How to Make a Pattern for a Clergy Robe

by Pat Smith
Some religions have different colored robes for different kinds of clergy.

Some religions have different colored robes for different kinds of clergy.

Clergy robes are an important part of the liturgy in several religions and Christian denominations. For accuracy, try to borrow a copy of the robe if your religion allows it. You might be able to work on the pattern in the place of worship if respect of the vestments requires it. For robes that are intended to be more creative or unique, try to stick to the general shape of the clergy robes so they're recognizable.

Take measurements of one of the clergy robes if possible. Measure the length of the robe, the width at the base, the chest, the shoulders, and the length of the arms. For decorations or other items that have to be placed in a certain place, measure the space from the shoulders to mark that on the pattern.

Buy a dress or costume pattern that matches the general shape of the robe; often a two-piece royalty costume works well for this. You'll change it later, so focus on the overall shape.

Lay out butcher paper and pin it down if it rolls up. Cut out the basics of the pattern to its largest size (the outer printed line for each piece). Since most clergy robes are made from two pieces of continuous cloth for the front and back, pin together separate pieces to make a single front and back. Measure the pattern now and trim if necessary.

Trace the outside of the front and back pieces, and the arms. For robes that require a neck piece, draw a rectangle of the correct length and taper the ends if necessary.

Cut out the pattern. Measure it against the clergy robe if possible; it should be an inch or two outside the edges of a completed robe. Mark any decorations or other notes on the pattern for later reference.

Tip

  • Paper thinner than butcher paper has the advantage of being easier to see through, but it also rips more easily.

Items you will need

  • Measuring tape
  • Large dress pattern
  • Butcher paper
  • Sewing pins
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision/Photodisc/Getty Images