We have a lot going on in October, and the kids wanted Halloween costumes just unusual enough that I decided I’d better start early this year.
Aden, Mona, and Quinn must have changed their minds about what they
wanted to be about two dozen times, and each of them surprised me with
their final decisions. The decisions are truly final once I buy fabric,
because they know at that point there are “no backsies” (as Mona puts
it). This year they wanted to be: a porcupine, a crocodile, and and
For Aden there was lots of fretting about which species of porcupine
to be, until I finally pointed out that at my end it was irrelevant.
She was going to be a dark brown creature with quills, so stop talking
to me about African this or that compared to North American something or
other. It’s all fascinating, but not to my sewing machine.
I’m not sure when/why/how Mona settled on a crocodile, because that
idea seemed to appear out of nowhere after lots of talk about being a
dragon a squirrel or a bat. She wants the mouth for the costume to
actually fit over her own mouth which is causing problems, so hers is
the trickiest thing to figure out this year. I’m still pondering parts
of it, even though the body is essentially done.
Quinn has been talking for several months about being a bunny until
we spotted a thirteen-lined-ground-squirrel this summer. No one outside
of a few professional naturalist friends are going to know what he is,
and will likely mistake him for a spotted chipmunk as he
trick-or-treats, but thirteen-lined-ground-squirrels are incredibly cute, so I can’t blame him for choosing it. His outfit was a bit labor intensive, but less so than the blue jay costume last year.
So how is it all going?
Well, production starts like this with a pile of fabric, thread, zippers, and cushion foam:
Aden’s original vision for her
quills was to use wooden skewers. I told her that was too dangerous
because we have to make sure she doesn’t kill anyone if she backs into
them, so we went with cushion foam which will hold its shape but still
I drew lines onto the cushion foam…
The only costume that’s completely done is Quinn’s. He was not very
cooperative during his last fitting so most of my photos came out like
Here’s a shot of his spotted stripes as I was working on them:
And here they are on the back of the costume:
I love making costumes! It’s always fun for me to get to make
something just to see if I can. And as I’ve written in the past, it’s
worth the effort because my kids get such a ridiculous amount of use out
of their costumes. From Mona going off to choir in her kangaroo outfit to her still using her swan wings
on a regular basis, she wears things until they wear out. I like that
on random afternoons Quinn will show up as a blue jay to lunch, and Aden still pulls out her dragon costume.
I love that my kids can think of me as a costume machine. (Weird how
that doesn’t help me make progress on any of the violins I’m supposed
to be building, though.)