Make an Artful Dodger costume

Oi oi! A must for cheeky Cockney boys everywhere! Eco-friendly too!

HAT: Made from an old pair of jeans, but any stiff abroic will do. Lay these out flat on the floor.

Measure the wearer’s head, then find that same measurement on the width of a jeans leg, (divided by half when it’s measured straight across). Mark a line across, add 1.5cm seam allowance, draw across again and cut. From your first line, measure down the leg to the length of how high you want your hat to go. Mark a line across here, and make a note of the measurement. Add 1.5cm seam allowance, mark again and cut.

Next, using the measurement you just took (which would be the circumference), work out the radius of the hat crown: divide the circumference by pi (3.14159) to get the diameter then divide the diameter by 2 to get the radius. Using a compass, draw this circle out on paper, then add 1.5cm to the radius and draw this out (seam allowance). Cut out in same or similar fabric, then pin and stitch (inside out).

Do the same sum for the opposite edge and draw this circle out, then add 1.5cm to the inside. Measure out the radius to your chosen width of brim, draw then add 1.5cm seam allowance. Cut out so you have a O – then cut out two pieces of these. Put right sides together and stitch the outer edge, then turn right sides out. Snip the inner edges of the ring and turn in, then do the same with the hat edge and insert into the brim. Carefully stitch round.

The hat should stand up on its own but you can also stiffen it with starch.

WAISTCOAT: I took a pattern from my daughter’s sweatshirt, then drew a waistcoat shape from this before cutting it out of an old plaid skirt. If you don’t have time to sew on buttons, a strip of velcro will do! You could also use a cut-down plaid shirt, or in fact anything that’s bold and bright.

TAILCOAT: Again, I took a pattern from a sweater, folded it in half then lengthened the centre back line until it hit the back of the knees, then curved it up to the side. For ease of making, I extended the arms out so that it would form a ‘T’shape. These were made long so that the cuffs could be rolled up.

The front was adapted from the sweater pattern and made so the length sits on the hips and the arm lengths match those of the back piece.

Then I measured the neckline and drew out a collar shape (adding seam allowance). I cut out two pieces; stitched together with right sides together then turned out and attached to the main coat.

You could also measure out a strip for the back trim and sew it on with some leftover buttons!

This tailcoat can be made in any sturdy fabric – in this case, a pair of old curtains.

TROUSERS: Any black trousers you can find.

SHIRT: This won’t be seen much so any teeshirt will do – white, off-white or beige is good.

SCARF: Any scraps of fabric, as long as they’re soft and pliable! Off-white or similar is good.

ACCESSORIES: A pocket fob watch is ideal…if you can’t find one, you can make one out of a small jam jar lid. Carefully pierce a couple of holes in the edge of the lid and insert some wire. To this, attach a piece of chain (like the stuff you get on basin/sink plugs) and twist the wire so it’s really secure. Trim off the wire. You could paint the inside with watch hands if you’re feeling frisky!

Please sir, want some more? You may also like Oliver, Fagin and the Widow Corney.

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