For the first time ever I dressed my kids in homemade costumes. And it was FUN. My kids looked great (if I do say so myself), and so much less commercial than the store-bought costumes of the past years. Not that my kids aren’t commercialized. They went as Princess Leia and Indiana Jones, and I’m not sure you can get more commercialized than anything from the mind of George Lucas. But, aside from free advertisement, we didn’t put any money into his pockets this year and for that I think we get a prize. The prize is a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup that I swiped from a loot bag two nights ago. I shall enjoy it momentarily.
The first part I crafted was Margie’s Leia wig. I knew there was a pattern somewhere online, but before I’d got the chance to look into it for myself, a new mom joined our Fiber Fridays group and, by an awesome coincidence, happened to be knitting her daughter a Leia wig for Halloween, too. So I pretty much just watched her as she made it up (she said the pattern online is adult-sized anyway) and I looked over her work to see the methods she used and, when I finally began, I pretty much just pulled it out of my butt.
Basically, what I did was purchase the fattest brown yarn I could find (because I needed to whip this up in a quick way) (and I wasn’t thrilled with this yarn, I think it already looks old even though she’s only worn it twice at this point) and I made a hat. Then I made two long, thin snakes, stuffing them with fiberfill as I went along. Once they were finished, I sewed them into a spiral and then onto the hat. The entire project took probably less than seven hours (which means about three weeks, the way I knit), and I’m stoked with how well it looked when finished.
Next project: Indy’s Satchel. Both projects I started twice and then frogged before I finally stuck with it. Must have been a theme. Anyway, I began this Wednesday night, worked on it all day long at the pumpkin patch the next day, and finished up on Saturday night at a friend’s fifth birthday party. Because I am teh awesome. This one also just fell out of my brain this way – no pattern involved.
I planned to felt the bag the following day, but instead my body decided to get sick. So I didn’t get around to felting it until Friday afternoon, but it worked out quite well (thank GOD, because I didn’t have a Plan B).
The day before Halloween, I played with duct tape. I’d found some super shiny silver stuff that would make a kickass belt for Leia, but wasn’t able to find white for her boots, so she got silver boots instead. I cut the pattern for the belt out of some Trader Joe’s bags and covered it smoothly in the tape (which watching Raising Hope on Hulu). Perfect! The boots required a little more thought. She had some galoshes, but I didn’t want to ruin them. I joked about covering them in saran wrap first, and then figured it was actually worth a try so I tried it. Not bad, actually. Awkward, yes. But definitely possible. I even made a little strap at the bottom to make sure the covers stayed in place.
The rest of the costumes I did buy (and borrow), but they are CLOTHES so I don’t think it counts as a commercialized Halloween (you know what I mean – less commercialized). Elliott got a new pair of brown pants and both kids got long-sleeved white shirts. Margie already had a white dress we’d bought for her birthday photos and party (“Girls in dresses with blue satin sashes…!”). It was shorter than Leia’s and full of lacy eyelets, but, I frankly thought that was a CUTE twist on the dress and perfect for a little girl. The borrowed item was Indy’s coat – plaid is back and therefore there are no plain-colored shirts or jackets in the world right now. All in all, it came out super cute. See?
The costumes were well-received by all the houses and people we met. Many were impressed by the retro costumes my kids had chosen. It was such a great evening. I only hope I can gather enough creativity to make more Halloweens homemade.