2. To the left the Scribe Ani wearing the same robe OPEN,
without stitching up the sides, but arranged and tied with a long sash.
In this Egyptian Scribe costume plate, a typical waist sash measures
32" by 120". If
you are taller you may need to adjust the sash length. You may already
own a deep long shawl of the silky Pashmina or sheer/opaque variety
which might translate as a decorative sash for dramatic purposes.
right is the type of Egyptian clothing called The Robe.
The rectangle robe is constructed on a very simple rectangle shape as shown
here. Unlike the plate of Scribe Ani shown above right, this robe would
have been stitched down the sides for 45 inches of its length.
Armholes were simply deep slits left unstitched for 15 inches. Curve the back neck out by cutting down about 11/2
inches with a tapered width of 6 inches. The front can be cut
lower by about 3 inches with a centre front split. If the wearer intends to wear the garment for any length of time then face the neck and arm openings, otherwise a simple binding will suffice.
To Bind - Bind the front slashed neck opening piece first - then
apply the neck binding so that you have long ties each end to help hold
the neck together when tied into a bow. For the sleeve opening
simply apply binding, or turn under the raw edge of the fabric twice,
then stitch flat. If you have a neat selvedge on uncut fabric,
that may be satisfactory for fast fancy dress purposes.
Use the exact same pattern to make the robe below. Play around
with the sash until you reach the Egyptian look you like.
Dress Costume Tip - For non sewers this pattern right may be a
wonderfully easy pattern choice.
This image right shows the same basic cut shape as the stitched robe
above, but fastened by drawing the fabric in place with a sash.
To achieve the alternative look, the pattern is cut exactly the same as
before, but not sewn up the side. When on the body the open fabric at
the front is taken up and drawn to the back and pinned at the back
The main back fabric is drawn to the front and tied with a wide sash
girdle or waist sash.
Make the waist sash measure 32" by 120" just like that of the
Scribe Ani above right. If you are taller you may need to adjust the
It's that 32" of sash fabric width that gives extra cover. The
sash should be pulled quite tightly to be figure hugging to define the
posterior and thighs, so that masses of fabric give good cover of the pelvic
area. When the sash drapes correctly at the front the drapery reaches
the feet. This is the robe arrangement that creates one of the Egyptian robe
looks we have all seen in films.
- In about 1450 B.C. an
Egyptian woman would have worn a robe tied in this manner.
This garment would be incredibly easy to achieve for fancy dress costume
NOTE - No sash has been used to create this style of robe. The
front is left to hang, rather than be pinned at the back. Then the back
is drawn to the front enclosing the front sides when the back is tied in
a knot under the bustline. This garment right is based on the
rectangle pattern for the robe above and the pattern has been shown again.
When illustrated this way, it assumes you will stitch a shoulder seam
cut the piece on double fabric.
Single Fabric Layout of Non Sash Robe.
Fancy Dress Tip - You could however omit a shoulder seam and lay the
fabric out singly as in the layout image left.
It is safest to make a small paper pattern first of the curve and
slit and try it on over your head before cutting into the fabric. This
is especially important if you have small shoulders or short body. If you make the cut
area too large, you will spoil your fabric and the robe will fall off
you. Tie the garment as suggested above.
This page contains some costume plates sourced from the book Ancient
Egyptian, Assyrian and Persian Costumes & Decorations by Mary G. Houston
and Florence S. Hornblower. The book was published by A & C. Black of
London in 1920. F. S. Hornblower coloured both the figures and
Decorative Ornament plates where colour was needed.
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