My dance studio asked me to make the top part of a Gaston costume for a small child for a dance piece. I was given a budget of $35 and told to do something similar to the Disney version, so it was recognizable but wouldn’t look like a cheap Halloween costume. So with that, I created multiple designs for them to choose from and made the costume based on the measurements I was given.

MaterialsCanvas, Four-way stretch, snaps, PLA, t-shirt, yarn
Date Complete5/9/21
ProjectDance costume


I made three initial designs. One was a traditional tee-shirt with a gingham patterned vest and a big “G” on the back. The second was a tee-shirt with lacing and a tiny vest to give the illusion that the kid is bigger than he is. The final design was a buttoned-up shirt with the sleeves cut off with frayed edges. All of these designs included a big belt with a traditional buckle.

When I presented my ideas to the director, she liked the normal-sized vest and the laced shirt and asked me to make a new design with those pieces. From there, I decided to change the look of the vest to give it a mustard color and make it quilted to give it texture, similar to a picture of the Disneyland Paris Gaston I found. I also changed the belt buckle to be more ornate with a “G” on it, along with a “G” on the back of the vest. When I brought that back to the director, she liked my new design but said the studio owner, the other person who had to approve my design, didn’t like the “G” on the back of the vest.

From there, I started working on it. I started with making a pattern for the vest and made a mock-up for the wearer to try on. Unfortunately, I could not be there for the fitting, but the studio owner was there, and she texted me a photo and said everything looked good, I just needed to size down the tee-shirt. Once I exchanged the shirt, I started trying to find the best way to do the lacing. I remembered seeing someone use buttonholes instead of grommets and decided to use that because I didn’t have a grommet maker, and if I were to purchase one, it would have gone over my budget. I quickly made a mock-up on a piece of muslin with the buttonholes and kept the excess above because I was afraid of the tee-shirt fraying and didn’t know the best way to stop it while still maintaining its stretch. I checked that with the director, got the go-ahead, and did that on the real shirt.

I then made the vest. The sad thing was that I could not use quilted fabric for the vest because that would have also gone over budget. So I just went with a heavy, almost canvas type of fabric that I got on sale for relatively cheap.

While working on the sewing, I also designed in CAD and 3D printed the belt buckle. I then used 4-way stretch material to make the belt part and added snaps as a closure. With that, the costume was finished.

What I would change:
I would have loved to make the vest with quilted fabric instead, but that was not possible with the small budget. Also, I wish the lacing was a little bit cleaner on the inside. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much time because they took forever to get back to me, making it harder to get everything done in time.