13 Days of Halloween: Ringmaster

Happy (almost) Halloween! This is one of my family’s favorite holidays, so I jumped at the chance to share one of our costumes this year. We go all out every year and this year is no different! I made a ringmaster costume for my daughter using a few different Simple Life patterns and I am IN LOVE with the end result! I also wrangled my dog into the mix and I think he makes quite a cute lion, don’t you?! Let me show you how I achieved this look!


I found most of my materials at my local Joann Fabrics. I used Kona solids in red, black and white and found some trims and fringes to embellish the bodice. I also got 5 yards of 2″ horsehair braid for the hem of the skirt.

I pieced a few patterns together to get the look I was going for. I used Geneva for the bodice, Wendy for the cuffed sleeves, and Betty for the gathered circle skirt with the high-low hack from our YouTube Channel.


I used Geneva for the bodice of my costume. After cutting out the bodice, I then laid it out and arranged the embellishments on the flat pieces to figure out exactly how I liked it. I decided on 4 pieces of gold trim across the white center bodice and chose gold buttons to sew on after the fact. I sewed the gold trim down on the white using a longer straight stitch on my sewing machine then continued with the bodice directions for Geneva. You can sew the buttons before you attach the lining or wait and sew them through both layers.


I chose to use the sleeves from Wendy because I liked the look of the cuffs. I did red sleeves with black cuffs and 2 types of gold fringe trim. I used this longer fringe in the shoulder seams. I held it up to my model to get the right angle and I would suggest the same, but if you want an idea, mine were 2″ away from the the center fold on either side.

I would highly suggest adding the cuff trim before sewing the sleeves together. I didn’t do this and really regretting it when I was trying to finagle it in my machine. I then added the black cuffs to finish the top.


Because the high-low hack has you cut the skirt on the double fold but my fabric wasn’t wide enough to do that with the Betty skirt, I cut out the 2 skirt pieces but DID NOT cut out the waist hole. We will save that for later. I sewed the 2 pieces together to get a big circle. I chose to line the skirt as well, so I did the same with my black fabric.

I wanted a dramatic high-low effect, so I had my model try on the bodice and measure how long I wanted the front of the skirt to hit, then folded and measured the skirt like Katie does in the video. I decided on a 12″ skirt front so measured down 13″ to account for seam allowances. Then I used the tutorial directions to cut out the waist hole. Repeat for skirt lining if using.

I wanted my skirt to be full and dramatic, so I chose to add horsehair braid to my hem. I used Tori’s tutorial here.

Use the patterns directions to make the placket and gather both skirt layers to fit the bodice.

Pin and attach the skirt to the bodice and you’re done! I can’t wait to see your versions, be sure to post them in the Facebook Group!

Happy Sewing!

Photos taken by Calli Tuggle at


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