When I found this pattern, Simplicity 2067, I was inspired to make a Black Swan costume based on the movie. Then the supplies ended up sitting around for a year or two before I got around to actually making it a month before Halloween. Pretty soon the project had expanded to include my boyfriend’s complete coordinating costume as well, all made in a few weeks in a burst of new-found determination.
This pattern was pretty straight forward and everything turned out the way I expected it to, for the most part.
For this piece I definitely wanted to start with a muslin first to make sure everything fit ok.
For the pattern I traced a larger size for the waist/hips and a much smaller size for the bust, yet the bust was still too big and pointy looking at the apex, so I ended up shaving off another ¼-½”. I am pretty small so I’m not sure if others would have the same problem.
Other details like boning, etc were not too hard here, and I have some experience making this type of bodice before so I’m pretty familiar with the basic construction. There was one minor problem while setting the grommets. I had never used this particular setting tool before, and I ended up hammering too much and it teared a small circular hole on one side. We did do a few test grommets on a scrap of fabric beforehand, but didn’t inspect it close enough to notice. I always recommend doing this type of permanent setting on a test piece and look closely to make sure everything looks good.
The Tutu Skirt
This skirt gave me some problems and is pretty time consuming to make. There’s a lot of gathering, which is always sort of a pain. The real frustration started when I was almost done and it was time to insert the boning around the hem. This is supposed to make the skirt more stiff and stick out similar to a real tutu. But when I put the boning in, rather than making a loop, it curved in on itself in a weird wavy pattern. I tried many different configurations but nothing seemed to help. It didn’t help that I also accidentally melted the lining fabric to the boning a little with an iron in an attempt to heat it up and shape it. In the end I just took the boning out after much time and frustration.
I spent a lot of time laying out all the embellishments in various configurations to figure out what looked good. The bodice has layers of loose feathers, tulle, faux suede (scraps from the other costume), gemstones, beads, braided trim, and a feather boa. Most of it I just glued on with Gem-Tac or hot glue, and some things like the boa are hand sewn.
I made the crown out of hot glue per this tutorial, with my boyfriend’s help. I made a sketch beforehand and laid it under a large glass casserole dish. Then he put hot glue down over the sketch, and when it cooled it lifted up really easily. Then the plastic crown was glued to a simple head band and painted with black metallic paint. I also placed a few rhinestones randomly on top.
I bought some white tights and white ballet shoes from an online dance supply store. The shoes were surprisingly cheap so I went for the real thing rather than white flats from the shoe store. Then we sewed white ribbon to the shoes for the ankle ties.
I went on a makeup binge, buying a lot of stuff including gel eyeliner, eye shadow pencil, mascara, lipstick, and transparent powder. I also used eyeshadow in white, silver, and blue to add depth to the eye makeup. I really liked the Rimmel eye shadow pencil to fill in the eyes. It goes on really easily and makes a smooth, even black. For the pale face, I had originally gotten some white makeup from the costume store and planned on mixing it with a little foundation for a pale look that wasn’t too clowny. However the white makeup ended up looking really bad so I just went with my standard light foundation. Caked on heavily with the transparent powder to set, it came out looking much better. I also added a little white eyeshadow on my face above and below the eyes to highlight a mask shape.
This makeup was pretty time consuming, especially because I didn't have time to do a trial run first. I'd recommend practicing a bit to get it right.
There are a lot of tutorials available online for this costume. Here is a playlist with some of my favorites.