How to Make a Tiny Hogwarts Robe from a T-Shirt

It was inevitable. 
The stakes were high for Edison’s first time trick or treating, because I knew that this could well be the only year Edison has no say in his costume. So naturally, I took the opportunity to dress him up as my favorite literary character – Harry Potter. Although, you could make the case that he looks a bit more like Malfoy, what with the very blond hair… but let’s just settle for “Gryffindor Student.”
One who specializes in “charms.” See what I did there? 
Here’s what you’ll need to create this almost free costume: 
  • Black t-shirt. The less text or designs on the shirt, the better, but you can make it work if it’s not a blank tee.
  • Hogwarts crest. I used Gryffindor, but you can order all or any of them from Amazon!
  • A snap
  • Black thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Glue or adhesive. I used spray on adhesive which washes off, so I can reuse my Gryffindor crest if I want to on another project.
  • A stick. Just a stick from the backyard.

1. Cut open the front of the tee shirt. I didn’t want to buy a tee shirt just for this, so I used my old high school color guard tee. It was one of my favorites… but it’s for a good cause.
2. Turn the tee inside out if there’s no design on it. If there is, like in my case, we’re actually going to sew on the front, so don’t turn it inside out. Also, pumpkin pop-tarts help this sewing part go better.

3. Mark the sleeve shape, and down the side of the tee, where you’ll be sewing. We need to make the tee smaller, and we also need to create a bell shape. I drew a line from the bottom corner of the tee up to where my pencil is pointing here, and from there, down to the hem of the tee.

Do this on both sides of your tee, and pin it.

4.1 Try to sew along the lines you drew. Sewing machine breaks down.
4.2 Freak out, because trick or treating is TONIGHT.
4.3 Husband tells you it’s just a costume, it’s not a big deal.
4.4 FREAK OUT MORE, because he just doesn’t understand.
4.5 Husband fixes sewing machine. Calm down, and carry on, realizing he was actually right.

5. Trim off the extra fabric behind the new seams you’ve made, and turn inside out. Because my tee has the design on it, the shoulder seams will be on the outside. But isn’t that the perfect robe sleeve?

 6. Spray on the adhesive to the Hogwarts crest, and press it onto the front of the robe.

7. Using a needle and thread, sew on the snap to the collar of the tee.

8. Call yourself Madame Malkin, and take a bow. 

I used a stick from the backyard for Edison’s wand. The photos we took are a little blurry since it was getting dark, but they’re still awfully cute.

I’m wearing my Gryffindor tee, but I can’t find this exact one online anywhere. There’s a surprising variety of Harry Potter tees on Amazon, of all places.

Edison was a big hit in his little robe with all the college students handing out candy at the church Trunk or Treat we went to. He caught on pretty quickly to taking candy and dropping in his little bag, and also figured out that the college students were more than happy to let him take as much candy as he wanted. 
Even at 15 months, he doesn’t take too kindly to seeing mama and daddy take candy out of his bag! Unfortunately for him, he hasn’t figured out any protective charms to keep us out of it. 
Here’s all the steps in one graphic for pinning for next year. 
I hope you and your family had a great Halloween or Harvest Festival! 

A New Adventure

“Normally, I have a very sweet disposition as a dog; in fact, more than once, James suggested I make the change permanent. The tail, I could live with, but the fleas… they’re murder.” – Sirius Black, The Order Of the Phoenix Movie

We have a baby. 

Baby dog, that is. 

The magnitude of this reality hasn’t fully sunk in yet. We’re actually dog owners at last! 


I’ve wanted a puppy of my own ever since we said goodbye to Kopek. While Brian wanted a dog too, eventually, he insisted we couldn’t possibly get a dog until we bought a house – a goal at least a year or two down the road. 

But a week ago today, a “chance” encounter changed everything. 

It was raining. It never rains here, but on Saturday, the day we were supposed to take the youth group to hand out flyers for a new church and do yard work, it was raining. 

I was tired. It’d been a long, busy week at work, all I really wanted to do was snuggle under the covers and read while listening to the rain drumming on the window. And I had a good excuse for not going, I thought, because I’d pinched a nerve while working out that made it painful to walk, even stand, sometimes. The day before had been agonizing, but miraculously (and unfortunately for my alibi) the pain had vanished completely. 

Without a good excuse, I begrudgingly decided to go, still hoping that our service day would get rained out. 

Although the forecast called for an 80-90% chance of rain all day, not a drop fell all morning. 

I sleepily walked up and down driveways hanging flyers with a group of ladies from church, when a SUV pulled up to the curb and rolled down the passenger window.

“Are you missing a dog? Or would you like one for free?” the driver called. We gathered around the car. 

He was left under a lawn chair in her yard with a bowl of cat food and a Harkins’ Theaters cup of water. We could see where his collar once was, but his previous owner had taken it with them when they left him. 

I quickly snapped a few pictures and texted them to Brian. “Want a free dog? This little guy was abandoned and is free to a good home.” I anxiously checked my phone for a response. Finally: 
“Ok.” 
I couldn’t believe my eyes. “Okay?”
“Well maybe.” 
I set up a time to come by her house later that afternoon so that Brian could meet him in person. After a call to our apartment complex and a few walks around the block, Brian was convinced.
We drove straight to the nearest Petco. And then we took our baby home. 

We felt something like new parents must feelWhat do we do now? What if he gets sick? What if we don’t do this right? 

And what are we going to call him? After much discussion, Sirius Black, so named after the character in Harry Potter, stuck. 

First, Sirius Black can transform into a big shaggy black dog. Sirius is small, yes, but because he’s a terrier mix of some kind, he is shaggy. and with his little beard, he kind of reminded us of the Sirius Black in the Harry Potter movies. Plus, Sirius Black was disowned by his family, our Sirius was disowned by his original family. And, he’s pretty quiet for a puppy, and has a “serious” disposition. 

Sometimes, anyway. 

He has ninja toilet paper snatching skills. Seriously.

We’ve taken him to the vet, got his first round of puppy shots, and discovered that he’s about 12 weeks old. We’re crate training, housebreaking, and teaching to sit and not bite. 

And so begins this new adventure of dog parenting! Wish us luck! 

Have you ever had a puppy? What books/classes/websites do you recommend for us?

What I’m Loving Lately

1. The Girls With Glasses Show. I just now discovered this “talk show for smart and classy girls.” I love their feminine style, silliness, and the fact that they love shopping at Goodwill! (They were totally in Phoenix for the Goodwill videos, and it’s possible that I’ve shopped at the same one!) Check out their channel on youtube, or follow their blog. Here’s a sample of the cuteness and wit you’ll find:

2. Harry Potter (Books 1-7). I’ve been gradually reading the Harry Potter books over the last year, borrowing two at a time from my sister-in-law in California. I read 4 and 5 in May, and a couple weeks ago, I just couldn’t wait any longer for the next book. So I bought book 6 at Barnes and Noble, and read it in less than a week. Well, even though I knew we were going to CA shortly, I couldn’t wait to see how it ended. So I bought book 7. I read it in 24 hours, staying up most of the night, and crying the whole way through it. These books are the best I’ve ever read. Better than Chronicles of Narnia, and even Lord of the Rings, which is saying a lot. Seriously, the best I’ve ever read.

3. Deleted Harry Potter Scenes on Youtube. I’ve been a bit depressed since finishing the books and seeing all the movies, feeling a little sad that it’s all over. So I turned to youtube to watch interviews with the actors, actresses, and J.K. Rowling. That’s been fun, but I was especially excited to see deleted scenes from the movies. I’m sure you can find these on the DVDs, but it’s convenient to watch them on youtube.

Like I mentioned on Facebook this morning, while watching the movies with Brian (who hasn’t read the books) my SIL and I were trying to explain the Horcruxes and other background information that the movie left out. We had a hard time explaining it while the movie was going on, and come to find out, some of the deleted scenes would have illuminated it quite nicely. Some I can understand why they cut, but some of the deleted scenes from some of the earlier movies included some of my favorite parts from the books that didn’t make it into the movie. For example, starting at 2:17 through the end in this one:

Poor Neville!

4. Vanilla Chai Tea. Brian brought me some from work, one of his co-workers didn’t like it and wanted to get rid of it. It’s amazing, and smells SO good. Now that I’m talking about it, after I finish this I’m going to go make myself a cup.

5. Rain and candles. It POURED today, all morning, and now at noon it’s still drizzling. Our street was completely flooded. Some people were supposed to come look at the house we’re renting today, but I think they decided not to come because of the rain. I burned a candle to make the house smell nice, and it’s very cosy!

What are you loving lately?