This is my first attempt, and it's a bit on the cheesy and last-minute side (we decided about a week ago to do a 4th of July performance for some friends!) but all in all I'm happy with how it turned out, and now I can make more intricate, beaded belts that actually fit (as opposed to the tubes of fabric they sell that only fit... well, no one, really).
I pinned the fabric around me (5 darts in all, ranging from 1-2 inches each), sewed them into the facing (sheer fabric with interfacing ironed on) and backing (plain white fabric), then sewed those pieces together and added the grommetted edge pieces. I slapped on some patriotic plastic bits and it was good enough for that performance! I do plan to bling it up more if I ever use it again, but I can set it aside (and work on others) until Memorial Day next year.
It only took about 2 hours (I realized a truly beaded one will take weeks, but for something fun and festive and cheesy, 2 hours isn't bad!) so I can make one for every weird holiday and be set! Talk like a Pirate Day, I'm thinkin' of you, specifically...
If anyone has any tips/experience/critiques I'd love to hear them - I want to get better! (I consider myself a pretty novice sewer, so this was a pretty big deal for me to tackle, even though it's really simple... I need all the help I can get!)