Halle had been talking of a detective costume for some time now. And two weeks before Halloween, I finally started to try and do something about it. Google is where I always like to start with ideas, but sometimes the results can be shocking! As it was when I typed in ‘detective costumes’ Apparently there are many ‘adult’ Sherlock Holmes dress-up clothes out on the market these days. I did not want one of those! But even the girls Sherlock Holmes costume that was available seemed a bit too grown-up and definitely seemed to promote something suggestive that I did not think was appropriate for a little girl. Also disappointing was that there were no boy sherlock costumes out there for sale. But I kept googling and googling to try to find some sort of idea to work with (not to buy, but to copy and make) Finally, I found this Martha Stewart link here on how to make one and I was pleased!
Now I am not a sewer by any means, even straight lines are tricky for me! But this appeared to require a minimum amount of time on the sewing machine, so I thought it would be an easy pattern for me. And for any talented seamstresses out there, this will confirm how much of a sewer I am NOT. One of the items on the material list was bias tape, to which I concluded ‘tape’ oh that means I get to tape it on! Um, no. That is not how it works, you actually have to sew the bias tape on. Darn.
But, I was determined to do make this happen, so I continued on. After we found a fabric that would work (this super cute pink and brown houndstooth print at JoAnn’s fabric store) I got started. I dragged out the sewing machine that had been collecting dust in the closet since my last project and set out to make this costume.
It took me way too long to get that bias tape pinned and then sewn around the curvy parts of the collar, so I didn’t even bother trying to sew any on the bottom of the cape. And if you didn’t know it was supposed to be there, you might really think that it looks like a finished costume. Rob finished off the look with some things he found in the garage to spray paint black and make into a magnifying glass.
I think it really turned out well and Halle was SO SO happy with it! She was pleased to tell anyone that would listen that her mommy made it, and she would also add the clarification, “but she didn’t make the fabric” I hope no one out there really thinks I make my own fabric; I know I do some crazy things, but that would be overboard!
Dee had wanted to be Lucy from The Chronicles of Narnia. I loved that because our neighbor had dressed up as her last year, so we could just borrow her costume! We already had a purple cloak in our dress-up box, so her costume was not a problem. I just had my friend Whitney do the hair.
We had a little bit more difficulty figuring out something for sweet Gracie. Her initial request was to be ‘naked Grace’ (that is what she said!) from the movie Avatar. There is a scene where Grace’s wounded human body is lying next to her Avatar body while the Na’vi people of Pandora try to bring healing from her fatal gunshot wound. The human body of Grace IS wrapped in leaves, so she isn’t truly naked, but I still thought this would be a tricky costume to pull off. Next Gracie came up with the idea of being a bunny. But after recently being on the internet searching for costumes (and getting way more non-G rated results), I was just against the idea of a bunny (because I had seen what one could do with that costume idea, too) Then I had the idea that she could be a runner (a very easy costume!). She wasn’t thrilled about it, but when I asked her what it would take for her to dress up that way, her eyes lit up when she suggested a lolly pop! I could easily comply with that request and I knew we had a very reasonable agreement!
I so love homemade costumes! They are inexpensive and can really turn out fun! I still miss the days when I could guarantee there was theme to the Halloween attire. But now that they are older, they get the final say in what they will be (but I can still offer ideas, right?)
In 2006, Halle wanted to be a scuba diver (her own idea!) and so Dee and Gracie complimented that nicely as a turtle and an octopus. All but the turtle (from ebay) were made at home (and my mom sewed the tentacles on the Octopus). A 2-liter soda bottle makes a great scuba tank!
In 2007, I had wanted a Dr. Seuss theme so I could have Thing 1 and Thing 2. It was just that Halle’s dream costume was the little mermaid, so that is how we ended up. But I learned a great parenting lesson out of it (that post is here) Halle’s costume was the first one I ever bought at retail, but it was an infant one from Old Navy (very cheap) and I just cut a whole in the bottom for her legs to go through
In 2008, we did have a theme again. It was Halle in Wonderland! And we went with Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Gracie. My mom (once again) made the costumes for the twins and yes that is a bowl painted red for their little hats – it just really hits home the term homemade :-)
In 2009, the whole family was able to participate in a theme. Halle had wanted to be a doctor. It worked out great when a friend said she had a doctor dress-up outfit we could borrow, she also let us use the nurse costume she had as well. This was the year that H1N1 was going around, so we had Gracie put on her little piggie pjs and we made a pig nose and ears for her costume. Voila, you have the swine flu! Then Rob and I wore t-shirts, one with H1 taped on, and the other with H2