The sewing world seems to be pretty split on the topic of Halloween costumes, at least among those that participate in the holiday. I can see why. For the last several years (8 to be exact), October has been an incredibly stressful month for me. I am one of those that insists on making Halloween costumes, no matter how stressful it can be. And though I really wouldn’t have it any other way, I have developed some strategies to mitigate some of the craziness.
One of the most important is that I give the kids a deadline to pick their costume. Whatever they want to be on September 1st is what I am making. There’s no changing their minds. That gives me time to choose and order patterns and materials before I get down to the business of sewing in October. I have to say, those decisions were a lot easier when the kids were younger and didn’t express as many opinions.
Another strategy I use is that not every piece of every costume has to be made from scratch. I give myself the grace to use some ready to wear components. This spider costume from the Bug’s first Halloween is a great example. I used ready to wear tights for the legs, sewed them on the back of a ready to wear t shirt, and paired it with ready to wear black joggers. I used black fabric paint to create a web design on the white t shirt.
It totally got the job done.
I didn’t sew anything for The Bug’s second Halloween and it ended up being one of my favorite costumes I have ever done.
The 2 year old Bug loved the movie Cars. He dragged this costume around the house for months, until the cardboard just fell apart.
I suspect that his costume this year will also be worn to shreds. When he asked to be Link, from The Legend of Zelda, for Halloween this year I knew that I was going to be able to make that happen for him. He is over the moon with how it turned out.
I was able to sew everything he needed for this costume. I used the Hang Ten Rashguard by Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop for the undershirt. I also used the Little Ninja Leggings and the Easy Tee patterns by 5 out of 4 Patterns for the leggings and the tunic. The hat was made loosely using this tutorial from Twilight Princess and substituting cotton/lycra for the felt. The cotton/lycra for all pieces came from PurpleSeamstress Fabrics.
The boots were adapted from the Child’s Pirate Boots tutorial by In The Little Stone Cape. The pattern in the tutorial is for a child’s size ten, which was much too small. I ended up printing at 130% and then winging it from there, using vinyl. My efforts to enlarge the pattern resulted in boots that sagged and flapped around his feet, and I ended up sewing an elastic strap under the foot and another elastic strip around the bottom of the cuff on Halloween morning to help them fit a little better. They made it through the night, but I suspect that the Bug will skip them and just use his imagination while wearing this costume in the future. I used the same vinyl from the boots for the belt. I sewed it into a tube, turned and topstitched it closed before using brown snaps to strap it around his waist.
All in all, I’m pretty pleased with the results. It was definitely worth it to be able to create a costume he loves that actually fits. And it wasn’t too difficult to put together. Stay tuned for Part II, to see how Peanut’s costume turned out.
Do you sew Halloween costumes?
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