Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Mona the Golden Pheasant

Another costume entirely of Mona's creation: the Golden Pheasant.

Mona's only limitation to her costume making (besides adequate space to store things and an infinite budget) is time. She tends to bite off more than she can chew when it comes to certain deadlines, where she has elaborate plans and then hits a wall where she has to make fast compromises.

This year, Milwaukee trick-or-treat was on the evening of the 26th, and Mona worked on her outfit right up until the 5:00 start time. She really only had the head, wings, and tail done, and I ended up safety-pinning swaths of fabric around her body to fill it out, but I still think it's amazing. The head took weeks. The wings even longer.

The head started out as a base of old sheet fabric, tin foil, and duct tape, and then she overlaid it with lots of little pieces cut out of fleece. I didn't follow everything she was doing for the wings, all I know was that some of the support structures in it didn't like the rain.

And boy did it rain on trick-or-treat this year. Hands down this was the most miserable Halloween night ever for us--all rain and wind and cold, and it kept getting worse as the evening wore on. My kids bagged it after only about twenty minutes, and we never even moved over to the violin store side of town where the street behind us goes all out and is usually a good time. We had leftover candy! We never have leftover candy. Only about 200 kids came to the house, which is less than half of what we usually get.

I don't even have my usually pictures of my kids all posing in their costumes together this year. The closest I have are these shots under umbrellas.

So, trick-or-treat was a bit of a bust, but the costumes were still fun. Next year trick-or-treat should actually be on Halloween (what a concept), and maybe some of this year's outfits will roll over to then since they didn't get much use this time around. (Except for Aden's octopus. Anyone can wear it, and Aden likes to lounge about in it.)

Anyway, go Mona! I'm so proud of her for being willing to tackle hard projects. I think her golden pheasant is great. (And I'm glad I didn't have to make it.)

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Aden the Octopus

This costume is really fun. Easy on, easy off, no zipper, cozy to lounge around in.


When Aden decided she wanted to be an octopus, my first thought was to make her arms and legs into tentacles, and have the additional tentacles be suspended from her arms with fishing line. But Aden had a much better idea, which was to create a costume like a poncho with a hood and have tentacles all around.

The three tentacles in the back are sewn closed, but all the others are open so Aden can put her arms into whichever she likes. Sewing-wise this was a pretty simple costume. The time consuming part was all the suction cups, which Aden cut out and glued herself.

She's wearing all black underneath, including black gloves. Looking forward to seeing this outfit on tonight at trick-or-treat when she should look like an octopus just floating about the neighborhood!
Aden says it may be her most favorite costume yet. I'm glad I can make her happy with something like this!

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Quinn the Hoatzin

No, I'd never heard of it either. When we started brainstorming costumes for this Halloween, Quinn settled on some kind of bird and simply searched around the internet until he found one he liked.

Hoatzins are striking birds from more tropical regions of our hemisphere, but so far I've only had one friend know what they are (because she saw them on a bird watching expedition). I asked Quinn if he minded dressing as something no one would recognize, and he was fine with that. (As the costume maker, the idea that the more accurate my creation the less likely anyone would know what I made is a bit discouraging, but no more so than the thirteen-lined-ground-squirrel or the chimera, and those made my kid happy, which is really the only point.)

I think it came out okay. Quinn was not thrilled that I wanted pictures before I got around to painting his beak a darker shade of grey, but eh. The costume is comfortable and warm, which considering how the temperature keeps dropping here makes it practical. I've always been glad that my kids have never needed to wear a coat over their costumes. (My memories of trick-or-treating in Detroit involve a lot of rain.)

Anyway, behold the hoatzin! Can't help you with the proper pronunciation, but at least you have an idea how such a bird might look out of fleece now.