Copacabana Showgirl Costume for a Dog

Last year I entered Samantha, our 3 month old lab mix puppy, in our local Howl o\’ween Parade.  Since I just got her from the local ASPCA, I went to PetSmart and picked up a cute Bumble Bee outfit.  When I got to the parade, there were four other bees.  I looked around and saw that some of the costumes were absolutely angelic.  I could sew, I could do something that was great like my grandmother used to do for me when I was young.

The quest was on.  What do I make my little girl?  What category do I choose, superhero, funniest.  No, only prettiest would do for my baby.  I put her in coats all winter long so she would be used to wearing a costume when I needed her to wear it.  My husband thought I was taking it to the extreme, but I wanted her to be the Belle of the ball come Halloween.   So my first intention was to make her Belle.  Then I was thinking a flower.  The idea finally came when I was listening to an oldies station WCBS and I heard Copacabana.  I found myself singing this song VERY loudly.  That was it.  I found what I was looking for.

I went to Joann’s fabrics the next day and started looking at material.  David Tutera Bridal Collection had a gorgeous peacock blue fabric and it was half off.  Then onto AC Moore and found the matching feathers.  I used her winter coat as a template and created the dress.  The embellishments were a funny story.  I work in a hospital and I brought in the costume, every day at lunchtime, I would hand sew the ostrich feathers.  At one point, you could find a blue feather in the break room almost every day.  I finished the feathers, flowers, beads and sequins in 3 weeks of lunches.

My biggest challenge was the headpiece.  I did not want to attach it to Samantha with elastic, I wanted it to look like a showgirl.  Back to Joann’s… I found a piece of stretch velveteen fabric and made a headband with a velcro closure.  I got a styrofoam half circle and covered it with the bridal fabric and stuck in feathers and beads, and completed it with silver fringe.  My outfit was complete.  All this for a mere $112 and about 32 hours of work.

Samantha loves wearing her dress.  She likes to show it off.  When people see it, the first thing they saw is “awww”.  When I tell them that she is a Copacabana Showgirl”, they all start singing… “Her name is Samantha, she was a showgirl”.  Mission accomplished.