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Ancient Egyptian Robes Fancy Dress Patterns

Ancient Egyptian Costume
Part 2 - Early Egyptian Robes

By Pauline Weston Thomas for


Ancient Costume - Egyptian Dress Costume Plates
Part 2 - Early Egyptian Robes


Second Style Rectangle Robes

The Square Robe Guide Patterns

OsirisFast Fancy Dress Tip Timesaver - If you want minimal sewing, select these robes as your fancy dress or theatrical costume choice.

Earlier Egyptian tunic image Styles A), B) and C) on the first page shown very small on the right, were all based on the tunic.

Style D) left and right is the type of Egyptian clothing called The Robe.  Draping instructions with pattern fabric guides are detailed below.

1. Here to the far right you see the God Osiris, he wears a side stitched robe. See how to make the Egyptian Rectangle robe costume below.

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.

 See this very easy method of making this Egyptian costume below.

Rectangle Robe Guide Patterns and Tie Sash Instructions

Egyptian Stitched Rectangle Robe

Rectangle Robe Guide Patterns and Tie Sash Instructions - Egyptian Stitched Rectangle RobeStyle D) 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.

Egyptian Rectangle Open Robe With Sash

Egyptian Rectangle Open Robe With Sash. Fancy Dress Costume Tip - For non sewers this pattern right may be a wonderfully easy pattern choice.  Fancy 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 waist.

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 sash length.

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.

To make the style more elaborate add a decorative circular yoke collar.

Non Sash Open Egyptian RobeNon Sash Open Egyptian Robe - Free Pattern

In about 1450 B.C. an Egyptian woman would have worn a robe tied in this manner.Right - 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 purposes.

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 or cut the piece on double fabric.

Single Fabric Layout of Non Sash Robe.

Single Fabric Layout of Non Sash Ancient Egyptian Robe. Fast 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.

Read more about Egyptian Ornament - You can see some decorative elements for Egyptian collars on this page.


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. 

Page Added 15 Nov 2007. Ref:-P659

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