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Pattern Roundup: Halloween Costumes 2011

For the Steampunk ladies out there, try Simplicity’s 2172.

Maybe you missed the end of September, but it’s October now. And that means only one thing: Halloween! There’s plenty of time between now and Oct. 31 to whip up a fun costume for the neighborhood Halloween party, for trick or treating with your kids, or for just distributing candy at your front door.

Halloween provides a wonderful a chance to see kids express their make-believe wishes and creativity and watch little ones decked out as princesses, ninjas, and jungle cats toddle up to a door and mumble those magic words that make candy appear. It’s a fun time for grown-ups who like to play dress-up, too. And it seems like every year the costume pattern selections at the major pattern companies gets better and better—for kids and adults, both. Just check out a few of the great costume patterns above from Simplicity, McCall’s, and Butterick.

But what if there’s no pattern for the costume of your (or your kid’s) dreams? Odds are, readers of this blog will make a trip to the fabric store, whip out their design tools, and get sewing anyway.

What are your costume-sewing plans for this Halloween? Are you making something for yourself or someone else? Are you working from a commercial pattern or designing something from scratch?


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  1. Teaf5 | | #1

    My 6'7" son wants me to make him a "realistic" bunny costume. Sigh. The body would be easy, but he's also skinny. The head will be a challenge. I can only hope that he will change his mind, as he did when he was 5!

  2. lou19 | | #2

    Bunny outfit!
    I made a Brer rabbit costume for one of my boys a few years ago when he had to dress up as a favourite book character. I began to wish I'd read him Horrid Henry instead.
    Good luck!

  3. User avater
    quietlife | | #3
  4. Sewballet | | #4

    Sewing for the upcoming Nutcracker season, yet my family still expects costumes...just waiting for them to place their orders. (of course no one wants to wear a tutu, because I have those made up) http://www.sewballet.com

  5. sewperfectfit | | #5

    I envy those who have to sew costumes...my 6'3" son wanted to go as a doctor last year, so all I contributed was my old stethoscope. This year, he's far from home [in grad school] so he's going as "Pumpkin Pi" by pinning a pumpkin colored pi symbol to his chest...in case his professor of the day has no sense of humor! Other than that, I am decorating a red witches hat with sheer purple remnant from fabric store...I have been a witch for Halloween since some time in the 70s. Little kids love it - and some will even take the apples instead of candy.

  6. Neosha | | #6

    I am working on a jester's costume for the upcoming Elizabethan dinners. The old one was almost in shreds. Took it apart leaving half in place. pressed the parts flat and used as the pattern. Tunic and neckpiece are finished and quite nice. Working on the headpiece--down to sewing the last horn on by hand and then sewing the trim by hand! A friend who makes dolls is making a jester's head for the kabonger, the small head with costume used to bonk people on the head.

    Then I can sew for myself!

  7. User avater
    ShaylaWroe | | #7

    I'm always excited for Halloween because my mom always made costumes for us 4 kids. It's always been easier for me to get into sewing when I have a fun project. This year, some of my friends are hosting a greek goddess costume party inspired by the tv show Spartacus. They asked for my help which led to me designing 3 dresses, one for each of us. I'm using draping for the first time ever and loving it! I just hope they come out okay, especially since my friends picked out rookie fabric, meaning shiny but stiff, hard to work with, and not very breathable. It'll be a challenge, especially for my somewhat rookie skills but I can't wait!

  8. denisesews1 | | #8

    After going through all that effort to get Star Trek NG costumes off ebay, my DH wants to be the same thing he was last year - a colonial American. Maybe this year I'll make the hat. I have an elf maiden costume that I've been wanting to make for ages. My Maltese will be the Frog Prince and my Bichon will be a witch. And they will be mad at me and bark at all the kids who come to the door.

  9. KarylC | | #9

    I'm sewing many, many costumes, not for Halloween but for a High School production of the Wizard of OZ that opens the next week! It's my favorite story/play/movie, but with 124 costumes to provide/coordinate with some volunteer help I could get just a bit burned out!

  10. KarylC | | #10

    OH, and I must not forget to get going on the "Baby Elvis" for my 15 month old great-grandson!

  11. User avater
    Rogues_of_Thread | | #11

    @Teaf5 - I want to see photos of that! I threatened to make a friend, who is 6'4", a pink bunny costume. He said rude things to me, but his wife got a kick out of it.

    I've been enjoying making hats lately. I just finished a Bowler-to-Top-Hat transformation for the Steampunk costume I'll be wearing on Halloween to the Mad Hatter Tea Party we're having in my front yard. http://bythebodkin.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/top-hat-transformation-diy/

    - Rogues of Thread

  12. LucyJane | | #12

    I have 4 1/2 year old twin granddaughters; Ella and Emme. Last year I made Daphne and the ? lady from Scouby-do the cartoon. They so loved the costumes that they punched into them all year. This year they wanted a re-run and one wants to be Fred. So I found a out of print Simplicity dress pattern online and the purple/pink dress came out beautifully.

    Cheated for Fred as I ordered a white V neck sweater online. So if she wants to wear the dress all year round she will have growing room.

    I am a veteran of many Halloween costumes for my five children. My only regret is that I didn't save them.
    On to next year!

    My parents went to France in 1939 and brought back a peseant
    dress and that was our official Halloween costume. Never thought to ask for something else. Wish it got saved because it could go in a costume museum.

  13. FabricEnabler | | #13

    Strictly homemade witch. Black cape from beautiful ruana purchasd in Columbia. Long black skirt, red and shite striped stockings. Purple hat made from lined tafeta. Broom made from branches of pruned appled tree branches. Felt purse in the shape of a cat with huge yellow eyes. Finishing touch--green eye shadow applied all over face, neck and hands. Won first prize at Halloween event.

  14. Foxtrot401 | | #14

    I haven't been asked to help yet, so I think I'm off the hook, but my 4 year old nephew wants to be a jellyfish!

    And he doesn't change his mind and is not easily distracted or talked out of something like most kids his age.

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