Three Peasant Pas Dresses

While the classical ballet tutu is the iconic shape for ballet there are a few other costumes that make a regular appearance. The peasant pas dress is one of them. Here are three I made earlier this year; the copper silk for YAGP and the blue silk and russet stretch for Alana Haines in Wellington New Zealand.

I loved the bodice detail on this one. Rather than the typical laced corset bodice this one had little horizontal bars. I also found the most perfect coloured roses to give some points of interest to the bodice decoration.

CU bodice
bodice detail

The faux chemise under the bodice is 8mm tissue silk that had been gathered and steamed into rough pleats. This is on of my favourite techniques and I always have 5 metres of this on hand. It’s inexpensive and easy to use. I think it gives a much better effect than polyester chiffon and about the same price.

silk chemise and bodice detail

The skirt was not the typical fluffy style but a lower profile dress with just a couple of layers of tulle underneath. The top layer was the same tissue silk because the teacher wanted a lovely soft float to the skirt.

Low profile skirt

I added a few little roses to the sleeves for a tiny splash of colour.

CU sleeve
sleeve detail

The brown guipure lace continues around the back of the bodice. I bought this lace online thinking it was gold and I wondered if I’d ever use it. I think it’s perfect in this application.

costume back

The costume was shipped to California and I received this photo back. It’s lovely to see my costumes come alive on dancers.

dancer and dress

The next was another traditional peasant pas with silk bodice but with a romantic tutu rather than a low profile skirt.

Kirov Peasant Pas

I couldn’t resist flowers, it is a peasant dress after all. You can see the ruched silk effect again here but the corset is underbust so more of the ruching can be seen.

Crisp detail on the puffed sleeves

As you can see the skirt is very fluffy. It has 2 layers of bridal tulle on the top 2 layers of dress net underneath.

3 rows of ribbon give a very crisp finish

One of the difficulties with these skirts is the tendency of the net to wrap around the legs during turns. My client came back with the dress to see if we could fix it. I put in 12 long swing tacks (about 8cm) evenly around the skirt at the level of the ribbon and the problem vanished.

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Quarterfinalist Sienna

The last peasant pas dress I made was a stretch version. This is another of Dani Legge’s terrific patterns.

bodice detail

You can see I was again rather taken with the brown guipure lace and the dusty pink roses. I added a few little carnations as well and a coppery ribbon for the traditional corset lacing.

sleeve detail
apron detail


This costume had the traditional apron as well as ribbon trim around the bottom of the skirt.


There’s not a lot of requests for peasant pas costumes in Australia. I look forward to Alana Haines 2019 when the next requests come in.

Published by barbarasanders2077

I am a costumier living and working in Sydney's leafy upper North Shore. I specialise in dance costumes (particularly classical ballet tutus) but I also love the challenges presented by stage and film costuming and am always looking for new costume genres to explore.

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