How to Sew a Nun Habit Costume

A nun in habit
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One of the most commonly asked-about costumes is a nun's habit. Unfortunately, patterns seem to be scarce. Necessity being the mother of invention, cobbling together pieces from various patterns can produce an acceptable version of a nun's habit.

Look at the various pattern options that are available. Changing the color and shape of the edge of a collar can instantly convert a pattern intended for other costumes.

The patterns listed here were all found in the costume section of

  • Butterick 3820: Unisex robe and collar from
  • Butterick 4542: Children's/Boy's/Girl's Robe and Collar from
  • Simplicity 4213: contains a head piece and robe that could be a nun's habit.

Here is another nun's habit costume available for purchase as a downloadable PDF.

A No-Sew Nun Costume

If you can't find a pattern and you don't want to mess around with adapting another recipe, try making a no-sew costume from items that are available at home or can be purchased at thrift stores.

What You Need

  • An old graduation robe or plain long black dress with long sleeves or long black skirt and long-sleeve black shirt
  • Black leather belt or sash or knotted rope
  • White T-shirt
  • Black T-shirt
  • Black athletic shoes and socks or tights
  • Large crucifix or cross threaded on a cord
  • Rosary
  • Prayer book or Bible

How to Make It

  1. Put on the black robe or dress or skirt and top, cinching it with a black leather belt or sash or knotted rope.
  2. Use the white T-shirt to make a wimple by putting your face through the neck opening but don't pull it all the way over your head, so only your face (and no hair!) is showing. Throw the sleeves behind your head and let the extra material below your chin gather loosely on your chest.
  1. Drape the black T-shirt over the head like a veil, tucking in the sleeves.
  2. Black athletic shoes and socks or tights, a large crucifix or cross to hang around the neck, a rosary and prayer book or Bible complete the outfit.