Monday, October 20, 2008

Homemade Halloween

Halloween is coming up and it is one of my favorite holidays. I think it is the combination of the cool fall weather, the opportunity to become someone new for just a day and obviously, all of that delicious candy. When I was younger we never went overboard at our house with decorating we just carved the pumpkins and hung an appropriately themed wreath or sign on the door. There were no dry ice machines, no moans and groans coming from a tape recorder under the porch, and nobody sat motionless, dressed as a scary gorilla on the front lawn waiting for unsuspecting trick or treaters to jump out at and scare them half to death like some of the other houses in the neighborhood.

In later years (pre-Lady and Wild Man), my sister would have a Halloween party where we would celebrate like adults and dress up like characters from our favorite 80's TV and movie days. I have to say my husband made an incredibly handsome Magnum P.I.. Oh Tom Selleck, I know you are part of the NRA but your mustache and overall bravado warms me on cold nights.

I dressed the Lady as a monkey last year, because she is and always will be my little monkey. In all honesty I would dress her as that every year but I think she might get tired of it around age four and people might just think I am weird. My mother for a long time made all of our Halloween costumes. There is something about a homemade costume that I think captures the spirit and the whimsy of the day. Granted, there were times when I thought it would be much easier to just get the costume from the store and wear the plastic mask, but in the end I was never disappointed in what she made. I was a pumpkin, a ghost, a crayon, a clown, Tweedledee (or dum) and the tinman. My mother made all of those costumes and many others for my sisters and brothers as well.

Me as a homemade pumpkin (nice felt pumpkin top huh?)

So this year I thought I would make a costume for the Lady. I decided that she would be a fairy princess because it is pretty, seemed easy to make and nobody would mistake her for a boy. She does have a name that is given to more boys than girls and the tailor who altered my stretch jeans told me she looked like a boy, although she was clearly wearing a purple shirt with a plaid horse on it that said "Best Friends" and purple shoes, so he must not have taken in the overall picture. Anyway, I decided that with the pink shirt and leggings that she already has, it would be pretty easy to just make a tutu and a headpiece and maybe some wings and a wand. . .

My mother-in-law had a pair of green wings that were never used so I graciously accepted them and decided that the Lady wouldn't just be a pink fairy princess, she would be more of a woodland fairy, something straight out of a Midsummer Night's Dream.

So now I have to make the rest of the costume. The next step is sewing. I haven't really sewed anything since I was in the Girl Scouts, and my last year in that was in the sixth grade. I totally have a sewing machine, an impulse buy that I thought I would use to make my own handbags, but that is now sitting idle in the back of my crafts/linen closet. I didn't even know where to find the fabric for the outfit. The Jo-ann's Fabric store by my parents closed and as much as I googled places in the area, not much came up. I finally found a fabric store by my parents and, I kid you not, ran into my former Girl Scout leader in the store. She pointed me in the direction of the tulle and I was on my way. I was also told that Wal-Mart sold fabric so today the Lady and I made a trip and picked up a bit of green and a little more pink and Operation Woodland Fairy is underway.

I want the Lady to have her own memories of Halloween. I want to be able to make costumes with her, to be crafty and creative. I want to share a bit of what I love with her and to make her memories as meaningful as mine. I know there might be a time where all she wants is the Dora the Explorer costume from Toys R' US (and yes, they are charging 29.99 for what looks like everyday clothing and a backpack from your closet), but I also want her to know that with a smart black wig and a monkey sidekick that I can totally make a kick ass Dora for her as well.

My mom is coming over this week to help me with the tutu. I know it can't be that complicated but I want to make sure I am doing it right. I will post the photos when my little monkey dresses like a woodland fairy princess and hopefully keeps the crown on long enough for me to get a good shot.

I am also taking the Lady to the photographer who did my wedding. He takes photos of kids in their costumes for free if you donate a new toy to Toys for Tots. It is a good charity and the photos are always fun to have.

What is everyone dressing as or dressing their kids as this year? I am always looking for creative Halloween ideas. Seriously, it isn't that hard to make a comment on this blog and I am always looking for feedback.


  1. I expect the Lady (aka Queen Mab) will look like this when you are done.

    However, Puck is not such a bad option either since he/she was a bit androgynous.

    In other news, I would like to suggest you advertise your blog with all of your Facebook friends and encourage them to comment as well. Eventually, I am going to run out of steam.

  2. That first look is what I am going for, but with less boob.

    I sent the link out to a few more people and I am thinking I will put it on facebook. I totally appreciate all your comments though. Thank you!

  3. Are you going to have the costume ready before Halloween or are you going to follow in mom's footsteps and be sewing as you are putting the costume on the lady to go and get her picture taken?

  4. I said comments not critiques. . . I plan to have the tutu done by this weekend. As for the headpiece I am hoping to recreate my Communion headpiece, but will try super hard to make sure she doesn't fall in the dirt and have to wear an orange bib over her ruined outfit.