Introduction: Bjork Costume (Or "Just a Swan")

About: Indie game developer, illustrator, comicker, costumer, sword/spoon fighter, Viking enthusiast & wears many hats

My last costume of the year - and it's my favorite one I've done to date (well, next to Ryuk.) Who *wouldn't* want to make and wear this kooky costume?? The construction is very easy, however it is pretty time consuming! So read up on how to do it now, to get ready for next Halloween (or your next red carpet event).

Step 1: Supplies

What you'll need:

One-piece (crotchless) your-flesh-tone nylon bodysuit (a separate long-sleeved nylon shirt and nylon pantyhose would work too)
Hot-Fix Rhinestones/Swarovski Crystals/Bling
Rhinestone HotFix Wand
Mannequin (or cardboard cut-outs shaped like your limbs and torso!)

Pair of open-toe white high-heels with ankle strap
White Pleather or Leather
Nylon Thread
Needle and Thimble
Seal Cement
Sand Paper

Swan Costume
Non-fray Nylon-Chiffon Fabric (You will need a lot. I bought about 26 yards from Dreamspun)
White Satin
LOTS of pins
Fabric Scissors
Sewing Machine
White 6-7 inch Marabou Feathers
Fluffy and/or Furry White Fabric
Black and Orange Fabric
Black Doll Eyes
Fiber Fill
White Sturdy Fabric

Black wig with long bangs
wig cap
bobby pins
hair pins

Acrylic Paint
Small Paintbrush
Hair Spray

Flesh-tone Lace Bra
Contact Lenses (Hazel)
Large Plastic Egg
White Spray-Paint
White Short Petti-skirt

Step 2: Body Suit

Plug in and turn on your rhinestone hotfix applicator. Put the nylon bodysuit over your mannequin. Divide up your rhinestones into small piles allocated to the front torso, back torso, left arm, right arm, left leg and right leg. I had about 13 crystals for each section of various sizes. Have your stones facing 'up', and select one at a time with the applicator wand. You just need to 'dab' at the crystal with the want to pick it up. Let the glue on the back of the crystal melt (about 8 seconds or so) then 'dab' the stone where you want it on it on the bodysuit. It's pretty easy (and kind of fun) and the wand should also come with more thorough instructions. You want to make sure the size of the applicator wand head is the same size as the crystals you purchased.

If you don't have a mannequin (and I'm guessing most people don't. I myself just purchased one a few months ago!) you can trace and cut out over-sized cardboard shapes of your arms, torso and legs. Repeat the above stone-fixing process as above, but one body-part-section at a time.

Step 3: Shoes

I was kind of annoyed I couldn't find a similar type of shoe that Björk wore. You can settle for white or black heels, or make your own!

Get comfortable (cheap) white heels with (at least) an ankle strap and open toe. Remove an unnessceray straps and bling. Take your white leather/pleather and cut out 12 strips about .75cm wide and 2 strips that have an initial wider 'triangle base' (these will be your t-straps). Space 6 of the strips about .75cm apart from one another, and sew a t-strap down the middle of them. Repeat this with the remaining pieces.

Sand the underside of the wide-end of the t-strap, your straps, and the edges of your shoe. Apply some seal cement to the center edge of the shoe, and some to the back of the t-strap. Position the wide-end of a t-strap at the end of your shoe and press down. Hold the t-strap in place with pins. Repeat the gluing process for all of the straps.

After the glue has dried and you remove the pins, sew through the straps and shoe edge, just for extra strength.

Step 4: Dress - Pettiskirt

First make a pettiskirt. There are lots of tutorialsoutthere - and when I bought my fabric to make my dress from Dreamspun, I also bought their tutorial. Other wise, you can do a quick google search on how to make a two-tiered pettiskirt. It's easy, just time consuming (especially if you have to hand-gather the ruffles).

Once your pettiskirt is completed, begin the long, boring, soul-sucking process of hand-pleating-and-pinning 3" wide super-long strips to the outer layer of your skirt. You will be doing 14 of these on the entire skirt, all of them slightly overlapping.

Sure, you can use a ruffler-foot on your sewing machine instead of pleating and pinning them in place by hand. And sure, you can do wider strips, and fewer of them, and space them further apart. BUT. It will not be as fluffeh.

Step 5: Dress - Swan Body

Cut out two right-angle triangles out of white sturdy fabric. Pin the sides together (with right/correct sides facing themselves) and sew them together, leaving the top un-stitched. Turn the finished piece inside out. Adorn with feathers and extra pleated pieces of nylon chiffon.

Cut out two 'U' shapes from your white fluffy fabric, two small orange triangles, and two black eye-blobby shapes. Sew a 'blobby' shapes onto the end of one of the U pieces, then an orange piece. Repeat. Cut a small hole through the blobby-shape and white fluffy fabric and insert a doll eye (repeat). Sew the altered U-pieces together (with right-sides facing each other and leaving the edge without the orange/black part open). Turn inside out. Stuff with fiber fill. Sew to feathered triangle piece. Add more feathers and chiffon to 'blend' the pieces together.

Sew your body to the super fluffy pettiskirt!

Step 6: Wig and Contacts

Put your hair up into pin curls and secure in place with bobbi-pins. Pull on a wigcap, and secure that (at the pin curl locations) with hair pins. Carefully pull on your wig, and secure it with wig pins. For a more details explanation on how to prep/put on a wig, please see my other Instructables.

I need to wear (contact) lenses to see, so I decided to get some special contact lenses; I bought some green circle lenses for this costume to get more of a doll-ish appearance, since Björk is so petite! And, well, I'm 6'2 when I'm in the heels for this costume. For more information about contact lenses, please visit my other Instructables.

Step 7: Tattoo

Using a small paintbrush and black acrylic paints, paint The Vegvisir (that's what Björk's tattoo is) onto your upper-left arm. After it's dried, lightly go over it with hairspray to prevent it from flaking off.

Step 8: Put It Together! *bonus* Egg Purse!

All you need to do now is finish assembling everything together - just make sure to wear your undergarments in the correct order. Bra first, then open bodysuit, and finally knickers, if you don't want to take off your entire costume when you have to go to the loo! Add the swan dress, extra petti-skirt (if you want more volume. And you do!) and shoes.

Feel free to make your own egg purse too! Björk had one (and 'laid' several other large eggs). The easiest way to do this is to buy a large novelty over-sized plastic Easter egg and spray-paint it white.

You have seen it all. So now go..and make a Björk-Swan Costume.

Halloween Costume Contest

Fourth Prize in the
Halloween Costume Contest