Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Halloween Costumes!

Now that it's almost Christmas, I thought it was about time I show you what we did for Halloween!!  Settle in, this is a long one!
Sam was a pumpkin.  The most adorable one I've even seen.

Kids Clothing Week was more like Kids Costume Week here.  I still have grand intentions of finishing up some kids clothing sewing before the year is out but seriously....there are only a few weeks left in the year so we'll see.

This year, after much deliberation on Matthew's part, the kids settled on a Tiger and a "Purple Sparkley Princess with a Magic Wand" as what they wanted to be for Halloween.

Easy enough.  Matthew won't wear elaborate costumes so I knew we had to adapt regular clothes as best we could.  We found an orange long sleeve shirt and painted black stripes onto it with fabric paint.  He did the sleeves before he lost interest.



The pants took a little more time.  I couldn't find ready made orange pants anywhere, so I bought some plain twill fabric, dyed it orange, and then used this pattern to turn them into pants and painted them.

For Abby it was clear she knew exactly what she wanted and I was excited for the challenge of meeting her expectations.  I found this pattern on Etsy and knew it'd make the perfect princess dress that I could customize.  It was a great pattern, and I wanted something that could double as a dress up costume once Halloween was over.  I used the 4T size and it's a little tight.  Abby is a sturdy 3 1/2 year old but I was hoping for a little more wiggle room as she needs help getting into this one.  Oh well.  It's adorable and I'll happily help her get into it.  Just a note for next time.

I scoured the remnant bins at JoAnn's for a while before to get most of the fabrics I used and then put it together relatively easily, although sewing with costume satin is like trying to sew jello together.  Not fun no matter what pattern and how many pins you're using.

I overlayed the netting stuff early on and sewed it down so I could treat that and the satin as "one piece" and it was a little easier to sew.  The netting seemed to stabilize the satin a little, which was a happy outcome I wasn't anticipating.  I used ribbon and bias tape along the edges to hide my mistakes and the fact that I really didn't want to hem that satin stuff (that has resulted in some nasty fraying, but nothing super destructive or world ending).

I chose to close the dress with these hook and eye things, mainly because that's what I had and I wasn't smart enough to think of using velcro so she could put it on herself.  Isn't that smart for a dress up/costume outfit?  My mother-in-law had that insight and I'm definitely going to use it on the next princess dress we make!

We made a tiger mask and crown out of felt that I glued together (lesson: use glue that is NOT water soluble so when you spill water on it at the church Halloween party the pieces will stay on) and sewed elastic to the sides to keep it on.

Abby also required a "Magic Wand" so we cut a wooden dowel in half, she painted it yellow, and then directed the placement of the flowers and ribbons that I applied with a glue gun.
Sash, wand holster, it's all the same.

My first and favorite memories of sewing are listening to my mom cut patterns on the living room floor for our Halloween costumes, the hum of the machine while she sewed them up in the dining room after we went to bed, being "forced" to come try things on and hand her pins, but I loved it.  Having awesome costumes was one of the best things about being a kid.  So when people ask why I make their costumes instead of getting an $8 costume at Costco (by the way, there's NOTHING wrong with buying costumes at all!!), it's definitely not easier or cheaper, but I do it because I like the memories that I hope they will have, and also really like the challenge of fulfilling the fashion desires of a 3 year old. 

They have both worn and used elements of their costumes since Halloween and had the BEST time trick-or-treating so even though it took all of kids clothes week I'm calling it a total win! And if you made it this far, you deserve a Christmas cookie since I hope you don't have any Halloween candy left!!

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