I was very relieved to find out that Harry had been cast as a Shepherd in his pre-school Nativity play. It is the very first costume that we've been asked to provide, and I think that we've been lucky. Because of this I was determined to put together my own costume. Asda sell a nice ready made Shepherd's costume for £8, so my personal challenge was to make a costume for cheaper that (in my opinion!) looks just as good.
At the time of making the costume I didn't have a sewing machine, and the costume probably won't last much longer than it's needed, but I think that it does the job!
A brown pillowcase (£1.96 for two at Asda)
Brown ribbon (50p for a 3m remnant in our local craft shop)
Velcro (21p for 3 inches)
Cord (80p for 2m)
This gave me a total cost of £2.49 - well under budget!
You also need:
A suitable checked tea towel
Brown sandals or flip flops
A T-shirt to wear underneath
Old curtain pole or similar for the crook
The pillowcase forms the base of the outfit. I cut a hole for his head in the top, and then a small slit down the back, sewing velcro along the slit so it can be fastened. Then I cut a hole on each side for his arms, about an inch below the top of the pillowcase. I also removed some of the flap from the bottom of the pillowcase to make it less bulky. It is quite long on Harry (he was 3 when he wore this) but I decided not to shorten it as I thought I'd only make it look messy. I think that he looks sweet in an oversized costume anyway!
I decided to make the costume a bit more individual by sewing two lengths of ribbon down the front. It did take a while, and my stitches are a bit wonky, but I think it looks okay. I'm sure that a Shepherd would have sewn his own clothes, and he wouldn't have had a sewing machine. Then I cut my 2m length piece of cord into two, one half to tie around the tea towel on the head and one half to tie around his middle. Harry is wearing a long sleeved t-shirt underneath, I found one that had plain sleeves that matched the fabric.
The crook is made from an old curtain pole, the slim type used to hang net curtains. I fashioned the hooked end from cardboard, then sellotaped it all together firmly. I covered it with strips of plain paper and gave it a couple of coats of brown paint. I'm fully expecting the teachers to take it off him for health and safety reasons, as he does have a tendency to brandish it wildly!
I was really pleased with the finished costume, and it really was so easy to make!