October 10, 2011

DIY: Peacock Costume

Continuing my October Monday costume tutorial feature, I am pleased to present the DIY Peacock Costume. This one is good because you can kinda do what you want with it - what I've done here is just a suggestion. Make a different tail piece, lose the skirt ruffles, nix the gloves; as long as you have the general color scheme and some feathers then the peacock vibes with shine through.

What You Need:
Peacock feathers
Green felt (.75 yard)
Yellow felt (2 sheets)
Navy stretch fabric (.5 yard)
Green satin (.5 yard)
Blue satin (.5 yard)
Turquoise shirt
Blue fringe
Blue decorative trim
Blank headband
Black elastic (.25" width)
Black tights
Hot glue gun
Sewing machine/needle & thread

How To Make It:

1. For the top: I started with a turquoise shirt with ruffle sleeves that I no longer needed and I sewed blue tassel trim to the sleeves for added flair. I then sewed the blue and gold trim down the front sides of the top for even more flair. Basically you just want everything to be overly fancy (satin, royal tones, fringe, detail etc.) like a true peacock.

2. For the skirt: I made a waistband from the stretch navy fabric, added a basting stitch to strips of both the green and blue satin and then gathered those stitches for a ruffled effect. I sewed these pieces together to finish the skirt and individually glued the trimmed tops of some peacock feathers to the underside of the hem.

3. For the back piece: I cut a feathered shape from the cardboard and hot glued green felt to both the back and front to cover it. Paint would also work here. I then layered many, many peacock feathers over the felt starting at the base and working outward, hot glueing as I went. Finish with 2 loops of elastic glued to the piece which will be used to make it wearable (like costume wings). The length of elastic will vary so test out lengths until it feels comfortable.

4. For the head piece: I glued peacock feathers to a black headband both lying down and pointing up until I liked the pattern.

5. For the gloves: I cut 4 sleeve-shaped pieces from the stretch navy fabric, finishing 2 of the shapes in a "V" (these will be the top of the glove). Next, line the upper hem with a piece of the blue satin and sew a loop of elastic to the "V" so you can wear it around middle finger. Sew the inside seams of the gloves and tuck some trimmed feather tips into the outside seam so that the feathers are sticking out to the side. Sew over the seam/feathers.

6. For the belt: I cut a belt length piece of the green felt, finishing it off with velcro for a fastener. I then glued some feathers in a design that I liked to make it regal (remember, that's what all the details are about!)

7. For the feet: I cut a bird-foot-shaped piece from each sheet of yellow felt, making sure to include a thin rectangle wide enough to go around my ankle at the top of the foot in the cut. Add velcro to the ends of that rectangle to secure. I also drew a seam on the top of the foot which I stitched along to keep it stiff.

Wear over black tights and black flats and you're done! You can make this much more simple than I did if you want to and it would still look great. Or you could make it even crazier and that would work too! When it comes to peacocks, anything goes!

If you decide to dress as a peacock send some photos!

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