Archive for October, 2011

Happy Halloween, Part 1: Bjork

Last year I decided to go crazy with my Halloween costume.   The two previous years I had worked in a children’s music studio where “Halloween week” was a big production.  I’d dress up for my classes, six days in a row, and by the end of the week, I’d be so burnt out on Halloween that when the actual day arrived I’d stay in.

So, after too many years of dressing up as Cruella De Vil, I needed a new costume to remind myself that part of me still loves Halloween. My friend Joy inspired me to make the Bjork swan dress and she gave me tips on how to execute it.

The Tutorial



  • A base for the tulle skirt (I bought a petticoat at a local thrift store and cut it so it hits a few inches above the knee)
  • Lots of tulle (I used 8 yards extra-wide ivory tulle and 4 yards regular-width gold tulle)
  • A top (I used a vintage slip)
  • White feather boa
  • White wings (optional)
  • Styrofoam cone and paint for swan head
  • Glue
  • Wig (optional)

For the top of my costume, I bought a nude slip with lace embellishment around the neck.  I cut off the bottom and sewed on a fringe upholstry trim that peeks out of the finished garment.

The tulle skirt started as a high-waisted petticoat. I cut it a little shorter than the slip I’d wear underneath it, and then started adding tulle.  I cut the tulle in 4-5 inch strips. Then, I individually “bunched” each strip and sewed them to the skirt.  I didn’t worry about being too precise during this process, because the idea was just to cover the skirt with an insane amount of tulle.

I carved the swan head from a styrofoam cone (using a couple pictures for reference) and then painted it with ivory, black and orange paint.  After it had dried, I glued the swan head to one end of the feather boa.

Putting it all Together

The swan head feather boa wraps around the shoulders and tucks into the skirt.  I pinned two white wings to the top of the skirt to hide the part where the boa tucks in.  I wore a short dark wig (model # “emo”) from Cliff’s Variety.   I also made a hair fascinator using white feathers, gold tulle, and a hair comb.

I received sooo many compliments on this costume, making every effort to create it totally worth the time spent.  But I also think it could be made quickly with little to no sewing involved.  A white tutu with loose white feathers glued on, for example, could look just as fancy.

I’m starting to work on this year’s costume and I’ll post it here in Part 2.  Happy Halloween!  To be continued…