Make Egyptian Costume
Out of Outgrown Child Costume
Make Egyptian Costume Video at bottom of page
Make Egyptian costume, the Egyptian necklace and the Egyptian belt & bracelet/cuff, using many materials from discarded items. In this example, old costumes, curtains, wrapping paper, trims and other found items were used.
Making an Egyptian costume can be made so many ways, so be creative and use what you have. If you aren't a saver of discarded items, there's always the fabric/craft stores for amazing selections of shiny bobbles and such.
Cape & Underskirt made out of old curtains
Add make-up, wig, hair ornament, and you're there
...and if you don't happen to have an old costume to revamp, then consider one of these cute Egyptian patterns or even a ready made costume. Here's a small sampling of what's out there.
Cut Costume at the Seams
A This Egyptian costume is a size medium for children, and was worn by my daughter in 3rd and 4th grade. Now she wears an adult size 4, so obviously it doesn't fit. To make it work, I needed to create a top in her size that would be the foundation for the top/front of this costume. The skirt would go to the knee instead of the ankles (splits too high up middle), so I had to add fabric, which is the reason for the underskirt.
B Cut the costume apart at the seams. In this photo that would be the side seams. I left the skirt in tact since it had some stretch, it would fit the new bodice/top as long as I took the gather/ elastic out of the skirt.
C Lay it flat. I eventually cut this at the shoulders, but waited until I knew where I would use the fabric first.
D Here I'm cutting the seams at the shoulder after determining I would use this piece in the front of the bodice.
Make Egyptian Costume
About this fabric
The sequin fabric has glue in it which holds on the sequins), and the glue causes havoc with the needle, so every few stitches you need to clean the needle with alcohol. The cape fabric is a liquid gold, and requires a matalic needle for sewing. These two fabric types added some extra steps in making this Egyptian costume.
Make Egyptian Costume
Lay it Out
A I used a NewLook pattern to start this Egyptian costume, since it had a bodice that would work well as a foundation for the costume top. I wouldn't use the skirt to this pattern since I'm using the skirt from the costume.
B For the bodice I used the liquid gold fabric that was the cape in the original costume. I needed to conserve the sequin fabric for the front bodice where it would be visible, and the liquid gold is much more comfortable against the body.
C Photo C is a close up of photo B.
D Checking the fabric to make sure there would be enough to cover. There was not enough, so it would be sewn to the liquid gold, and not quite reach the side seams. Both fabrics have a fair amount of stretch so it was doable.
E Marking the dots for the darts on the back of the bodice.
F Connecting the dots for the darts.
Also use Simplicity pattern to make an Egyptian costume.
A This is the liquid gold fabric that was used as a cape. It's displayed as a skirt for easy viewing.
B Marking the dart dots.
C Connecting the dart dots.
D Pinned the dart dots.
E What it looks like before sewing.
Putting it all together
A The top piece is the back of the bodice with the darts done. The middle is the front top bodice, after sewing the left and right sides together.
B The top and bottom bodice have been sewn together.
C The back has been sewn to the front and cut down the middle for a zipper. As a child costume it had an elastic waistband so no zipper was necessary, but now there would be no way into the costume without a zipper, buttons or something. In this case a zipper was the best alternative.
Installing the Zipper
Lay out the zipper about a half inch from the top. In this costume I used a 14 inch zipper. Normally the zipper goes in early on in the project, but since this is a revamping of an old costume, I didn't put it in until nearly the end. Sometimes you have to change things from the norm when recycling old costumes.
Make Egyptian Necklace
For the base of the necklace, I used some left over Naugahyde. Any fabric with rigidity would be ideal, or add heavy interfacing to a lighter weight fabric. Or get creative and look around the house for a durable base.
I used left over gold ribbon to surround most of the two upper rows of stones.
Trims of all kinds.
Fabric or wrapping paper for jewels.
To make the necklace, belt and cuffs, I used the Simplicity pattern pictured below. After finishing the necklace, I realized it was too large for a woman, so I cut the third row off and used it for the belt and cuffs. If you don't want to make the belt and cuffs, you can trim this necklace to your size.
This same Simplicity pattern has a pattern that could work for making an Egyptian costume.
This necklace is an important part of an Egyptian costume. I happened to have some naugahyde left-over from a project, but any fabric with some rigidity to it would work for the foundation of the necklace. Pleather, or adding a heavy weight interfacing to a fabric would be a couple of possible options as well. I happened to have black, which worked because the Egyptian necklace had black in it, but even if the fabric is not the right color, you can completely cover it with trim, fabric, wrapping paper and ribbon, etc.
A. Lay out the pattern or make a pattern and place it onto the fabric. Trace and cut, or just cut. Keep cuts smooth for a nice finish, although trims cover most anything.
B. Measure each row and pencil it onto the fabric.
C. Cut out templates of the fabric (to look like stones), and make many. Turquoise, black, red, blue and lots of gold are the main colors in the actual Egyptian necklace.
D. Lay out on the fabric.
E. Then start gluing. This is a time consuming necklace, so be prepared, by starting in advance. Probably a couple of hours, 2 or 3 sittings. If cared for properly, this costume and necklace can be used for most any costume party all year round, for years to come.
Make Egyptian Belt
The 3rd row to the necklace above is what is used for the waist band part of the Egyptian belt. Once the 3rd row is cut away from the necklace, put it around the waist of the person wearing it, and cut in a place that would be hidden by or finished with trim. Then add Velcro where necessary to shape it like a cone. Beware of Velcro when not in use. Keep it properly attached to itself so it doesn't snag the belt or costume. It can tear things up fast, so right after taking it off close it and store properly for many uses.
Make Egyptian costume video available below.
A Here I used the old costume belt as a template, but if you don't have one, just free hand it on a piece of paper until your satisfied, then trace it on the fabric. Add a couple inches to the top to use as a flap that will wrap over the top of the waistband part of the belt.
B Add the gold. As you can see in this photo, the gold has been patched in from scraps, so I was careful to make the seams where they would be covered by trim or the stone.
C Add the imitation stones shaped like squares and rectangles.
D Trim all raw edges with whatever you like or have.
Make Egyptian Bracelet
A & B Again from the necklace, the 3rd row was cut off and used for the belt and necklace.
C Finish raw edges with trim of choice.
D Press down on trim while glue is hot.
Measure to wrist and add Velcro on one end only for a cone shape. This is the way women showed off their jewels.
All done with Make Egyptian costume. Watch the video on make Egyptian costume below.