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Costume (maybe for Halloween)

adelinarose | Posted in General Discussion on

Good Day ALL,

I was wondering if you guys ever do halloween costumes for yourself or family/friends. I am looking for a great costume for an adult and one for a child that I can make before OCtober 31. Any ideas?




  1. user-51823 | | #1

    all the time! homemade is more fun and you can be original.
    narrow down your question a bit; there are no limits to what you can make. just simpler and harder versions of...anything.
    what ages? classic spooky? classic non spooky? humorous? current events?

    1. adelinarose | | #2

      How about Spooky humorous for a 5 year old kid and spooky for a 8 year old , just classic for an adult? Both kids are boys. Thanks for taking the time.


      1. user-51823 | | #4

        ralphetta gave good advice to help narrow down your choices. thanks for narrowing it down some, but there's still too many choices to list; certainly you are aware of all the classics: ghosts, skeletons, bats, spiders, monsters, mummies, pirates, etc. google costume websites and browse their catalogs to see what appeals to you. i'm sure we can help more with specifics once you have it down to a few choices.
        i'll add one more thing to consider for the kids costumes. as sure as you get a great costume ready early, your child will make up his mind to be something else. things change fast when they're 5. all last year DS was into dinosaurs and we agreed he'd be a T-rex. i was excited about doing something elaborate, yet, as ralphetta suggested, that would break down somewhat for preschool wear at class party. i am SO glad i put off making it early, as he was adamant about being a black cat when october rolled by. even then, he waffled a litle about harry poter, then another day maybe a robot. Cat was always strongest. so i got black clothes and made a nice cat tail on elastic around the waist. made a headpiece which was kind of a robotic black cat. by trick or treat time, he was back into harry potter so i added (not changed, ADDED) a cape and wand. presto! harry robo-cat. no one could figure out what he was, but he enjoyed it.

        1. adelinarose | | #6

          Good one and funny too. Thanks.



          1. user-51823 | | #7

            lots of moms had the same experience. seems no matter how much a kid was into his costume earlier, the kid really wanted to be something else closer to halloween.
            re staying warm, remember tights and non-bulky thermal underwear under the costume if it needs to look sleek. always sad to see a princess in a down jacket.

  2. Ralphetta | | #3

    There are unlimited possibilities, but I would like to suggest a couple of things for you to keep in mind as you are making final decisions.

    If you are in a cold climate and the children are going to be outside, be sure to include provisions for warm clothing as part of the costume.  I always thought of how a hooded-sweatshirt would work into the costume, etc.

    For adults, after years of going to parties, I thought in terms of comfort and flexibility.  It's great to enter wearing a dramatic, prize-winning costume...but some can get unwieldy and not much fun to spend the evening in.

    Once I decided on a theme or idea, I would then figure out how I could dance and sit in it.  For example ..one year I made giant paper mache owl heads and floor length fake feathered capes.  Mid-way through the evening we could remove the heads and capes and enjoy ourselves wearing black pants/turtle necks the rest of the evening.  In other words..plan ahead so you can be comfortable and have a good time.

    1. adelinarose | | #5

      Wow Ralphetta,

      That's great advice. I had forgotten about the cold here in Canada on 31 October. Especially for the kids the warmth is important on that day. The comfort is utmost for the partying. Now I have to get creative. Thanks.



  3. GreenApple | | #8

    A whole lot of costumes work well with a cape - you could start with a nice plain swishy black cape. I'm partly suggesting that because it's what I did this year. :)Mine was really two capes layered, the bottom layer of bargain-table opaque black polyester fabric, and a top layer of iridescent see-through green-turns-into-purple fabric that JoAnn's had for Halloween. It had a fairly good swish, and the flowing black glittering with purple and green worked pretty well - to my surprise, the combination sort of "read", to my eye, as velvet. I sewed the two capes together, but with basting stitches so if someday I want to use one separately, they'll be easy to separate.Once I had the cape, I had the choice of pulling the hood up over a mask (I had a really creepy silver eyeless face), or draping scraps of the iridescent fabric over an outfit of black long-skirted everyday clothes and being sort of Harry Potter dressed-up.I also agree that warm underlayers are important, assuming that the costume will be worn outside for a fair amount of time. If I didn't know quite what I wanted to be yet I'd pull together black thermal underwear pants and tops, snug black nonbaggy sweatpants and snug black sweaters to put over them as a second layer, black fabric gloves and black socks long enough to cover the hems of the sleeves and pant legs, and see if you have black shoes or boots comfortable to walk in. Maybe a snug-fitting black knit hat, too. That's a good warm base layer that would serve under a lot of possible costumes.Green Apple

    1. adelinarose | | #9

      Thanks for the advice Green Apple. You sound very creative and your costume is very  imaginative. Keep on with it.


    2. crickethunter | | #13

      I sew my kids' costumes every year. We have a great outdoor all-ages Halloween parade in our town, for which it is always either unexpectedly warm (65 F) or snowing. Because the kids have both inside and outside Halloween things to do (school, parties, the parade, and trick-or-treating, I always try for things that can have unobtrusive layers underneath. I'm a HUGE fan of cape-based costumes and tunic-based costumes (a rectangle with a head hole). They can be quite great, coats can be on or off, and the kids and their friends can keep using them (often re-allocating the parts) from our costume trunk. I've made a dragonfly, a walrus, a chick, a bat all from capes and tunics. My children and my 6'2" husband could wear the same costumes (to somewhat different effect!) Family Fun is a great magazine for ideas. Often they are low- or no-sew ideas, but they'll get you started. The idea for the dragon costume I made came from there. If you look at that dragon head, use the concept for more -- I saw a great pteradactyl in my daughter's class this year with the same basic cardboard head idea, but easier -- held in back with elastic instead of a full pterydactyl-box shape. At any rate, the pterydactyl was also wearing a cape!Mostly, I ask the kids what they want to be and go from there. If it sounds tricky, I say I'll try, but get them to come up with a backup idea or two. This year I was able to make an ostrich (didn't thinkn I could do that!) after finding exactly the right fabric at JoAnn (they called it "porcupine fur") Good luck, and HAVE FUN. Costume sewing is so much fun.cricket

      1. user-51823 | | #14

        hello? photos please!

        1. crickethunter | | #15

          Hi! We moved most of the photos onto my husband's computer which is newer, faster, and has more memory. I'll see what I can dig up. If I find one, how do I add it? (I'm new here!)Family Fun is at http://www.familyfun.com and has a good search function.The dragon costume in particular is at

  4. Ralphetta | | #10

    I must add one thing, because I'm sure this group will appreciate it.  When my daughter was about 5 I suddenly realize while she was at school that it was Halloween!  I went to my fabric stash for inspiration.  I certainly didn't want to use anything expensive.  I found some really cheap, coarse, cheese-cloth-like bright green fabric.  There was about 5 yards of it and it was about 45" wide.  I stared, and stared, and then had the brilliant, (ha ha) idea to split it lengthwise into 3rds and make a 15' tube green snake.

    In the end I coiled it up tall sort of like a beehive and decorated the head with fangs, etc.  I tacked the coils together here and there and she was able to slip it over her head and stick her arms out between the coils.  It looked like the snake was attacking her head.

    Here's the good part.  When I started the fast and cheap project I thought it would be a snap to stuff it with crumpled newspaper.  WRONG!  It took forever to stuff that thing and I had black newsprint all over myself.  I hated that thing by the time I finally got it stuffed, but she kept it in her room for ages.

    I didn't learn a thing...I still procrastinate.

    1. adelinarose | | #11

      It is the final end result that is the satisfying part of it. Sounds like a great costume. Thanks.



  5. ctirish | | #12

    You can go to the big pattern companies and look at their costumes, they will give you ideas and you may find one you like especially for the five year old. I make costumes every October for my grandchildren. There are three all under three, thus far we have had Winnie the pooh, Eeyore, Piglet, a fireman and a dalmatian -3 month old little sister to go with the fireman. There may still be photos at the Photo Gallery postings.
    I always start with a google search for costumes to get ideas and places to get the extras if I need them. Before the fireman decision, there was Bob the Builder, Thomas the train, Elmo ... it changed day by day.

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