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You don't need a magic lamp to make your teenager a gorgeous genie costume for Halloween or a costume party. If you leave it up to your teen, she might pick up a pair of sheer pants and a bikini top and call the genie costume complete. However, you can make the costume cover a little more skin while still adding enough pizzazz to make it your teen's most favorite costume ever.
Measure the circumference of your teen's ankle and cut a piece of elastic about 1/2-inch shorter than the measurement. Turn the loose pajama pants inside out and sew the elastic around the hem of one leg, stretching the elastic as you sew to make it stretch all the way around. Repeat to make a tight ankle cuff for the other pajama pant leg, too. Alternatively, measure your teen's inseam length, from ankle to the top of her inner thigh, and make a slit up the front and back of a loose skirt according to this measurement. Make two legs by sewing the front and back pieces together on either side of the slit. Use elastic to make tight ankle hems.
Embellish a silk, organza or chiffon scarf with imitation gemstones to add some sparkle to the costume. You can pick up iron-on gemstones that come prearranged in different patterns or shapes -- and iron these on according to the manufacturer's instructions. Alternatively, pick out individual glue-on gemstones or rhinestones, arrange them on the scarf and secure them with fabric glue.
Fold the scarf in half width-wise to find the center and pin the center to the left hip of the pants. Sew a few stitches to keep the scarf loosely attached to the rest of the costume. Tie the ends of the scarf in a loose knot over the right hip during wear.
Adorn the bolero top with imitation gemstones or rhinestones to coordinate with the scarf. Iron or glue the gemstones around the sleeve cuff, along the bottom of the shirt and around the neckline.
Create coverage for your teen's torso if she's wearing the costume to school -- or you'd just like her to reveal a little less skin. Measure the circumference of your teen's torso, just beneath her bust line, and then measure the distance from just beneath her bustline to her waist. Multiple the circumference by 50 percent and add 1 inch to the length. Cut two pieces of the organza, chiffon or silk fabric, each according to this measurement.
Layer one piece of fabric on top of the other. Sew along one circumference edge with a piece of elastic thread that's about 1/2-inch shorter than your teen's torso circumference. Pin the sewn edge to the bottom of a bikini top and sew it in place with elastic string. Have your teen wear the bikini top with torso coverage underneath the bolero top.
Make sequin armbands to complement the outfit. Cut a piece of sequin elastic, about the circumference of your teen's upper arm. Overlap the ends and sew together to make the armband. Repeat, making a band for the other arm.
Make an elastic ponytail holder with an attached veil. Cut a 2-inch piece of sequin elastic and sew the ends together. Pull your teen's hair up in a ponytail high on her head and measure the distance from her ponytail, down around her chin and back up to the ponytail. Cut a piece of the organza, chiffon or silk fabric to this length.
Pin the ends of the fabric veil to the sequin hair elastic and sew a few stitches to secure the fabric. Slide the hair elastic over your teen's ponytail to try it on. Alternatively, if your teenager doesn't want her hair in a ponytail, make a sequin headband and attach the ends of the veil to the headband just above your teen's ears.
Make a pair of flip-flops look like decorative barefoot sandals. Glue gemstones on top of the straps. Measure from the middle of the toe strap, behind your teen's ankle and back to the strap. Cut a piece of elastic string to this length and knot the center to the toe strap. Thread crystal beads onto the strap and tie the ends in a knot.
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- Sew with Confidence: A Beginner's Guide to Basic Sewing; Nancy Zieman
- If you're costume making on a tight budget, take a look at thrift shops and discount stores for fabric scarves or old dresses that you can cut to use the chiffon, organza or silk fabric.
- Use a straight stitch for all the sewing. While a zigzag stitch can sometimes offer more strength, when sewing with a thread that has more stretch than the fabric, the straight stitch will be stronger and won't saw away at the fabric.
Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.
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