allowance on every edge you sew.
If you like, cut it out more square, that is, don't angle the line
outwards down towards the hip (Google "T tunic" for alternatives). But
make sure you'll be able to walk in it!
Pin the two
peices together and sew the seam at the shoulders and sides under the
arms. Don't sew the armholes shut! Hem the neckhole, arm holes, and
Put it on and belt it.
Make sure to wear period footwear... (making leather sandals is covered
or you could just buy some). Footwear might well be a sticking point
for many of these costumes, so if it's wet or you only have army boots,
think about wrapping your boots up under some scraps of cloth.
We think it
looks best pouched up over the belt as shown.
To make the
cloak, fold your fabric in half along its length to make a square. In
the picture here, the right-hand and left-hand edges are the finished
edge of the fabric. Draw a quarter circle (use a bit of string to keep
the radius constant) and cut it out. If your fabric is going to fray
then hem the curved edge.
Keep those scrap pieces, you can make pouches or leg coverings out of
Get a brooch
or cloak pin and pin it at the neck, so your head is in the middle of
the straight edge of the semicircle.
What a nice
big warm cloak! You can play at being Batman in it too.
You can wear
the cloak lots of different ways, here, it's pinned so that you can pull
up a loop of fabric and make a hood, and one 'wing' is thrown over the opposite shoulder. Cosy.
even really need a pin. Simply pull one side down in front of you, like
chuck the other side over your opposite shoulder. It'll fall off every
so often but is very toasty warm.
Higher status Greek: chiton for a man or a woman
Extra materials needed
- 4 metres of muslin (or any fabric that drapes really nicely and is
sort of see-through - £10
- an extra (preferably matching) charity shop brooch - 50p
- 1.5m of cream curtain cord, maybe more if you're on the plump side -
- TOTAL: £19.50
worn by men and women. If you're a man, maybe wear it to knee length
instead of ankle length? First, have a look at this website: How
to make a Greek chiton
Your fabric needs to be at least double your armspan length. You
can also see how see-through it is. This looks great all draped, but for
your dignity (and possibly our sanity) please wear the short tunic
this much over, down the entire length. The folded over bit (or
'apotigma', as Jude insists on calling it) should come to about the
middle of your torso.
Here are two
lovely matching brooches that we got for 50p each at an Asian jewellery
shop. Charity shops are your friend, but you might have to do some
legwork to get matching pins.
Pin the two
sides of the folded fabric together, leaving a nice large head hole.
There is no sewing involved in this (unless your fabric is fraying and
you need to hem the rough edges, this means that one side of the garment
remains open. Please do consider wearing that tunic underneath!
curtain cord around your waist.
Pull up some
of the fabric and pouch it over the cord at the waist. Fiddle with it
'til it looks good.
And here it
is, looking lovely and drapey. If you're going to be cold, wear the
cloak over the top.
To stop it
sliding off your shoulders, pin the brooches to your tunic at the
Alternatives and additions...
There are lots of options for Greek clothing and hairstyles on the web,
have a look at some of them. Try adding a trim to the bottom edges of
the chiton and apotigma.
Leather sandals are an obvious choice of footwear although you might
want to get some pointy-bejewelled slippers from your local Asian
clothing shop. They are cheap but don't hold up to British weather all
Add a toga - there are plenty of tutorials on how to tie them online.
Tips and tricks
One of the issues with Odyssey will be keeping the
Greek and Roman looks visually distinct. We recommend sticking to
'natural' colours for Greek costume: whites, browns, and golds. If you
do use coloured fabric, keep it fairly pale and pastelly and avoid
bright red. We also recommend erring on the side of simplicity and
keeping more 'fussy' designs for the Romans.