Whilst many Pagans insist upon working skyclad, personally I believe there is a time and a place for everything, and although I do work skyclad in many of my personal ceremonies, as my husband who is not a Pagan does not attend Coven ceremonies I feel that in order to honour him I should keep that part of myself for him and our relationship.
In order to do so and still keep a feeling of working within my own power I created my own Ritual Robes and Cloak (differing ones for different cermonies) They are not hard to make, and can range from simple to extremely complex depending upon their function.
If you're part of a coven or group, your robe might have to be a certain color or style. In some traditions, the color of the robe indicates the level of training a practitioner has. However this should not prevent you from designing special Robes for your solitary workings.
For many people, donning the Ritual Robe after their Ritual Bathing is a way of separating themselves from the mundane business of everyday life, it's a way of stepping into the ritual mindset, of walking from the mundane world into the magical world.
It's not uncommon to have robes for the different seasons, symbolizing the turning Wheel of the Year. You can make one in pink for spring, red for summer, brown for fall, and white for winter, or any other colors that persoanlly symbolize the seasons for you. You may choose to embroider or otherwise embelish your robes to suit their purpose.
Choosing your fabric.
Do take the time to put some thought into the color selection for your fabric and also the type of fabric you will use, it used to be that most Wiccans wore white cotton robes, however many Pagans of other traditions have different preferences (Shamanic pagans may prefer to make robes from Chamois or other soft leathers).
Note: Whatever your preference one thing to remember and I see many Pagans make this mistake - wash your fabric according to directions BEFORE you make your robe, new fabric often shrinks and it's is a horrible thing to spend many hours making and decorating a robe only to have it shrink the first time you wear it!
Decorating your Robe.
You can also add trim, beadwork, or magical symbols to your robe. Personalize it, and make it yours. Embroidery is a great way to embellish your robe, but if you're not good with a needle and thread, then check out your local fabric and craft stores for iron on transfers and patches they always have a great selection of moons, stars and often others such as fairies, dragons and leaves for example. Just ensure your fabric is ironable before you purchase an Iron on ;)
Note: you may want to think about the need to wash your Robe when adding embellishments - while feathers look lovely when they are attached they don't look so hot after you have washed them a few times! If you do want to attach items which may not fare well in the washing machine you can attach them to small jewellery clasps which will allow them to be attached to thread loops sewn on the robe and removed prior to washing.
Anyone can make a robe of their own, and it's not hard to do. (If you can sew a straight line, you can make a robe), A few simple steps and your on your way....How to make a Robe without Sewing!
To make a basic robe without buying a pattern, you can follow these simple steps. You'll need the following:
Choosing a Pattern:
For experienced sewers, there are a number of excellent commercially available patterns out there. You can check catalogs at your local fabric store under "Costumes", which is where most of the good robes are hiding out, especially in the "historical" and "Renaissance" categories.
Here are some Patterns of Robes you can check out as possibilities:
If you choose to make a Robe from a pattern then all you need to do is follow the instructions that come with the pattern.
(Custom Made Robes)
Ready Made Robes and Ritual Attire: