santa cruz wharf

30 October 2007

Heads or Tails ~ something Halloween

I have always thought of today as “panic sewing day”. How many October 30ths have I stayed up way past midnight…at the sewing machine or needle in hand finishing up one or more Halloween costumes in time to wear to school the next morning.

Each September I would ask, “what do you want to be for Halloween this year?” A trek to the fabric store was usually in order…where we would sit at the big table and leaf through McCalls, Butterick and Vogue…looking for that perfect costume. You learn a great deal about your child during the costume selection process. Who they think they are. What they want to pretend to be. What pressure their current peer group might inflict. Halloween was always insightful to my Mommymind.

I would buy props like masks and swords and appropriate footwear. We would use fabric paint and glitter. To the best of my recollection sequins were frequently involved. A store bought costume would have been a bargain by the time it was all sewn and done.

I’ve made big felt poodle skirts and Cleopatra garb for both girls, a renaissance dress complete with underskirt and apron, She-Ra Princess of Power, Pocahontas, and Rainbow Bright (which despite the 30-someodd pattern pieces which had to be individually stuffed was my favorite!). A witch and a spaceman. The full size Zorro cape I made for the Cub (of black satin with red satin lining) was later worn by my Mama to a dressy party…that’s how nice it was. No one ever got to carry a gun. We had real ones and I didn’t allow pretend ones. No one ever got to be a zombie or anything evil.

Sugar Cookie was Tinker Bell at two. Little Missy was Tinker Bell at seventeen. The only thing their costumes had in common was that they both wore tiaras and carried a magic wand.

I miss making costumes. I miss the Halloween parades at school. I miss the bedlam trying to get everyone dressed up, made up and out the door before the neighbor kids showed up yelling “candy and cake or your windows we’ll break!” I really miss the haul of trick or treat candy the kids would bring home for me to pilfer while they were getting ready for bed.

"heads" up...
for more "tails" of Halloween...
go visit Miz Barb at Skittles Place!


Misty Dawn said...

What an awesome mom you are! Making ALL the costumes yourself? How cool! I wanna see a picture of the Rainbow Bright costume now, you've got me intrigued!

Mags said...

You are a good mom. Not just for making the costumes either.

I miss the parades too. Being in them. LOL

Marilyn said...

Wow. I wish I knew how to sew, but I'm sure I'd put it off till the last minute and mess everything up. Jasmine never wanted to be a zombie so I don't know if I'd let her or not. She generally wants to be something that everybody else isn't going to be... so we brainstorm for weeks ahead of time and end up spending way more time deciding what to be than we spend on the actual costume.

jenn said...

Home made costumes are the best!
Happy Halloween!

tegdirb92 said...

you sound like the coolest mom!! I can just imagine you slaving away at that sewing machine :) Home made costumes were really the best and I like your insight about that you could tell alot lot about your child by the costume they chose.

Have a wonderful Halloween,

Sanni said...

Panic sewing day... *LOL* - Brain-cinema. I swear I "saw" you sitting there, sewing last-minute costumes.

I´d love to see the 2 Tinkerbells.

Happy Halloween!

Anonymous said...

Mine always seemed to made out of cardboard, glue, tape and tin foil...and if fabric was involved, it never needed to be sewn, just cut. C;)

Bond said...

You can make a costume for me....I think this is the first in 10 years, i will not be camped by the front door in some getup that will make the kids wonder 'is it real or fake' and then i will wait for the right moment to show them IT IS REAL and scare the bejeebers out of them! I love that stuff!

Dixie said...

I wish that I could have been that creative to make the Halloween costumes. Heck, I can't even sew on a button right ... I admire you for doing making the costumes.

Happy Halloween!!!

bundle-o-contradictions said...

Wow! We usually just improvised with what we had around the house & bought a couple of complimentary items to go with it. I bet you all have fantastic memories!
Happy Tuesday! :)

david mcmahon said...

G'day Katherine,

What a great parent you are. Sounds like you've got it all stitched up and I guess you work is A1, not so-sew!!

My novel's done and delivered and I'm back in blogland!!



Travis said...

When I started choosing costumes I was always a cowboy. I had my chaps and my hat and my boots, and a vest and my cap pistol - which every good cowboy needs for shooting rattle snakes and other varmints.

katherine. said...

MDawn: I would have to dig one up!

Mags: it is the favorite thing I do....Mommy

Marily: I wish I could draw!

Jenn: at a certain age they go get their

Bridget: especially my middle one...I always learned a LOT

Sanni: I so procrastinated...I don't know what pics I have anymore...

C:) the spaceman was all cardboard and duct tape...with a 31 flavor gallon canister as a helmet

Bond: my dad use to decorate the porch to scare people..great fun!

Dixie: I had to take sewing lessons from the YWCA when I was in 5th and 6th I am glad.

katherine. said...

had a little earthquake there...had to call children.

BOC: I liked to it was a good excuse!

David: punny. Great news on the book! Congrats!

Travis: I have a ton of pics of me and my brother in cowboy outfits!

Mel said...

Oh, you and me both.
Gosh, I'd forgotten about Vogue patterns--mostly cuz I didn't like the darn Vogue ones. LOL Simplicity wasn't always that darn simple, either.

Oh, but what great fun for the kiddos.
The girl still remembers her bunny costume--which was her favorite. Even MORE loved than her Tinkerbell.

Jeni said...

One year, I got a pattern and made a "bunch of grapes" like on the Fruit of the Loom tags for my younger daughter. This was back in the early-to-mid 80's and at that time, it cost me well over $30 for the fabric, stuffing, etc. making that the most expensive halloween costume ever to leave this house! She got a prize at school for it but I swore never again -due mainly to the expense which really whacked my budget for that month!