How to Sew a Cleopatra Costume

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To sew a Cleopatra costume, create a simple shift dress in either black or white, and adorn the outfit using sequined collars, writs cuffs and a belt. Dress up in a homemade Cleopatra outfit with a demonstration from a costume designer in this free video on costume fashion.

Part of the Video Series: Costumes for Men & Women
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Video Transcript

How to make a Cleopatra dress. The Cleopatra's really are about, simplicity when it comes to the gown part. So, you really don't need to go any farther other than choosing a black or a white simple shift gown out of your closet. Find something very plain and simple, it can be fitted or it can be loose. You can also do, take some rope or some gold chaining and wrap that around the waist area to give you more of a fitted waist. So really you just need a basic overall shift dress for your Cleopatra. Really not a lot of sewing involved. If you would like to sew something, there are wonderful patterns in the fabric stores that you can choose. A variety of different how-to's. So if you're a lower, inexperienced seamstress they have easy ones, and they have more elaborate ones if you're a little bit more of an advanced seamstress as well. So you can keep that in mind. Most important to your Cleopatra costume really is the collar pieces, the head pieces that you need. So we're going to talk a little bit about that. One of your your easiest ways to make a collar piece to just add to your black dress, is really just find some felt, and cut it out in the size circle that you want, making sure that the inner circle is the size of your neck, so that you can easily put that on. You can finish off the back part with some velcro or hooks, however you want it to work. But as you can see, we elaborately decorated this with just glitter and glue, making it a great collar for your Cleopatra. You can easily make a matching piece to go over your hair, or your wig, whatever you've chosen for your Cleopatra hair to make it match. You could also easily make matching cuffs and leg guards, pieces as well to go with this, all using the same concept of just simply felt, glue and glitter. So, that's an easy how-to collar. For a little bit more sewing advanced, this one here which we've made a collar piece and a head piece and some leg pieces out of, were all done out of one of those great beaded 80's dresses that everybody has, and nobody uses anymore. So, we really just simply, as you can see I'm going to show it to you here, maybe you can see the old parts of the dress. This top piece here, this is really just the top piece of the dress. We just simply cut along the design that was already there, giving us this fun little gold pieces to stream off of, and just following the line of the dress and just simply cutting it out to whatever the pattern best fit for our Cleopatra. We then went ahead and lined it with a beautiful velvet, and just simply stitching it all the way around. This is another actual project that you could use fabric glue for, and easily glue it on. But this makes a great collar piece, let me show it off for you here. Try that one again. But as you can see, it just simply sits off the shoulders, and you can see how you add that to your black gown. It's just going to be a great collar piece for your Cleopatra. We then went ahead and took the left over pieces of the gown, and made some wonderful leg or arm pieces just my simply taking the measurements that we needed for the wrist, the arms, the ankles and the calves, depending on where we wanted to put them. We made it a lace up, just by simply popping some holes into the velvet underlining that we stitched on it. This giving you a great collar piece. Another project that once again you could glue or stitch depending on your talents. And just for the final piece on it, we took a few extra pieces and made this great Cleopatra headpiece. We simply once again followed along the path of what we liked. Actually these pieces we found on another part of the dress, cut them off, and we just simply shoved them up inside of the band, stitching them on. This is an old earring that one of the sides broken, and we simply just stitched it on there, ending the back with a nice piece of elastic, so that you can very simply fit it on any head, or wig, depending on what it is you've done with the top of your Cleopatra head. And this all just simply made by an old 80's sequined dress, and no one was going to use it again, that looks great as a Cleopatra easy sew frame. I hope you can take these ideas and make your next Cleopatra an easy sew.

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