How to Make Your Own Cowboy and Indian Fancy Dress Costume

Written by michelle barry
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How to Make Your Own Cowboy and Indian Fancy Dress Costume
The cowboys and Indians era is filled with dramatic scenes in a local saloon. (cowboy image by Empath from Fotolia.com)

Fancy dress cowboy and Indian costumes typically are composed of many frills and embellishments to make the costumes attractive and even sexy. A popular choice for a cowboy-themed fancy dress costume is that of the saloon girl. For an Indian, the Indian princess is an ensemble that can be both fancy and flirtatious. Either costume can be made with a few purchases from a local craft or vintage store combined with many items that are already in your home.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Satin dress
  • Scissors
  • Fabric marker
  • Fabric glue
  • Needle and thread
  • Two feather boas
  • One large feather
  • Hair clips
  • Fishnet stockings
  • Boots
  • Gloves
  • Large brown pillowcase
  • Scissors
  • Fabric marker
  • Measuring tape
  • Dark brown felt
  • Fabric glue
  • Feather
  • Brown sandals

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Choose a calf-length dress in a shimmery fabric, such as satin, as the centrepiece for the costume.

  2. 2

    Cut a thin, triangle shape out of the front side of the skirt of the costume, with the point of the triangle hitting approximately half way up the wearer's leg. For accuracy, have the wearer try the dress on and mark the skirt with a fabric marker where you want to cut out the section.

  3. 3

    Glue with a fabric glue or sew a feather boa along the hem of the dress skirt and to line the triangular-shaped cut out.

  4. 4

    Cut and glue or sew another feather boa to line the neckline of the dress. The boa should encircle the wearer's neck, lining the neckline from the front to the back.

  5. 5

    Pin a large feather to the front side of your hair. Wear a pair of fishnet stockings with high heeled boots and a pair of elbow length gloves to complete the ensemble.

  1. 1

    Cut a hole large enough to fit your head through in the closed top of a brown or tan pillowcase. Choose a longer pillowcase than the standard, such as one for a body pillow.

  2. 2

    Turn the pillowcase inside out and pull it over your head. Mark on the pillowcase with a fabric marker where your shoulders hit. Draw on the pillowcase with a fabric marker to indicate where the neckline and straps should fall. Draw a sweetheart neckline on the pillowcase with thick straps connecting the front to the back.

  3. 3

    Cut out holes for your arms and trim away the rest of the material to form the neckline and straps based on your markings. Turn the pillowcase right-side out and try it on again. Make note of any additional corrections that need to be made and remove the pillowcase. Trim away more material as needed.

  4. 4

    Measure the waist of the wearer as well as the circumference of the open bottom of the pillowcase. Add 6 inches to the waist measurement and cut out a 2-inch wide strip from the brown felt material. This will be a belt to tie around the wearers waist outside of the dress. Cut a 6-inch strip of felt to match the measurements of the pillowcase circumference as well. Turn the strip into fringe by making 5-inch tall cuts in the fringe a half inch apart from each other for the length of the material. Glue the uncut edge of the fringe strip along the hem of the bottom of the pillowcase dress.

  5. 5

    Trace the sweetheart neckline of the dress onto another piece of brown felt. Move the neckline of the dress 6 inches below the first drawn line of the felt and trace it again. Connect the two lines with a horizontal line on each side and cut out the shape. Turn the strip into fringe by cutting 5-inch long strips into the fabric a half inch a part. Glue the uncut edge along the top of the neckline so the fringe falls over the bust area. Pin a feather in the wearer's hair and wear a pair of plain brown sandals to complete the Indian princess ensemble.

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