DIY Genie Costume Tutorial
I am so tickled at how well this DIY genie costume turned out. It was my first attempt at harem pants from scratch and it was a pain free process (thanks to a great tutorial I found which I’ll share in a minute)! I was so glad when my little family friend agreed to let me make her costume again (last year we did the Ninja Octopus for her). She was a great sport with fittings and a million questions from me about how she wanted it to look.
The costume is made up of a few distinct pieces – I’ll break them down one by one so you can make any or all of them.
I was completely gung ho to try making harem pants with the help of my internet friends. But when I went online – I quickly got overwhelmed with the choices. But then I just happened to find Sparkly Belly. Wow!! Her site is a goldmine of good ideas. And I just happened to stumble onto her side split harem pants tutorial. And it was exactly what I was looking for! I watched her YouTube video and followed along and the pants came out beautifully.
What You’ll Need
- 2 yards of flowy material
- 1 inch wide elastic (enough length to fit around the waist with 1-2 inches extra)
- 1/4 inch wide elastic (enough length to fit around both ankles with 1 inch to spare each)
- Thread to match your fabric
- Sewing machine – (here’s an affiliate link to the one I have – I cannot even tell you how much I love this machine!)
- Flexible measuring tape
- Pair of loose fitting shorts (to use as a pattern base)
One of the very best tips from the video is to use an existing pair of loose fitting shorts that you already know fit. This worked great for me since I was creating a costume for a kid who doesn’t live with me. I was able to use the shorts and get all the material cut out and ready to sew with just a pair of shorts that I knew fit her.
Here’s the finished product!
And here’s a close up of the side slit. I originally left the fabric with a little more of a raw edge, but I didn’t like the way it looked so went back and rolled the seam over to create this more finished look.
The genie top was more my usual drill – taking an existing piece of clothing and modifying to suit the costume. I bought a regular blue tank top at Target and cut off the bottom of it. Then I sewed ribbon around the bottom hem and attached the loose drop sleeves to both sides.
Step 1 – Cut and Hem Bottom of Top
First step was to cut off the bottom of the tank top so that it wasn’t so long. We were going for the top ending right above her belly button. Then, when the top was the right length, I took some matching blue ribbon and simply sewed it all the way around the hem. It pulled the jersey fabric out a bit (making a bit of a bell shape), but that’s exactly what I was after…I didn’t want a tight fitting shirt bottom.
Step 2 – Make and Attach Sleeves
Then I needed to make the sleeves. I went through a few different ideas before we finally settled on these off the shoulder drop sleeves. I didn’t measure the fabric – just eyeballed it. I would say it was approximately 16 inches long and 6 inches wide. I folded it in half length wise and sewed down the long side.
Once you’ve stitched the long side up – turn it inside out and hold it up to your top. It should drape nicely off the shoulder area. If it doesn’t, it’s either too long or too short.
I wanted the sleeves to look gathered at the shirt so I loosely sewed each end and cinched it up like a paper bag.
At this point I pinned the sleeves onto the shirt and had one of my girls try it on to see if the shoulder was at the right point. It was so I pinned the other side at the same points and sewed them onto the arm holes of the modified tank.
And here’s the finished product. It has a nice drape because the fabric was nice and soft.
I thought the pants needed a little bling so I decided to try and fashion a hip scarf. I took belly dancing classes for a time and I simply loved the look of the hip scarf. Luckily, I had some of this sparkly material left over from a past costume (and it doesn’t even fray!)
I took it and cut it into a large triangle. Then I loosely hand sewed large sequins along the bottom hem (which would be the top part of the triangle.) And that’s it!
Now the costume needed a little decoration at the neckline. I considered adding beads to the costume itself, but decided to go for something that could be removed (and something that would make washing the top possible). I always have a bunch of beads laying around the house so I took some stretchy cord and strung sparkly white, silver, and blue beads in a specific pattern. It added just the right sparkle to the top.
And last but not least, we needed something for the head. After some discussion, my little buddy decided she wanted a very basic hair scrunchie. I used some of the stiffer blue fabric I had on hand and whipped up this quick scrunchie. We combed her hair into a hair ponytail and wrapped this around. Simple as that!
A little sparkly blue and silver makeup and of course bright lipstick and the look was complete!