How to Make a Costume that Fits Without Advanced Sewing Skills

So this week, we’ve been on a big journey to figure out how to outfit you in a beautiful, perfectly-fitting costume…


…so that you’ll walk on a stage at that special show you are working towards… and feel, “I’ve arrived… now watch me!” 😀


We’ve seen that many people are afraid of costume making because they believe that costume making is for advanced seamstresses.


That’s why they make common mistakes like buying a used costume that don’t fit well, only to realize it’s impossible to fix.


…Or go for a cheap, mass-produced costume that doesn’t fit (again!) and dress like everyone else.


…Or attempt to modify a dress pattern they find at fabric stores, which are not made for dancing.


Unfortunately, most of them end up wasting time, fabric, and money.


In fact, I was making the same exact mistakes.


I wanted a beautiful costume. I wanted to look like a pro.


But I was scared that my sewing skills weren’t good enough… and I wanted to save money.


…when in fact, I was wasting money on costumes that I didn’t even feel proud of wearing!


It was after making a few mistakes that I realized I was making these mistakes because I WRONGLY assumed costume making is beyond my sewing skills.


Once I figured out my wrong assumption, everything changed.


Costume making got so much easier.


There are only a few things you have to learn to make perfectly-fitting belly dance costumes, and the first one is this:


Creating custom templates based on your measurements.


Once I started taking the time to make templates based on my own measurements, I was able to make a bra that fits me well, and a skirt that is perfect length and creates no muffin top.


Because I was able to make my own costumes that fit me now, I never bought pre-made costumes ever since.


So how did I make custom templates?


Although I had just realized that I needed to have custom templates to make a perfectly-fitting costume for myself, I couldn’t make templates appear magically, of course.


I had to figure out how to make custom templates.


I tried different things… I read different costume making and sewing websites. I played with numbers and calculation. I experimented with different patterns.


Over time, I combined what I learned and what worked best into my custom template making method for creating costumes that fit perfectly.


My first project of custom template making was this:


The 5-Panel Mermaid Skirt

How to Make a Mermaid Skirt Pt 1 Pattern Making


For this skirt, I made my custom template based on my unique measurements, and with really basic sewing (simple zigzag stitch in a straight line), I was able to make a mermaid skirt that fit me perfectly!


Once I shared this 5-Panel Mermaid Skirt tutorial on Sparkly Belly, I immediately started to receive pictures from different dancers who are happy with their very own mermaid skirts!


Let me share some of these:

Alia silver mermaid skirt

A beautiful silvery white mermaid skirt made by Alia!


Kelli mermaid skirt

Kelli’s lovely moss green mermaid skirt with sparkly blue accents!


Adreana blue mermaid skirt

Andreana’s beautiful turquoise mermaid skirt… Look at the perrrrfect fit!


As you see, these ladies are all different sizes…. But the skirts are all fitting them perfectly, because they all made their own custom templates.


That’s the power of making your custom templates 🙂


Do you want to make your own custom templates?


I can send you to the original tutorial of the 5-Panel Mermaid Skirt, but since you’ve come with me on this journey, I want to help you succeed more easily. I’d love to invite you to my new project:


5 day Create Your Own Mermaid Skirt ChallengeIt’s called the 5-day Create Your Own Mermaid Skirt Challenge!


In this FREE Challenge, I’ll send you an email with 1-3 doable action steps that you can follow every day for 5 days.


In the Challenge, you’ll learn and experience custom template making! 🙂


You’ll be creating your own custom template for this mermaid skirt based on your measurements, step by step.


PLUS I’ve created a new calculator that does all the math for you 🙂 This way, you can completely skip the frustrating math, and make a skirt without being confused.

And by the end of the week, you’ll have a perfectly-fitting mermaid skirt made to your size! 🙂

Click here to learn more and sign up for the Challenge!

If you struggle to sum up the courage to try a big project like skirt making, this is perfect for you! With step by step instructions and a gentle push, you’ll actually start AND finish a project 😉


It’s starting next Monday, so sign up today and get the material list!


Join the Challenge and make a perfectly-fitting skirt for your next show! 🙂


Thanks for reading, and keep sparkling!

  2 comments for “How to Make a Costume that Fits Without Advanced Sewing Skills

  1. denise leavitt
    February 3, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Even though I am in the middle of the hourglass belly dance dress, I am going to do the mermaid skirt challenge as well. I absolutely LOVE Kelli’s outfit that she made! The color is one of my favorites, but the fit is SO flattering! Most of us do not come straight out of the pages of Seventeen magazine, and it is so gratifying to be able to make something to fit our womanly bodies. Thanks Mao!

    • Mao
      February 4, 2018 at 11:25 am

      Oh so excited to have you in the Challenge, Denise! Since you’ve gone through most of the hourglass dress making, you’ll likely find this Challenge easy 🙂
      I agree, Kelli’s outfit is so tasteful! 🙂 It’s really my pleasure, Denise, and it’s so inspiring for me to see dancers love and appreciate their womanly bodies wholeheartedly 🙂

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