DIY Halloween Costume: Degas’ Little Dancer

One of my coworkers has a truly spectacular annual Halloween party with elaborate decorations and themed refreshments. There’s even a creepy, life-size, animated butler that acts as a photo backdrop. Showing up in costume is an absolute requirement.

Coming up with a costume idea this year was a struggle. But then I attended the Joffrey Ballet’s fantastic fall program, Human Landscapes. The dancers in the middle piece, Pretty Ballet, wore long, sheer tulle costumes that floated as they moved in a way that reminded me of Degas’ paintings of dancers. Truly lovely.

Then I recalled how a friend of a friend had dressed as Degas’s Little Dancer sculpture for Halloween one year in college. It seemed like the perfect idea to borrow.

Degas’ Little Dancer

So after some serious thrift store rummaging, I came home with these items:

before: tacky vest and flower girl dress for a small child

I removed the skirt from the bodice of the dress and re-gathered it to fit an adult (It broke my heart a little bit to take apart that dress, but only because at age 5, I would have thought it the best. dress. ever.) I altered the vest to make it look more like a bodice, fastened it with snaps, added buttons for show, and gathered the neckline. I think the result is pretty successful.

after: completed costume

not bad for a less-than-$10 Halloween costume!

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