Robin Costume (1960s) for Less Than $25

Introduction: Robin Costume (1960s) for Less Than $25

About: Things I do in my spare time are electronics, open source hardware, low-level software, HTPC automation, and designing an 8-bit console.

I attended Austin Comic Con this year as part of a group costume. I went as Robin. After looking at the costume selection online, I decided to make my own.

Materials Needed:
Green, short-sleeve shirt (As long as the sleeves and lower half are plain)
Green shorts (Optional for ladies; recommended for guys)
Red shirt (Needs to be plain, this will be cut up)
Black or White tights
Black felt
Yellow Felt
Yellow ribbon (preferably matching the yellow felt above)
1.5 yards of Yellow fabric

Yellow thread
Sewing needle
Sewing machine (optional, but recommended)

Step 1: Shirt

The top portion is what people really recognize. I bought a cheap, red shirt for an arts and craft store ($4). I cut the sleeves off as close to the seam as possible.

Use a ruler in the center of the red shirt and mark 6 lines, about an inch apart on either side of the ruler. Snip a vertical line, slightly bigger than the width of your yellow ribbon on the 12 spots. Feed strips of ribbon through the holes.

It's your choice how you want to affix the strips to your shirt
  • Fabric glue
  • Sew it on with red thread
  • Tape (not recommended)

I choose to use the iron-on sewing stuff. I pinned down the strips on the inside. Take a look at it on the outside, to make sure they're remotely straight. If not, adjust until they are. Now, if you're like me, some of the holes you cut are a little too big and show through the shirt. Take a scrap of the yellow fabric and use it to cover the holes. It creates a nice background and helps to hide your mistakes.

Iron those bad boys on!

Now, depending how long your shirt is, you may want to pin part of it up. I had an extra 4-6 inches of material. I folded the shirt under and used safety pins to keep it up.

Step 2: Robin Logo

This is where the black and yellow felt come in. The Robin logo is just an yellow R on a black circle. Simple enough.

Take a cup and use it to draw a circle on the felt. Since this is black felt and any marks I attempted to make wouldn't show up, I used a piece of paper first, and then used it to cut out the circle.
Now, the R. I used a font called "Ebrima" but honestly, most fonts will work. Open up your choice of word processor. Type an 'R' and browse through the fonts until you find one you like. Super size it; I used size 200. Print and cut it out. Then, use it to cut it out the yellow felt.

Once again, you can choose how to affix it. I choose to stitch it on.
This is super easy, just follow the 'R' around. If you're unsure or need a refresher, I found this video helpful: How to Backstitch

Since I own a spool of it, I used the iron-on sewing material to attach it the shirt. Four short strips on the circle, and bam! Robin shirt!

Step 3: The Cape

The Robin of this era had a yellow cape. There's several ways to make a cape. This is my efforts at it.

I folded the fabric in half, the "bad" side facing out, and used pins up the sides to hold it in place. I choose a cape that wouldn't drape in front of my body and force me to throw it back every time I wanted to use my arms. I actually had a child's cape from a previous Halloween and used it to sketch out the shape. Essentially, it's a half circle on top of a rectangle and a small, oval-ish circle for your neck. I'm a bit impatient, so I kinda free handed my cutting.

Cut out the pattern, with some generous leeway. This way, it's too big, you can trim it down a little more. Use more pins with the new free pieces. Drape the pattern over you and check the fit in a mirror. Adjust as needed.

Now comes on the "fun" part". If you have a sewing machine, you'll be done in minutes. If you're like me, and don't have access to one, take a seat, put on Netflixs, and get sewing. You'll be here a while. I suggest going up the sides first, they're the longest.

When you're almost done, try the cape on again. Mark when you want the snap-ons to go. Sew 2-3 of them on there.

Possible Shortcuts:
  • Use the iron-on sewing tape; significantly cuts down on time
  • I cheated and used the sewing-tape on the bottom of my cape. No one is looking at it and frankly, I didn't want to hand stitch it.
  • Use velcro at the neck instead of the snaps
  • Cut two small holes and use the ribbon from earlier to close the cape at the neck.
  • Sew a button instead of snaps

Future Improvements:
  • Use a sewing machine Hand stitching took a great deal of time. Easily several TV episodes long...
  • Spend a little more money and get a fabric that's the same on both sides. This means the fabric doesn't have to folded over and sewn up.

Step 4: Pull It Altogether

The day of the con, temperatures dropped to the 40 F. I threw on a long-sleeve, black shirt. This is completely optional and looks fine. I had a green shirt already in my wardrobe, so I reused it. It ended up being quite long, so I forewent the shorts and wore black tights. I picked up a black mask for a dollar and threw that on. I originally had a big, wide black belt but then I remembered I had a black sash from another costume.

All in all, I spent about $20 and a few hours on the outfit. There's plenty of improvements that could be made, but all in all, I was satisfied with it for a half-day event.

I gleamed a good chunk of my idea from this Halloween costume.

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    4 years ago

    Or Robin, whatever *casual shrug*