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Halloween Costumes

Crafty_Manx | Posted in General Discussion on

Sitting here on a Friday night, working on a research paper on artificial hip replacements and staring forlornly at the Halloween costume that I know I won’t have time to finish (oh why did I decide to get a part-time job while going to school full time?).  I’ll probably fall back on my Renaissance reenactment gear for the party I’m going to.  What neat costume creations are you all working on?  I need to live vicariously!!



  1. donnabeltz | | #1

    Oh, I wish I had time to sew my costume, too!  I'm going to wear my DH's camo from his time in the army.  I will have to tape over part of his "steel pot" because it has not-so-nice things written on it.


  2. Tish | | #2

    I haven't dressed up for Halloween for years.  When My daughter was little I made beautiful costumes.  But my sons always wanted to be TV heroes and my husband buys them costumes.  This is my eighth Halloween as an undergraduate, and I just bought my cap and gown this week for the graduation in December.  I still don't know If I'll walk because after I finish my last final I may feel like I never want to see the campus ever again.  But my department has nominated me to be student speaker at the ceremony.  So while I waffle about whether to compete for the speech, and whether or not to go at all, I bought the regalia.

    The point: I have a halloween costume for the first time in years!  I'm going to hang a plastic glow skeleton from the mortar board.  I'm taking my kids to the Boo at the Zoo event at the National Zoo.  Next year I think we'll all be Musketeers.  I'll get back to you on that one in a year.

    1. rjf | | #3

      Congratulations on the nomination for speaker!  And more for being sensible and using the regalia for a costume as well as its intended purpose.  I use to rent mine, always intending to make the gown, at least, but never quite getting there.  I ended up using my daughter's disposable gown for the last few years and only renting the hood and mortar board.

      Then are you taking some time off to do fun things, like weaving?       rjf

      1. Tish | | #4

        Yes, I'm taking time off, you bet!  I plan on doing some weaving, but my two main foci will be home repair and refurbishing and dealing with my son's learning disability.  I've got a gifted kid who hasn't been "performing."  Now that we know why I have to sit on the school to make sure they put him into the programs that run at his level.  He has the highest reading scores in his grade, but they  refused to put him in the advanced reading program because he doesn't write. By January I'll be in a position to make them very uncomfortable about that decision.

        Hey this is about Halloween costumes.  Sometimes I wonder if anyone would know what I was about if I dressed as Silas Marner.

        1. Judygoeson | | #5

          Hi, Everyone...

          I have to go finish my the SNOW WHITE costume I am making for my granddaughter Anna in California.  She is 3 years old and wants to wear it to Disneyland to show her dear friend, the REAL Snow White.  Anna loves Snow White and all the other princesses as well.  Oh, to be 3!  But let me tell you the construction of that pattern is about as labor intensive as a couterier pattern, it seems! It is no slap-together pushover.  But it is a good rehearsal for the Sleeping Beauty dress, which I plan to make in one color of pink satin (instead of the suggested three) with a white shoulder drape. 

          My son asked about costumes for Anna's sister and brother (20 month old twins!) He thinks they will go as Pebbles and Bam Bam.  He will dress as Fred Flintstone.  Their Mother will remain at home to dispense the treats and see everybody else's costumes.  How to make them?  I suggested buying a couple of animal-print pillowcases, cutting openings and slipping them on for the kiddies.  Do any of you have any better suggestions for a quick and easy?

          As for Silas Marner, well...if you stooped over a little, wore granny glasses and a rumpled top hat...oh,and be sure to carry your big bag of gold...yeah, I might know who you dressed as!

          Happy Halloween from JudyG

          1. carolfresia | | #6

            Snow White sounds lovely! My three-year-old daughter wants to dress as a Baby for Halloween--no sewing at all! She's decided to wear a fuzzy blanket sleeper, and carry a pacifier (in her mouth, no doubt), maybe with a teddy bear. I can't tell if this is regression or just some sort of original thinking. No amount of temptation ("Little Red Riding Hood, honey?" "Fairy Princess?" "SpongeBob Squarepants?") will change her mind, so I'm going to finish a skirt I cut out about the time I was first pregnant with her, and move on with my life. Probably in the years to come she'll go more for the elaborate Beautiful Lady costumes, so I'll look forward to my time with the acetate satin and sparkly tulle.

            Tish, Silas Marner might fly in some circles, but probably not most. The dual-duty regalia sounds wonderful, however. Have fun!


          2. Judygoeson | | #8

            Oh, Carol you just have to give your daughter time!  Anna went thru the regression-to-baby for about five minutes after the twins were born.  I guess she found out that this was not the time for getting the attention she desired so she simply grew up!  But I don't suggest you have twins.  Too many of us need you right where you are!  At THREADS.  Sometimes even grownups like to feel like big babies, too.

            Can't wait until Snow White is off to California.  I have a nice project with some surface embroidery waiting impatiently!

            In Peace, JudyG

          3. carolfresia | | #10

            I'm feeling a little relieved about the Baby costume, actually, since I have masses of other work and then all the Cub Scout activities that have been cancelled due to high winds, rain, and (probably tonight) snow. Plus a 7-year-old boy birthday party to plan. No-sew Halloween costumes is just about right this year. And I leave the twins business to others who are more stalwart than I!


          4. Tish | | #11

            Seven-year old boy birthday party-- Bakers Catalog from King Arthur Flour has magic markers made of food coloring, called Food-doodlers.  Buy iced sugar cookies (the cheap kind with hard icing) or bake sugar cookies (slice and bake will do. Seven year olds are not choosy) and ice with Royal Icing (do ahead so icing is hard)  Put plates of cookies on table with boys and markers and let them have fun.  If you've really got time, get dinosaur cookie cutters for this.

            Collect all the legos in the house.  They will fill at least two five gallon buckets.  Put all the legos onto a big table or use a clean toddlers' swimmin pool.  Put kids and legos together and make stuff. Admire every creation.  Put creations on a table or shelf, "To look at until the party's over--then we'll take them apart and put the legos away."

            Collect all your smallest stuffed animals, especially the teeny beeny baby size.  Draw a giant dinosaur head on poster board, paint with tempra paints and cut out the open toothy mouth.  Game- toss the little helpless critters at the mouth of the dino and see how many go in.

            Purchase dinosaur masks from Oriental Trading (12 for 4.95) and have a dino parade on your street.  Roar very very loudly. 

            Have a dinosaur egg hunt.  Plastic Dinoasur Eggs with dinos inside are also available from Oriental Trading. 

            Put on music and dance like dinosaurs.  It helps if the beeny babies are on the floor because seven year old dino dances often involve stomping on things.

            Wilton makes a dinosaur cake pan that holds one batch of cake mix.  Ice with white buttercream.  Have the kids decorate the cake with M&Ms and gumdrops (flatten gumdrops with a rolling pin and snip shapes with scissors). 

            Harry Potter party- make a sorting hat pinata out of posterboard.  Have "Potions class" and make silly putty with Elmer's glue and Borax.  Get a friend to dress up as Madam Trelawney and tell fortunes- use really unsuitable cards, like dinosaur flash cards or something. Get the brand of cream soda that comes in brown bottles that look like beer bottles, and make adhesive lables that say "Butterbeer." Call orange juice boxes "muggle pumpkin juice."  Have a wand-making craft.  Play pin the tail on the hippogriff.  Have a defense against the dark arts class where you hand out pictures of monsters and the children make them look funny with markers, stickers, stick-on google eyes, etc.  That's how you expell Boggarts.  Or make Daddy be the Boggart and let the kids funny him up with stuff from the dress-up box.  If you've got a digital camera, take a portrait of each little wizard withte Bogart. Make "cootie catchers" and tell fortunes with them.  Play quiddich with nerf balls and get grown ups to hold the goals, maybe to walk around with them if the game needs to be more challenging.  Don't spend a fortune on "Harry Potter" theme paper goods, but golden paper plates for the birthday feast in the Great Hall would be a nice touch.

            Get an extra adult to video tape everything.  After the cake and cookies are decorated, and all dances are danced and the cake is eaten, the butter beer is quaffed and the potions class is over, sit them all down and play the party video for them.  They will sit and watch themselves until their parents come to rescue you.

            I've been there. Can you tell?

          5. FitnessNut | | #12

            What great ideas! I've copied and sent this along to my sister, who will have a birthday party for a 7-year-old boy next spring. I hope you don't mind. These activities almost make me wish my two teenage boys were 7 again.....ALMOST!!!!!

          6. Tish | | #13

            Sandy, I did the Harry Potter party before the movies came out and so the licensed mercandise was not on the market.  We had to do everything ourselves.  It was easy to get adult friends to participate in that one because they all had favorite Hogwarts professors and came up with their own ideas.

            The label on the Butterbeer said "Madame Rosamond's First Freshest Finest Best Butterbeer; ingredients: butter, butter curls, buttercups, butterfingers," (I've forgotten but you get the idea.)  For the potions class I filled decanters with colored water and labeled them "dihydrous oxide" and used adhesive labels to rename Elmers glue bottles Blobber-bush sap.  I added several warnings about what it could stick you to.  My SIL handled the divination.  She did silly card readings, but she also just kept piping up with visions and predictions for the various kids during the party. 

            If you go the dinosaur route, see if you can get dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.  Costco sells them.  I also served celery with the tops on, standing up in juice glasses as "dinosaur trees."

            I always have parties where the kids need to wear old, washable clothes.  We do lots of hands-on stuff.  It is easier to take them all to a kid-theme pizza parlor, but I just can't bear to. 

          7. SewTruTerry | | #7


            Your idea of the animal print pillow case sounds like the quickest and easiest way of doing the job and everyone will think you are the clevest person ever.  Just remember they will need some "bones" I would suggest making them out of felt that way Bam Bam doesn't bam bam on Pebbles and make them cry.

          8. Judygoeson | | #9


            Thank you so much for your encouragement and the reminder about the bones!  They already have some plastic ones.  But Baby Rachel  has hair that falls into a natural topknot and I think her Mom can wrap it around a felt bone.  And they are not a bad idea either because the two of them are pretty good bam bammers.  That's why I say

            Peace!  from JudyG

          9. marijke | | #18

            Good, I was going to suggest using foam rubber to cut the bones (along the lines of foam baseball bats for little kids). Instead of a pillow case, you might consider fleece in an animal print. A rectangle with some simple seams will do and it would keep the child warmer.

            I am making two dinosaur costumes in different colors for my 3 and 4 year old daughters. Last year they went as a lion and a tiger. I'm making the costumes out of fleece to keep them cozy, plus they're quick and easy to sew (the material is forgiving).

            My one daughter initially said she wanted to go as Spiderman. Her only exposure to Spiderman is through one of her friends at pre-school who's heavily into spiderman. I nixed that one (she really doesn't know anything about the character). We looked at pictures in the pattern books and she chose the dinosaur costume. Which prompted my other daughter to want the same thing.

            I hope to finish both costumes this weekend (they're both partially sewn at this time). My daughters are playing with leftover scraps of the fleece, cutting and gluing them onto paper, while I sew. I work fulltime, but try to make time for sewing. Halloween costumes are too much fun not to make myself (even if I couldn't possibly hope to finish the snowwhite costume! That sounds just lovely. What a lucky little girl to get such a special outfit.)


          10. Judygoeson | | #19

            Thank you so much for your suggestions, Marijke! (I have a friend named Marakay...is your name pronounced like hers?)  I will not be making the Flintstone costumes.  That project is for my as yet non-sewing son and daughter-in-law who live across the country from me in California. I live in Pennsylvania.  They can handle the bones.  I suggested the pillowcases because they seemed to be the easiest costumes I could think of in a pinch. The fleece is a fantastic idea!  I think my son will be using that to wrap around himself as Fred.  Maybe the twins could have little capes.  Then when their parents become sewing-abled they could make real wearables for them out of the yardage.  Good thinking!

            I hope Anna will be happy with her Snow White dress.She plans to wear it to pre school and to Disneyland (the old original Left Coast one) when the family goes.  I don't know why it is, but I am having more trouble with this costume than I have had with the Vogue Couterier (is that spelled correctly?) patterns I've sewn.  I don't know whether it's the instructions or just plain AGE...or none of the above.  Now that I am retired I have so much to do it's like a full time job!  How could people EVER be bored with "retirement"?  It's crazy!

            Keep up the good work and...Happy Sewing!!!  from JudyG

  3. lin327 | | #14

    I'm sewing a Jedi costume and a "Rogue Squadron" costume for my boys.  The oldest is seventeen and I said since this is the last year I make something we should do it up to the nines.  He's going as young Obi wan and my other boy in going out as Wedge Antilles.  Notice a Star Wars theme?  Obi wan is being made of Burlap for the outer robe and various cottons for the under robes.  I'm using some pleather scraps to make leg coverings to fake the boots.  He found a light sabre at a sci fi convention.  Wedge is going in an orange jumpsuit with a bunch of fake military patches and some "Rogue Squadron" patches found at the same sci fi convention.

    Now for a vent!  I contribute and look for help on a different sewing board and I've started getting the dreaded halloween e-mails.  They are almost always the same with a few variations.

    "You seem to know what you are doing.  I got this fabric, it's (fill in the colour) but I don't know what it is.  I want to make a (civil war era gown, poodle skirt, clown, caspar the friendly ghost, or something very complicated) but I've never sewn before and I don't have a sewing machine.  Can you tell me how I can do it without sewing?  It's just for one night so it doesn't have to be that difficult. LOL!"

    I love the way these always end with LOL...grrr.  I almost never answer, but if I did I would say... "take your fabric and go to the costume store and buy what you want.  LOL!"

    Just had to vent  Back to the regularly schedueled postings.

    1. rjf | | #15

      "LOL".....I think I read somewhere what that meant but I keep inventing phrases:  lots of laughs, lots of luck, lots of love, line of Lilliputians....

        It's fun to invent interpretations for all those acronyms.  I hope no one gets angry because they think one thing when the writer meant something quite different.  IMH, rjf

      1. lin327 | | #20

        Line of liliputians??  That's new!  ROTFLMAO!  Now there's an acronym with a thousand possibilties.

    2. Crafty_Manx | | #16

      I remember two or three years ago someone came the week before Halloween and asked if I could make her a princess costume.  I told her no.  She asked why not, because I used to make costumes for the school drama society all the time.  My reply was, "Well, I have to go to class sometime!"

      Not to be mean, fo course, but it's almost like the non-sewing populace gets stupid about these things around Halloween.  Would you make an evening dress is two days?  Then why are you trying to make a princess costume in the same amount of time (assuming, of course, that there are other things, such as work, that require most of your time)?

      Ah, well.  That's why I now refuse to do Halloween-costume-making as a "favor" to anyone from mid-September on.


      PS...the costumes sound very cool.  I went as (a female version of) Darth Vader a few years back and it was a blast.  Next year my boyfriend and I are going to go as gothic vampires, and the costumes will be started as early as August (or maybe even July!).

      1. lin327 | | #21

        I don't know if they get stupid, I think it's more like they get an idea of the *perfect costume* in their head and common sense flies out the window.  Sometime when I get girls who want the perfect prom dress They do the same thing. They seem to get this *Ideal dress/costume* fantasy and of course reality doesn't fit it. 

        A female Darth Vader?  That sounds wild.  Total Star wars geek moment here---in the "Heir to the Empire" series of novels by Timothy Zahn...Princess Leia was referred to as "Lady Vader."  Ending geek moment!

    3. Tish | | #17

      I get people who are that way about my baking.  They have to have my bread recipe but they're sure thatit doesn't need all that kneading or that it can rise faster.   I've also had people take my recipes, change them, and then tell me they "didn't work."   Once my husband made a strudel for a fund-raiser.  A few weeks later we got a call: "I'm having a dinner tonight and I thought that strudel was so good, and it looked easy- could you give me the recipe?  It's not as easy as it looks?  Would he make me one for tonight?"  That was a real LOL for me.

      But back to sewing- remember too the ones who show up with something very creative and admit that they've never sewed before but they started a month ago and they followed the directions, etc.  And to top it all off, they're already thinking about what the next project will be! 

  4. callie1 | | #22

         I'm going to a Halloween wedding and I made a mermaid costume for myself with a corset top with freemotion embroidered clamshells, starfish and silk ribbons couched on as seaweed.  The fabric is a silk/mylar shantung which is perfect for the mermaid look.  The bottom is a skirt that's tight to the mid calf and sweeps out to form a tail.  I made individual scales out of a metalic sheer, finished with metalic thread and sewed them to the skirt.  The real challenge was supporting the fish tail.  I made an underskirt with lots of tulle, put horsehair braid in the hem, finally boned the sides of the tail to keep it from collapsing.  It took me 47 hours. 

         Three days before the wedding my husband and I went to Catholic Supply to buy him a cassock and they were $315!!!  So of course I ended  up making that too.  It was worth seeing him in his first costume that wasn't an army uniform. 

         The wedding was fabulous.  The bride and groom were Neo and Trinity from the Matrix, and her parents were Ozzy and Sharom Ozborne, and they really looked like them!!  It was the liveliest wedding I've ever been to.

    1. Judygoeson | | #23

      Hi, All...

      I never thought I would stay so long at the Halloween fair!  I just want to thank you for your suggestions.  They seemed to have worked!  Especially the foam bones, Terry!

      Anna won first prize for her costume at one of the parades she capered in so I can only say that it does pay to sew outfits correctly and take some time with them.  Thank you, THREADS! Anna also wore her Snow White costume last Thursday at her birthday party.  I told her (by phone) that it was OK to take it off for awhile so that her mother could launder it. 

      I now say Farewell, Shalom and Adios to costumes at least until they're needed again.  It is time to make some real clothes for myself!

      Happy Sewing from JudyG

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