How to Make a Harley Quinn Jester Costume and Hat
An easy to make but effective costume with instructions to make a knitted jester hat.
A lot of people have asked me for a pattern based on my fancy dress costume based on the character Harley Quinn from Batman (a few people even wanted to buy it!), and I’ve finally found time to write it out. The costume itself is dead easy to make with only a basic knowledge of your sewing machine. My hat is knitted (and was a little tricky for me to work out so the pattern might not be the best in the world), but I’ll include basic instructions of how to knock up a sewn version if that’s what you want. Please note that the sewn hat pattern won’t have been tested, so if you find it doesn’t work please let me know so I can update the pattern. Enjoy!
(the hat pattern can be found after this)
When I made this I had no idea how to make a pattern so what I did was to go and buy some cheap clothes and sew them together to make up Harley’s distinctive black and red jumpsuit. It might be worth getting things a size too big for you to allow for all that stitching.
You will need:
- 1 black long-sleeved stretchy top
- 1 red long-sleeved stretchy top
- 1 pair of black leggings
- 1 pair of red leggings (I couldn’t find any so I bought a couple of meters of red lycra on ebay)
- 1 sewing machine (or a needle and a hell of a lot of patience)
- A reel or two of red cotton thread
- A reel or two of black cotton thread
- 1 pair of scissors
- Some chalk or a fabric pen
- Some newspaper for tracing out patterns
- An old white shirt
- Some white material or white bangles
- 1 pair of sexy shoes (I happened to already have some black shoes with red trim that I use, but if you don’t have any shoes that seem Harley-esque, save some scrap material to cover an ordinary pair, I’ll explain how lack)
- 1 pair of red gloves
- 1 pair of black gloves (or more scraps)
- Velcro or safety-pins
We’ll start off making the top.
Take the black long-sleeved tops and lay it face up on your work surface. Harley’s harlequin jumpsuit forms a cross just above her waist, so to get that effect with your top you’ll be making something that resembles a rugby shirt or maybe a jockey’s shirt; with alternating black and red chunks forming a cross at the centre of the shirt. Mark out where the centre of the first shirt is and using a ruler mark a cross running from the neck to the hem and from side to side. Decide which parts you’re going to want to keep: in the comics, the black parts of Harley’s costume are on the top left and bottom right when facing the costume, so if you want to stay true to the source, those are the bits you want to keep. You’ll want to keep a good inch or so for seams so mark those out and hack up your top accordingly (remember to keep the back and front of each part attached: these sections are quarters not eighths). Don’t throw away the top right and bottom left parts though, you’ll need those later.