La Fille Mal Gardee

Here I will document the process of creating a costume for Isabel’s pointe solo this year. She will be dancing a Lise variation from La Fille Mal Gardee (The Badly Guarded Daughter). This comic ballet was first performed in 1789. The style of this costume is a very feminine and flirty, French country maiden.

This is our goal:

1 2


We are starting with this as our base. This costume was used by daughter #4 in a recital dance 2 years ago. We plan to add a white v-shaped inset to fake the lace-up bodice. We’ll also add a top layer to the skirt and the floral apron.





Purchases so far:

– green velvet trim for the bodice laces — Hobby Lobby, $3

– white ruffley trim for the sides of the white V inset — JoAnn’s, $4

– white venice lace floral appliques (4 pieces total, 17″ x 5″) that we will paint/dye and attach to the apron — eBay, $8

Total cost so far – $15.

Picked up the white matte satin fabric for the bodice inset at a fabric store for $4.

After cutting the bodice inset to the size and shape we wanted, we cut and glued the green ribbon laces down and then glued the white ruffle trim onto the edges. This will be sewn onto the front of the bodice, but not yet as we are still figuring out the overlay addition to the skirt.

Total cost so far – $19.



Today we cut out the apron from remaining fabric purchased for the bodice inset. Not wanting to hem stitch the edges, we purchased a simple white trim and machine stitched it to the side and bottom edges of the apron. — local farbic store, $1

Total cost so far – $20.


Time to paint the lace for the apron. We bought 4 small bottles of craft paint, 1 peach and 4 shades of green — Walmart, $3. Ended up using only one on the greens and another peach that I already had. To paint the lace I watered down the paint so that it simply wicks into the lace almost like a dye.

We removed the sheer peach overlay skirt, and added a white organza skirt over the soft white skirt. The bodice inset was sewn to the bodice neckline. We are almost done!

Total cost so far – $23.



First revision! After running the mostly completed costume past our dance coach, and seeing the costume worn in the dance, it was decided that the apron was too heavy. Purchased some white lace and lace trim at Hancock’s for $5. Made a new apron, same size as the other, added the lace trim, and glued the painted applique into place. Much lighter in both weight and look.

Total cost so far – $28.



Just need some small white trim for the edge of the organza skirt and I think we will be done!



The search for the skirt trim was tougher than it should have been. Finally found 2 rolls of a small white and peach trim – $4 at Hobby Lobby. Opted to glue it to the skirt as I was afraid of chewing up the organza while trying to sew on the very edge. Looks great and gives a bit of form and lift to the skirt. We’ll run it by our dance coach on Friday and probably run the dance in it. Other than some type of hair piece, I think we are done!

Total cost so far – $32.


Our costume is done! It looked great in the dance. The lighter apron, and skirt trim really made a difference. We will be putting together a small headpiece to go on top of a low, braided bun. Probably peach flowers with some ribbons hanging down on the ends. But for now, here is our completed Lise variation costume:

1 2



All we need to complete our Lise costume is the headpiece. The dancer’s hair will be parted in the middle and braided in two low ponytails. These will be wrapped low and wide just above the nape of the neck. The headpiece will sit just above this.

A trip to the dollar store gave us our silk flowers: one bunch of peach roses, and one large candle ring with white sweetheart rosebuds. We cut the candle ring in half and wired it onto the plastic hair comb. This gives a nice curve to the arrangement. Then, and I lucked out here, the candle ring had babies breath in it. I slid these off of their plastic spikes and popped on three peach roses.

Ribbons, two in sage and two in peach, were simply tied onto the outer edges of the flowers. We’ll cut the ribbons so they end slightly above the shoulders, and we might curl then a bit.

This headpiece was very inexpensive to make:
– silk flowers — Dollar Tree, $2
– plastic comb — Walmart, $1
– 2 rolls of ribbon — local fabric store, $3
Total cost of headpiece – $7

Grand total cost for this costume – $38


Spread the love

← Previous post

Next post →


  1. Would you like to sell this custome?

    • I am flattered, Angie, but there is a lot of love in this costume, and I have one more dancer coming up. Sorry 🙁

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *