Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Academic gowns, robes, hoods etc

On the 10th of May I have my graduation ceremony, where one HAS to wear the traditional costume of gown/robe, hood and hat (the mortar board type). To hire the set for a few hours is $120-$150, which all up I guess is not so super expensive for the service, BUT...I find it annoying that there is no choice not to wear one and not to have to pay. So I have decided, to sew my own (which is within the rules). Suitably I am going to use the  fabric that I blacked out the room I installed my grad show work in.

However there is surprising little information out there (on the web) with CLEAR pictures for garments with so many rules.

Hopping through many links I came across this resource at the costumer's manifesto. So it's a little dated (but then so is the tradition of wearing the damn things). The hoods have been puzzling me the most, as there are quite a few styles for different degrees and schools. I traced the B.A hood pattern in miniature to make up a calico just so I could see how it worked. The colours for Sydney College of the Arts BVA are scarlet and purple !!! Thankfully I only have to put a 5cm trim of each to line the hood.


  1. I am trying to make my Ph.D. academic hood for my graduation in a few weeks' time. I am struggling to get the correct colour material. Do you know where I can order online specific shades of colour? Thanks!

    1. eBay is a great resource for fabric - I purchased the red-shot-green silk that I needed for my own hood, no problem.

  2. No is the short answer.

    For Sydney University there was a 'descriptive list' of colours for each faculty and degree. I had seen some photographs of the previous years graduates and matched the colours as well as I could (I ended up buying 5cm wide ribbon in Purple and red) Though I imagine for a PHD the colour bands will be wider or entirely lined with colour. BTW how did you make / get your pattern?

    I was sorely tempted to make the hood with bands of coloured fake fur or sequins when I saw the right colour combo's in my local fabric shop.

    Also I ended up hiring, as I received an art commission just before graduation and decided that came first.