It’s almost Halloween! I love Halloween. And as one of those annoying moms who likes making costumes from scratch, I’ve been busy. I don’t really sew, I just kind of make things up, but I do have to make my kids’ costumes from materials that can withstand multiple trips to the washing machine because they wear them until the costumes literally either fall apart or can’t be squeezed into anymore. (They all still wear their kangaroo costumes from two years ago, even though the cuffs on the legs are now up to mid-calf.)
Last year Aden was a grey horse, Mona was a trumpeter swan, and Quinn was a purple cat.
This year the girls each changed their minds about a dozen times before
Aden settled on wanting to be a dragon and Mona a dalmatian. Quinn
decided months ago that he wanted to be a blue jay. I have no idea why
any of them picked the things they did. I’m not completely done, but
two out of three of the costumes are essentially ready and I plan to
tackle the last one (the dragon) this weekend.
I decided to do Mona’s costume first because it was the most
straightforward. The trickiest thing, honestly, was finding white
fabric with black spots that wouldn’t make her look like a cow.
Everything in our local fabric store looked like cow spots (insert joke
about living in Wisconsin here), and I didn’t want Mona having to tell
people she was a dalmatian over and over. (There was a little boy who
came to my door last year dressed as Peter Pan who everyone, including
myself, mistook for Robin Hood, and he looked so sad about it! I put a
high priority on trying to make costumes as recognizable as I can.) I
ended up ordering some fabric on eBay that looked dalmatian-like.
Since I don’t use a pattern I just have my kids lie down on the
material and I trace them. Mona is about as patient as your average
six-year-old, which is to say, not very. She spread herself out on the
fabric the first time I asked, and when I had the pieces cut out and
needed her to lie down again she sighed and said, “Oh, I’m so glad this
is almost done!”–not realizing at all how much was left to do.
Anyway, Mona’s costume came out pretty cute. She’s mostly excited
that we bought a real dog collar at the pet store for her to wear with
it, and this weekend I’m going to make some kind of dog tag with her
name on it to attach to the front. Here’s the finished dalmatian:
Making a blue jay costume wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to
be. I figured as long as I got the black stripes and the white feather
tips right, people should be able to tell he’s a blue jay. I used some
upholstery foam left over from a chair cushion I worked on over the
summer to pad the wings and the tail. Quinn refuses to wear the beak I
made, insisting his nose is the beak. He looks really adorable flapping
around, but he won’t pose for a decent picture so you’ll have to get
the idea from these:
The two of us made a trip to the fabric store together and
brainstormed a bit about how we should make her horns, what color the
spikes down her back and tail should be (we went with blue since there
is a bunch of it left from Quinn’s costume), and it was really nice.
Especially since the other night we had a frustrating confrontation
about how she wasn’t doing several of the things we’d asked her to do. I
explained (AGAIN) that the clutter of toys around her bed was
unacceptable because if I needed to get to her in the middle of the
night it wasn’t fair to make me also run an obstacle course. She should
want to move the toys because they hurt my feet. (I’ve always thought
those people who walk over hot coals should really make their way along a
trail of jumbled legos if they really want to impress anyone.)
Aden got a little snotty with me saying that she just didn’t feel like
picking the toys up, so I suggested that because I had to use my time
doing the things she was supposed to be doing, that with the time I had
left I might not feel like making her a costume. Now her floor is clear
and her shoes are away and her backpack is hung up. I wish I had that
kind of leverage more often.
But so far so good. The Halloween dance at the school is less than
two weeks away, so I’m feeling a little ahead of the game for a change.
It’s fun playing with my sewing machine, but I really should get back
to working on my new violin. (I’m tempted now, though, to carve a blue
jay into the scroll!)