Tuesday, October 22, 2013

DIY Jasmine Costume

     The beginning of this month marked homecoming week for Butte High school. This means a week of dressing up in crazy costumes in order to show our school spirit! (Side note- does anyone actually know what the point of homecoming is?? And how does dressing up show team spirit? Whatever, I'll take any chance I can get to dress up. I love costumes!! This is becoming a very long side note. Should I just end it or go for the 'longest sidenote of all time' record? Is that a thing? Wow, my English teacher would be killing me right now. I'm distracting you from the main idea of the writing, and thus compromising its integrity. But this is my blog, I can do what I want! I could do this all day. Cats.)

     Anyways, one of the themed days this year was "Disney Day" (again, Disney=School Spirit?) and my friend Sowmya asked me to make her a costume of Jasmine from Aladdin. So here's a step-by-step of how I made it:


1. A sewing machine
2. About 1 1/2 yards of teal colored fabric-Sowmya picked  this stretchy, silky-ish knit fabric and the pants I made ended up being SUPER comfy, but you can go with a woven fabric like satin if you like.
3. A cami or tank top in a slightly different shade of teal
4. 1 1/2 inch to 2 inch wide elastic
5. Straight pins
6. Needle and Thread- You could get matching thread, but I just used white.

Step 1: Making the top
First, cut a long strip of fabric 7 inches wide and about 5 feet long:

Find the center of the strip and hand sew a running stitch down the center line:
Pull the thread tight to make gathers:
Find the top center of your cami. It helps to use a body form, but you don't need it:

Pin the center gather of your strip to the center top of the shirt. Extend the "tails" of the strip on the shirt to find where they hit the straps. Repeat the basting/gathering process here and pin back onto the shirt like so:

Sew the strip down with a straight stitch where it's pinned:

Drape the tails of the strip around the arm of the shirt and repeat the marking/ basting/gathering/sewing process where the tails meet the back straps of the shirt:


Lay the shirt out on a table and line up what's left of the tails:

Cut off any excess and then sew the strips together, right sides together:

I like the way that this drapes in the back, but if you want you can sew it on at the center back of the shirt.

And you are done with the top! Feel free to add any embellishments. I didn't add any because Sowmya wore gold jewelry with the costume.

Step 2: The Pants
First, you will want to make kind of a sketch of what your pieces for the pants will look like:

This is basically the pattern I made up (not to scale!), which is pretty forgiving for most sizes. This is tailored to Sowmya's height (about 5'1") so you might want to adjust a little for your height or inseam measurement. The fit on the waist will be determined by the length of elastic you use.

You can draw the pattern out full-size on some butcher paper or newspaper, or just draw it right on to your fabric. When you cut out your fabric pieces, they will look like this:

Cut two front pieces and two back pieces right sides together so that they mirror each other! You will have 4 pieces total.

Next, place the two front pieces right sides together. Pin and sew a straight stitch along the curved line (the crotch of the pants):

Repeat with the two back pieces:

Next, lay the front pieces and the back pieces right sides together and line up the two crotch seams:

Pin and sew all along the inseam of the pants:

Next, sew the outer edges of the pants together:

Now you have a super giant pair of pant-type things. Tom graciously offered to model them for you:

For the gathered waist, fold the top of the pants over 1 1/2", pin, and sew to make a casing for the elastic (usually you should do a rolled hem here, but this fabric doesn't fray and I was feeling lazy). Make sure to leave 2" opening in your casing so you can thread the elastic through!

Measure and cut a length of elastic that will fit snugly around your waist. For Sowmya, the elastic was about 22" long.

Put a big safety pin on one end of the elastic. This will help when you thread it through the casing:

Thread the elastic all the way through the casing and sew its ends together.

Sew the opening in the casing shut and the waist is done!

Now for the gathered ankles:

Cut two rectangles of fabric about 10" by 6":

Fold one in half "hamburger style" (the short way) right sides together and sew along the long edge:

Turn the tube you just made right side out and fold in in itself so you have something looking like this:

Repeat on with the other rectangle:

You made cute little cuffs!

Next, sew a basting stitch like you did on the shirt along the bottoms of both legs to make them gathered like this:

*Expert (haha) tip: to get more even gathers, you can sew a straight stitch with your machine on the longest stitch length. Pull on one of the threads and the fabric will gather quite nicely.

Slide the cuff thingy you just made onto the leg opening like so:

Pin the pieces together, making sure your gathers are even:

Sew all around with a zigzag stitch. (note- if you are doing this with non-stretchy fabric, it will work better if you gather the ankles with elastic, just like you did on the waistband)

It will look something like this:

Repeat on the other ankle:

And you are done! Just add a few accessories and you are ready to go. I made this headband with a scrap of the matching fabric and a vintage pin:

Here's the final look:

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and as usual, leave me a comment of you try it!

Thanks for reading :)


  1. BTW there called herem pants and second you made them wrong look at this really easy tutorial http://www.shira.net/costuming/cg/pants-harem.htm I'm a tribal belly dancer my self and hers are very accurate.