They may not have learned their French history yet, but many boys would love dressing up in Napoleon's regalia nevertheless. With a few clever tricks you can produce this look with a needle and thread and a minimum of skill: Napoleon's jacket begins as a navy-blue hoodie; it's cut and then trimmed with sections of red felt and gold upholstery fringe.

Updated September 20, 2018
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GLEN GLASSER

Our Napoleon wears white jeans and has a wooden toy sword painted gold.

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What you need

Materials
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How to do it

Part 1

halloween costume how to napolean
Step 1

For the shirt, mark and cut the shirt's front panels into points; cut the back straight. Bind cut edges with white bias tape and fabric glue. Glue short strips of bias tape above the points (to resemble pockets). Remove the buttons from the collar; stand collar up, and fold and iron the corners down tuxedo-shirt-style, as shown. Sew buttons back on in place.

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halloween costume how to napolean
Step 2

For the jacket, use chalk to mark a line, as shown, around pocket of sweatshirt and along zipper and hood; cut along that line, leaving 1 inch of hood (do not discard the fabric). Cut ribbing from sleeves. Cut red felt 5 inches wide and a little longer than the measurement of jacket's neck; fold it in half lengthwise. Sandwich felt around the inch that remains from hood; glue in place, and trim felt ends to make a straight line with jacket front. Glue red bias tape along jacket opening, felt collar included. Use cuff template to cut felt for cuffs; glue in place, and finish the edges with bias tape. Trace epaulet template as shown in photo below onto reserved fabric from sweatshirt pocket (so you have a double layer of fabric); cut out. Repeat. Use iron-on adhesive to join the pairs of layers (for 2 thick epaulets). Glue gold fringe around each; tack in place on jacket. Sew gold-finish buttons to jacket, 4 on each side on the front and 1 at each cuff. Tack on ribbon rosettes.

halloween costume how to napolean
Step 3

For the hat, use hat template to trace and cut out 2 pieces of black felt. Measure for size by holding the pieces around the head of the person who will be wearing the hat; tack pieces together accordingly. Glue gold cord 1 inch from edge all around. Tack on a gold ribbon star.

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