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Hints for Making a Simple Costume   How to Make a Costume  Costume Style & Shape  Costume Design  Simple Skirt Styles  Tight Skirts  Veils  Mixing & Matching Costumes   Face Veils  Body Coverage  
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Simple Skirt Styles

The average Bedlah or cabaret costume consists of a bra, belt, circle skirt and veil. What if you can't afford to buy enough material for a circle skirt or just want a different look what can you do? Below are instructions for some simple skirt styles that don't require lots of material or sewing experience, but look great!

Handkerchief or Point Skirt

This skirt requires two large squares at least 45 inches in width, so make sure your material is this width. Cut a circle about 2 inches larger than your hip measurement in the middle of each square. Overlap the squares diagonally so the corners form 8 points. Sew the skirts together at the top (circumference of the circle). You can either fold over the top edge to form a casing or use scrap material / bias tape to make the casing for the waistband. You will need to use elastic for the waist to pull the skirt over your hips, as there will be no opening. Once the casing is completed, string the elastic through and shorten to your desired length to ensure a snug fit.

Petal Skirt

This skirt is made using the same squares. Instead of layering the squares over each other, they are going to be cut into panels or petal shapes. Once you have cut out the circle for the waistband, cut the square into four sections from the middle of each side up to the centre. When completed you will have 8 sections. These sections will be sewn onto the casing for your waistband, using the same methods as above. The sections can be left open forming slits, sewn together part way or all the way.

Making the Waistband or Circle

The circumference of the circle should equal your waistband measurement. To calculate, divide the waistband measurement by pi or 3.14 to get the diameter of the circle. Divide the diameter by 2 to get the radius. Fold the square in half twice. From the corner fold, draw a curve from one edge to the other using the diameter measurement. Cut along this curve, open the square and you will have a circle with the desired circumference in the middle. If you want more fullness or gathers in your skirt, make the circle larger. If you are taller, you might want to use material that is 60 inches in width for added length.

HandkerchiefPetalCutting your skirt
Two squares overlapped diagonallyCut along the dotted line to create 4 petalsSquare folded in half twice. Use radius to create a curve to cut

Both of these skirts can be made using different coloured material. Example: the Handkerchief bottom skirt can be gold and the top purple. For the Petal, you can alternate one purple petal, then one gold petal. Good fabrics to use are: chiffon, silk, georgette, charmeause, dot sequin or glitter dot, satin and tissue lame. I don't recommend Velvet, brocade, heavy satin or any other stiff or weighty material, as they won't flow nicely. Indian Sari material is good for the petal skirt as well, but since the design is usually on the bottom of the material, you will have to make a paper pattern and cut on the petals individually rather than using a square. You will require approximately 2 to 3 yards of material for these skirts.

Simple Wrap Skirt

For a simple wrap skirt, measure your hips plus three inches (for hip and buttocks coverage) or measure your fullest area and add an inch. Your fullest area is going to stretch the skirt and make it tight, so although your hips are smaller, you need to make the actual skirt larger. Darts will be added at the back and sides for a good fit and shape. Measure your hip to ankle or whatever your desired length is. Cut a large rectangle or square using these measurements. I suggest cutting the top on a slight curve so it will fit your hips better. If you want to shape the skirt (curved, v-shape, etc.), just fold in half width wise and cut desired shape at the bottom. Make sure you don't cut it too short. Cut two rectangles measuring approximately 10 inches in width and 20 inches in length. Sew these two pieces to the top or waistband ends of your skirt and use as ties. To keep the skirt securely closed at the waistband, add hooks to the top edges of the skirt. Use the ties more as decoration than to hold your skirt together.

Ties sewn to side edge of wrap skirt

Wrap skirt base
Across = hip measurement
Down = length

Heavier materials can be used for this skirt, so satin, velvet and brocade could be used as well as chiffon, silks, etc. Sari and bordered materials are very good for this style of skirt. You will need about 1 to 1 yards of material

Happy sewing and have a wonderful Spring!


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