My daughter has always wanted a Carmen Miranda costume because it is vibrant and unique. I began with the headpiece. It is very simple to do. I just purchased plastic fruit from my local Dollar Tree and added plume feathers that I purchased for $1.99 on eBay! All of this was randomly hot glued onto a wide headband! All of the fabric was purchased at a local salvage store. Sometimes the "loudest" colors are the ones that make the best costumes! I only have $5.00 in the fabric and $2.00 in the trim!
I used my sewing machine to make lots of wide ruffles in various colors! I purchased a pair of red stretch pants and began sewing the ruffles one on top of the other until I had created the pants. I used one of my daughter's shirts as a pattern for the top and just added snaps down the back. You can purchase the trim at WalMart. Add lots of bracelets and other tropical accessories and you have an awesome CARMEN MIRANDA! My daughter has already won an Overall Best Costume this year in a pageant!
To make this Homemade Carmen Miranda Costume, I took the bodice off of an old prom dress and hemmed it. Then I took scraps of various cloth to make the skirt and sash. The hat, of course, was the focal point. I took a piece of floral foam, used bobby pins to secure it to a baseball cap with the brim cut off, covered it with white cloth, and glued the fruit and giant "hatpins" on it.
I carved the fruit out of floral foam as well, and covered it with glitter. The "pineapple" stems are from an old fake flower arrangement. The jewelry is all plastic kid's stuff, and my model happened to already own a perfect pair of turquoise platforms with a cork heel.