A Very Pink Princess

2 11 2010

Despite the utter pinkness of it all, this costume was a pleasure to create. With the exception of the cape, there were no pattern pieces or directions to follow. I was just winging it, one of my favorite ways to sew. I’m not experienced enough to “wing” necklines or arm holes so I started with a slightly stained, hand-me-down, long sleeve t-shirt. Simply adding the bottom of an adult t-shirt wasn’t going to cut it this time, so off the fabric store I went. When I got there, I remembered quite distinctly why you should never shop at a fabric store the weekend before halloween. Or work there for that matter as that’s what memories were springing to mind. A memory from almost 20 years ago, working at a chain fabric store in Iowa and cutting endless yards of craft felt and fake fur. Ugh.

But I digress, regardless of the shopping experience I was able to find what I needed – a shiny bright pink knit and a sparkly light pink organza. I decided on floor length with a train and truly made this up as I went along. One of my favorite parts was figuring out how to do the curly bottom edge. I couldn’t find a tutorial online but went for it anyway. I can for certain say that I had it figured out by the time I got around all 60 inches of hemline.

Between the train and adding the little bows all over the front I was quite pleased with the outcome.

The veil was made with the left over organza, some elastic and a few of the little bows. I made it so that it could be slid on to any of her thin headbands. Personally, I think I made it too big, but she loves it and has worn it daily with all manner of attire since I handed it over.

The weather in Minnesota can be quite unpredictable and is usually on the chilly side. So despite Eleanor’s objections and initial dislike, I whipped up a fleece cape to complete the ensemble. It was a spur of the moment idea at the store while waiting (forever) in line at the cutting counter. While based off the McCall’s M4703 pattern, I removed all detailing such as finished edges, time consuming lining or pricey trims. Honestly I didn’t even read the directions. I simply cut out the pattern pieces and started sewing.

I added a little decorative stitching around the arm holes to give them strength and finished off with a vintage button from the family button jar.

After all was said and done, I spent less that $17 on the whole shebang and I have no doubt that it will see quite a bit of use over the next year or two. Heck, the veil alone has seen that much use in the last week.

I Wasn’t Kidding

28 10 2010

I was serious when I said I might just go whip up another halloween dress for the little miss. It was WAY more fun than working on Seth’s costume.

This time I added a pocket, which was a big hit and had to be used ASAP!

Halloween Dress

26 10 2010

As Eleanor refuses to wear anything other than a dress and I had some cute halloween tees I bought several years back on super duper after Halloween clearance, something had to be done. So I cut off the bottom edge of her t-shirt and added the bottom section of a large adult black t-shirt to get the length I wanted. This gave the dress more of a dropped waisted vs the empire cut of the last t-shirt dress I made her.

I also wanted to add a little more fun to it. After all, it is a halloween dress. So, I made the little purple ruffle out of scraps left over from this dress. This shot is before it was washed. It ruffled up even more once washed and the ends started to curl.

After it was finished I still had some purple scraps left over, including a sleeve. A few snips later and I had a nice little kerchief to compliment the dress. The sleeve is from a medium shirt, but I think I’ll try out a large for a little more drape in the back next time.

I might just go make another halloween dress right now for her to wear to school tomorrow. Besides, I need a break from costume sewing.

Super Seth!

15 11 2009

To tell you about Seth’s Halloween costume I have to take a step back to July for Seth’s birthday party. Which is good because I’ve been having mommy guilt over the fact that I never posted about it. He wanted a superhero birthday party and that’s just what he got. There were only 3 activities, one of which I completely forgot until 2 days later. The thank you gift was part of the 1st activity – superhero dress up. The 2nd activity was a water gun fight, which I have conflicting feelings about. I don’t allow play guns in the house, but somehow can’t say no to water guns on a hot summer day. The 3rd activity, which I forgot to get out, was decorate your own super hero mask. Unfortunately, I had gotten the masks so far in advance I had to hide them because Seth wouldn’t leave them alone. I apparently hid them from myself too. Out of sight, out of mind. The kids didn’t seem to mind. And although it was unseasonably cool and therefore the water guns weren’t used much, they didn’t seem to mind that either. Besides there was cake.

So why did I need to tell you this in order to tell you about Seth’s halloween costume? Well, the dress up portion, of course! Steve and I freezer paper stenciled each child’s first initial onto t-shirts. Honestly, Steve did most of the work with this one. I found cheap t-shirts on sale, each a different color and size. Would have been easier to do all the same color, but the huge size differences in the kids made that impossible.

While Steve was stenciling I was making play silk capes. I kool-aid dyed more silk scarves as before only in a slightly smaller size. Then I made 2 folds on one of the edges and sewed a longer strip of  bias tape to make the collar edge. Love pre-packaged bias tape, all folded and ready for you. I was nervous about the sewing as I always am with sewing but it was a breeze and no-one could tell or would even mind that I can’t sew a straight line. Finally I added a little strip of iron on velcro to the ends of the bias tape. Easy on, easy off and no potential strangulation possibilities – just how I like it. They turned out great, if I do say so myself. And as a bonus they pack down really small for putting away at the end of the day. Or shoving in a corner as the case may be.

This all made for a very colorful backyard of kids.

Seth had no problem picking out his halloween costume this year – a superhero. He was set at least a month if not 2 before and never wavered in his choice. Whenever he was asked what he wanted to be, they always followed with the question “which superhero?” To which Seth gave them an odd look and either ran away or stated defiantly “Super Seth!!” He doesn’t really know a lot of the traditional superheroes, so to him this was a ridiculous question.

I finished off the outfit by dying one of those masks I had set aside to match his cape. And since t-shirts don’t fly in Minnesota at Halloween we added plenty of warmth with long johns, sweats and gloves. Unfortunately, although Seth liked the mask I made him it and wore it on several occasions, he couldn’t bring himself to wear it trick-or-treating. He found his swimming goggles much more appropriate.

Of course, even those didn’t make it the whole evening.


5 11 2009

Eleanor love, love, loves puppies. And when asked what she wanted to be for Halloween there was no hesitation – a puppy. Granted every 5th time I asked her she would change the answer to crab, but I think that was just to tease me.

I have fabulous memories of home made halloween costumes -lady bugs, witches, princesses…. I also remember my mom staying up terribly late sewing. I don’t have the energy my mom had. I admit it. And I’m not as proficient with the sewing machine. So my approach is  a toned down version and so far I’ve been able to modify store bought clothes to get the costumes my children are interested in. In this case it was an all brown outfit with some blobs of tan felt quickly sewn on and a funky hand sewn fake fur made-up-as-I-went pull on tail.

The ears were from her birthday party and I just realized all these shots were before she put her collar on. It’s made of red ribbon with a puppy charm on it and was also made for her birthday back in May.

So in the end I paid $7 for a brown sweatshirt and 62 cents for some fur for the tail. I used what we had on hand for the rest. The great thing about halloween costumes is that even though I sewed I didn’t have to sew straight or even very well. Knots on the back of the fabric and puckers in the patches were ok. She wore the shirt 3 times. It’s not an heirloom. She can use the tail and even the shirt for dress up and I wont’ be concerned if she rips it.  Or maybe I’ll take the patches off. We’ll see how it does in the wash. I think she might be mad if I take them off.

Jack ‘O Lanterns

21 10 2009

Currently the highlight of our night is lighting these beauties.

Day time:

Night time:

2 things to note with this picture – 1) He wanted me to take his picture, very unusual; 2) Of the half a dozen shots I took, this was the best smile.

Halloween Recap

2 11 2008

Halloween has now come and gone and all that’s left is sugar. I’m a big Halloween fan and use to make tons of themed food for the occasion. This year all I managed was decorating a bowl of dip with carrot peelings.

Costumes were easy this year however. I wore a bat costume I had made last year and Eleanor wore a bat costume I had made for Seth 3 years ago. To make the wings I layed the shirt out on top of the fabric as if the arm was raised and drew an outline of a bat wing to cut out. Baby bats wings are made from a nylon so I singed the edges with a match to prevent fraying and then I hand sewed them on. It’s hard to see but the baby wings have little velvet bats on them and mine have silvery moons and stars. For mine, I sewed the wings onto a black turtleneck and for the baby a zipper hoodie. The ears were easy peasy as fabric glue was again my friend.They’re simply craft foam stuck on the hood for her and a headband for me. Walla! Mama bat, baby bat and eh-hem an astronaut.

She didn’t like it one little bit. She wanted to wear the blue flowered hoodie. Argh! Fortunately, she got into the whole trick-or-treating thing and forgot about her outfit. In fact she wanted to keep going when her big brother tuckered out. Granted, I did carry her between most houses. But only so we could keep up with the big kids. Hence her pants riding up in this shot. Hopefully you can see the cute mary janes i bought her just for this occasion in the shot above because by the time we hit the streets she was in her old hand me down brown shoes.  Double argh!

Interestingly she has no idea that she brought home candy. Which, of course, rocks for me. And yet doesn’t at the same time.

Are you wondering about that astronaut? Well, it’s Seth of course. But it’s not just any astronaut, it’s a skeleton astronaut! Puzzled? Well, here’s the run down of Seth’s costume choices the week leading up to Halloween:

  • Saturday – astronaut
  • Sunday – prince
  • Monday – garbage man
  • Tuesday – skeleton
  • Wednesday – construction worker
  • Thursday – final decision – a skeleton astronaut

I mean, two costumes are certainly better than one, right? So he wore his skeleton pajamas under his astronaut costume. Can you see the shin bones on his knees? The pjs are two sizes too small.

Finally, I leave you with my favorite jack-o-lanterns I saw on our short trick-or-treating walk. Yes, those are carrots in the one’s ears.


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