1st Part of the Severus Snape Tutorial

Snape Hi Res

Notation:  This tutorial focus’s on the coat and base costume.  The outer cloak is coming soon.

What you will need:


Simplicity Pattern 5386

5386 Simplicity

  • Thread
  • 18 dime sized do-it-yourself cloth buttons
  • 11 quarter sized do-it-yourself cloth buttons

Notation:  Make that you get the tool if the button requires it.  This picture is of a refill kits, these buttons require a tool to make them.  Some buttons don’t require a tool, but most do. Cloth Buttons

  • 5-7 yards, (depending on your size), of black fabric. I recommend Denim, Twill or Canvas, but any heavyweight semi stiff material will work.

When picking your fabric consider these pointers.

  1. The color of the coat and the cloak should be contrasting. The coat is a bit bluer than the cloak. However, do not pick a dark blue!  Rather pick a black that has a blue tinge. You would be surprised how many different blacks there are.
  2. Make sure you check the cleaning instructions on the fabric when you buy it.  The instructions should be on the label on the bolt next to the price tag.  You may want to avoid dry clean only fabrics unless you are willing to dry clean every time you go out killing off Dumbledores.
  3. Make sure that the fabric is not too thick that you can’t make the cloth buttons.
  • 2 yards of 25″ medium weight fusible interfacing
  • Don’t bother with the shoulder pads that the pattern calls for.  Snape has rounded shoulders.
  • Long sleeved white button-up shirt.  You want it extra long so that the sleeves peek out at the wrists.  Tuxedo shirts made for cuff links work good for this.
  • Black silk scarf.  (For the cravat around the neck.)
  • Black pants.
  • Black square toed shoes.
  • Black socks.
  • Your measurements.

First things first.

Prepping the fabric:

If you decided to opt out on the dry cleaning fabric it probably means that you want to be able to throw this thing in the washer.  In order to avoid frustrating shrinkage of your finished garment later make sure to run the raw fabric through a washer and dryer on the highest settings.  There you have it!  Preshrunk fabric.

Notation:  After washing fabric you may need to iron it if it is really wrinkly.

The Pattern:

Next, become familiar with the pattern.  We are going to be doing view A of the Neo costume, (Morpheus is a bit too shiny for Snape).

5386 View

5386 View pieces

Notation:  You will only need pieces 1-7.  Don’t worry about cutting out 8-10.

There are a few very obvious differences between the Neo and Snape costumes.  I will not go into how to make the garment, only the changes that I made to the pattern.  I think it’s a bit redundant to repeat what you are going to be reading in the pattern instructions anyway.  🙂


  • The overall length is far too long.  When I did the costume I opted to create a Neo length coat and then cut to my model.  (I had a lot of fabric and wasn’t worried about wasting it.)  The tunic falls just below the knees.  When you cut, make sure you leave room for a hem.  You can use the cut-off scraps for the collar and buttons.  If you want to save fabric you can measure from the nape of your neck to just below your knee and adjust the pattern accordingly.

Snape length

Collar and Front:

  • The collar on the Neo coat is a both little bit too round and about an inch too short.

Snape Collar

  • I took the pattern and traced it on a piece of paper.  I then extended it and cut out my new pattern.  Like this.


  • There are 11 quarter sized cloth buttons that march up the front of the tunic.  The buttons start just a little bit below the waist and and go all the way up.  Two of the buttons go above the neck line and remain unbuttoned.  I recommend putting in the buttons and button holes last.Snape Front


  • The sleeves are a bit different than the pattern.  Snape’s sleeves are split up the arm to the elbow, they flare at the wrist, are tighter, are very long and lined with 9 cloth buttons. Snape sleeve
  • Very important! Before you cut out the sleeves make sure you have enough fabric for the sleeves to overlap for the buttons.  My sleeves were baggy to begin with, yours may not be.  Measure your arms and measure the pattern, make sure that you have at least 2 inches for the overlap.
  • For the length and flare at the wrist I eyeballed a flare pattern on a sheet of paper, cut it out and lined it up on the pattern.  Like this.

sleeve pattern


  • After I had the sleeves attached to the coat I cut up the arm toward the elbow and hemmed the edge.  I fit it to my model and marked where I wanted the button holes to go.


  • Make the cloth buttons according to the instructions on the packaging.  Attach them.  Do the button holes.
  • Iron the collar of the white shirt so that it sticks straight up.  The black scarf goes around the collar and peeks through in the front.
  • Dye your hair black.
  • Don your tunic and off you go, you Snapey Snape you!
  • If you feel so inclined leave a comment or donate!
  • Enjoy!

Check out my finished costume here.

The Snape Cloak tutorial is coming soon.


14 thoughts on “1st Part of the Severus Snape Tutorial

  1. Wow! This is fantastic…thanks for showing us how you do this; I hope my Snape ensemble will look half this good!
    I am eagerly awaiting the cloak tutorial!

  2. Well the jacket is underway, we have the wig, pants, & boots – now if we only had the cloak tutorial!! Thanks for the help!

  3. Awesome! Got the jacket, pants, and shirt, still need the boots, can’t wait for the cloak tutorial!

  4. I’m planning on making this with my mom (mother-daughter bonding time with a Snape costume involved? Yes please!) later this month. She’s always wanted to teach me how to sew, and I figured if I’m going to learn “The Basics” it might as well be fun, right? I hope to find a good cloak pattern, too, so I’ll have the complete outfit. This is going to be so cool! Thanks for posting this, truly. You’ve made my life for the next few weeks! (My mom says thanks, too)

  5. Its good but I also need a cloak tutorial & suggestions on the white undershirt. If you can include types of shoes and wand substitutes that would be great.

  6. I have noticed that people are requesting a cloak/robes tutorial. I am currently working on a Severus Snape costume myself and for the Robes I used McCall’s Pattern 3789. This was the closest pattern that I could find without having to do very many edits. I made two coats. One with the pattern above and one from Simplicity 2517. I chose to go with the 2517 coat because I felt it had more of the look of Snape without a ton of edits. I hope that this helps whomever.

  7. This is so fantastic! Do you think you could put edits that would make it fit a skinny teenage girl??

  8. (*high sqeaky voice*)..WHO’S A CUTE PUUPY?! 😀

    (*snape voice*)…I’m a cute puppy. >:>(

    (*high squeaky voice*) YES YOU ARE YOU LITTLE SNUGGLEMUFFIN!!!!!!!! <:D

  9. Firstly: Thanks so much for this tutorial – it will be much easier to make my own Severus Snape Cosplay.

    Secondly: I found a little mistake: you wrote there where 11 buttons that march up the front of the tunic – aren´t that 12? (like I said, only a little difference) 😉

    Thanks again ^-^

  10. OMG! You’re awesome! Thank you so much for putting the up!! It helps a whole bunch!!

  11. this is amazing, thank you for sharing that with us, but as far as I can see, he wears 3 buttons un-buttoned?

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