Handmade Pocahontas Costume

Alrighty, Halloween's been and gone and here's my costume all put together! You'll have to excuse the awkward pose and facial expressions, here:


Handmade stretch suede dress with hand tied fringe cording. The dress is based on a sweetheart neckline strapless dress that I modified to have a single shoulder and triangle hem. I kept the proportions as true to the film as possible - thigh-high slit and all! Construction details here.


The belt was simply a piece of brown faux-suede cut to the proper shape, with a lace up back so I could get it on and off. I thought about attaching it to the dress so it wouldn't slide around, but figured I would just let it be.


Handmade necklace, made of sculpy. I shaped the necklace first, baked it, then cut it into beads. I painted the lighter beads with acrylic paint and strung the whole thing on hemp cord. Construction details here.


I experimented with a few different approaches to the tattoo. I read about mixing pigments with moisturizer to make a body paint, but I found this wasn't as bold of color, was too thick to apply with great precision and it didn't dry. I also tried using cheap facepaint sticks, which also weren't satisfactory. In the end I simply used red and yellow food coloring and painted the tattoo on with a paint brush. I think I used two drops of red and three drops of yellow. I let it air dry for ten minutes then blotted it with tissue until the tissue came off (mostly) clean. It barely rubbed off all night - there was a little pinkish tinge on the dress by the tattoo and on the lining of my cloak, but not noticeable amounts. It washed right off with soap and water when I showered in the morning. I am very pleased with how using food coloring worked. Here it is near the end of the night:

Non-canon accessories

Now, since I live in a colder environment I can't just prance around barefoot and bare-shouldered all night. (Maybe if I went to a club or something, but that's not my scene). I also wanted my shoes and sweater to fit with the costume. I found some cute moccasin booties at WalMart for $12:

And I made a cloak of "animal skins" (scraps of faux suede and faux fur I had in my scrap bin) to wear over my shoulders. The cloak kept me nice and warm - I wasn't cold at all during the night - and fit the costume pretty well. I left the bottom hem open out of laziness and because I kind of liked the tattered bits hanging down.

I'm really glad I finally did Pocahontas. I put a lot of effort into the costume and really like how it turned out - even If I didn't go anywhere special, hehe. It'll be nice to have around if I ever need a costume for a con or something. I'd be proud to wear it again!

5 things about

Handmade Pocahontas Costume
  1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love your costume. One of these days I'm going to sew my own costume, but I think I need to be invited to a party first! I hope you had fun on Halloween

  2. Thank you! I had a good Halloween, and you should *totally* make your own costume - it's very fun to have total control over how it looks!

  3. Hi, I found your blog while looking for Pocahontas necklaces, I'm going to do mine similar to yours with the sculpy, and the food coloring for the tattoo. This is for a pin-up shoot for a group I'm in, thanks for the clear instructions on the necklace!

  4. Yay! I'm glad you found it useful. There aren't many guides for this costume available. If you remember, you should link me to the finished costume if they are posted online!

  5. I have the start of the necklace up on my photobucket, http://s712.photobucket.com/albums/ww130/Missojai/Pin-up%20outfits%20and%20pics/
    I'll be posting the pics of the finished product and the best pics from the eventual shoot there too :)


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