Halowe’en Costumes

Oh, dear.

Yes, folks, that time of year is upon us. If my kids weren’t vibrating at supersonic levels with anticipation, Joy’s efficiency in this area would have gotten me thinking about it. (Ok to my relief part of her “efficiency” is Ren Faire coming up…)

The thing is, I HATE sewing Hallowe’en costumes.

Frankly, my motivation to sew anything that’s going to be used just once is pretty much nil. Costumes, which generally need to fabulous in their details to be impressive, are among the worst of these (dance costumes, which are usable over and over again, are a whole nother story). Wedding gowns, similarly uninspiring. Although I might consider making my own wedding gown, if I ever decide to have a wedding.

And yet…

The idea of paying thirty or forty or fifty bucks for an off-the-rack costume that looks like crap, is constructed like crap, out of crap materials, KILLS MY SOUL.

So, although we bought various costume props the other day, I just couldn’t bring myself to buy any actual costumes. It looks like I’m going to be sewing them, again.


It probably won’t save me any money, but at least I won’t feel quite so awful about flushing money down the drain.

In any case, the kids have made their choices. And they’d better stick with it, darnit.

Buffy (from the movie)

Syo wants to be Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This is great, except that her image of Buffy comes primarily from the TV show, which means aside from a blonde wig and a stake she could wear nearly anything. Which on the one hand is great—street clothes, weather appropriate!—but on the other hand hardly counts as costume. So I think I convinced her (a la original Buffy movie) that a cheerleader costume is necessary to go with the stake. Now I need to make a cheerleader costume. Except she’s already picked out a cute (but not very cheerleader-esque) skirt. So I may be stymied. Grum. Anyway, it appears that some yellow, and possibly blue, spandex is in order. >_<


Tyo, on the other hand, kept morphing. We started with Ninja (great except for the whole black part). I was lobbying for “White Ninja”, and thought I had her convinced, but then she started talking about a schoolgirl/ninja look that seemed to be lifted directly from Sucker Punch’s Babydoll (have I mentioned how many times this film has been watched at our house?). Sure enough, when asked directly, she guiltily confessed, and now I’m wondering why she felt the need to dance around it. Adolescents are weird.

Hmm, kinda notice that aside from the colour-scheme and weapons, these are basically the same costume? And they’re both going to be really fun to make weather-appropriate (I’m not even going to go into age-appropriate. While I sort-of-generally agree that our preteens should not be going around looking like utter tramps, the whole “modesty” subject makes me twitchy and want to throw things.) On the other hand, they won’t be any worse than the Betty-Boop and Ballerina Witch of a few years back, and the Hallowe’ens here have not usually been that bad. (Cue curmudgeonly rant: Kids these days! No idea of what Hallowe’en USED to be like! When I was a kid it was ALWAYS snowy on Hallowe’en! I remember trick-or-treating in a blizzard, darnit! And we carried our own bags of candy, too, block after block! Daddy didn’t bring a wagon for us to empty our bags into when they got heavy! And…)

Grr. Anyway, I need to go buy fabric. I’ve been trying so hard to be good, too. But something white (I’m thinking twill) and some yellow spandex appear to be in order. And maybe a mile or two of glittery trim. /sigh.

Oh, and Tyo informs me Babydoll’s gun has charms hanging from it.



Filed under Sewing

34 responses to “Halowe’en Costumes

  1. I’m super excited to see how these costumes go! My one sister is also going to be baby doll! Love the buffy costume idea, especially going with the original cheer leading outfit!
    I hear you on not wanting to spend the $$$ on cheap crappy costumes and even though with all the effort of making one it’ll only be worn once, those costumes will be cherished forever! But Halloween is also my favorite holiday of the year!

  2. Hey, at least they didn’t ask to be ghosts! errrr wait, maybe that would’ve been a good thing, white, simple…. Have fun!

  3. Simon wants to be the main character from Assassin’s Creed. Felicity is going to be the Bad-Ass Little Red Riding Hood who carries around the wolf head and a bloody ax.

    Both of these costumes I can stretch to be worn at Dragon*Con. And with my family, Probably Christmas too. Felicity’s is Easy. Simon’s is giving me a headache already.

  4. Sucker Punch had some cool costumes for sure. Age appropriate?- not to sure about that now days- at least they don’t want to go as Lady Gaga. Wish we had Halloween when I was a kid. We have it now in Australia- go figure.

  5. Halloween is my favorite holiday! What is better than dressing up pretending to be something fun!!. Getting to dress up in a outfit you would never be able to wear otherwise :O). ewww fun!

  6. I love Halloween, it’s best when I have time and there is a party to go to. I am okay with making one thing well, and usually something I can reuse. A few years ago, I went out as The Black Queen (Jean Grey from X-Men became the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club for a handful of issues in the late 60’s, and yet most of our friends needed no help in identifying me as that – we have really geeky friends). I could make do with stuff I had, but I needed a floor length cape. I figure you can’t go too far wrong with a black cape with red lining. I still use it to hand out candy.

    • You’re absolutely right, who doesn’t need a long black cape with red lining? I know I do! My Mom has a trunkload of various costuming elements acquired over the years, just because they make her happy.

  7. Find some flesh colored bodysuits to wear under the costumes for warmth and also modesty. That way they get the look without freezing to death. At least the Buffy costume has some leggings, does the other one have leggings? Or could you make some out of some sort of flesh toned material to keep the look? I think that Jalie and Kwik Sew both have patterns for leggings. And you could make the cheerleading costume out of cheap colored coating (if you can find any) for warmth–real cheerleading outfits are kind of crappy fabrics anyway (or at least mine was). I have no idea how to make the babydoll costume warmer though. Sorry. 😦

    • Yes, there will be layered bodysuits and tights and leggings, I have no doubt! I have a Kwik Sew pattern for both leotards and leggings, so I will be giving that a look, although if I can find any leggings, tights, and/or bodysuits in a good colour (white or flesh or blue) I will probably buy those. The kids can always use more leggings and tights anyway…

  8. Good luck! Thank goodness we don’t have it here in Australia… 🙂

    • I wouldn’t want to give it up—Hallowe’en is almost my favourite holiday of the year. Christmas tops it only because we see more family then. And I do love the costumes—I just hate the part where they never get used again :P.

  9. Scruffybadger

    Aren’t kids brilliant when they get creative! I so laughed at all your various costumes over the years, witch ballerina has to top it! i can imagine it now!!

    • I thought “ballerina witch” was totally off, too, when Syo suggested it. Then I googled it and found a billion RTW costumes in the vein. I ended up stitching some ribbon to the front of a leotard so it looked like lacing, buying a witch-hat, using a tutu we already had, and making her a sparkly purple cape. It actually came together really well…

  10. I’ve never made costumes, thank God — I would probably lose my mind. The kids usually want the cartoon type of costumes, which means masks, which means store-bought. I figure 3 costumes at approx. $100 is a small price to pay for my sanity.

    I kind of want a Baby Doll costume myself, but I have absolutely no place to wear it. We don’t celebrate Halloween as adults or go to conventions in costume. I’ve also never been into dressing up so…

    • I do love dressing up, but don’t have many places to wear them, either, anymore… I have half a mediaeval costume I started years ago that I just haven’t got the oomph to finish.

  11. Amy

    As a kid, I used to think store costumes were so “ick!” and I’m so glad my mom sewed ours, which I know was a labor of love but she’s still doing it for her grandkids, her friends’ kids… Wedding dresses…. I never had one either, and have often thought of making one for some kind of anniversary. I mean, why not, if you didn’t get a chance the first time, to just go all out crazy sewing yourself some gorgeousity. (Is that a word?)

    • My mom made most of mine, too, and some were really awesome! Then they went into the dressup box and got USED… somehow that stage never seems to happen with my kids. 😛

  12. Joy

    Well, you certainly have your work cut out for you! Store bought costumes are so wretched, it’s hard not to make them yourself knowing you can do it. Having the time to do it is a whole different story! Costumes stores (and thrift stores) are great for props, though, something I would NOT feel like making.

  13. As soon as I saw Sucker Punch I went and copied a heap of images to my Halloween ideas folder! I’m not worried about the age-appropriateness for myself, what I am worried about is the thigh-revealingness! Hehe

  14. I love the whole dress-up thing, but have been burned by kids changing their minds on Halloween afternoon and deciding not to wear what I made. So for awhile I just made some generic capes, hoods, arm protectors and what have you and they just figured something out at the last minute. Now things are more elaborate, but my son makes most of his costumes with cardboard and duct tape. Maybe boys are easier in this regard.

    • Ouch! My kids haven’t done that yet, but I remember doing it to my mom once. She had made this great bat costume, and like the day before I decided I needed to be an angel. Miraculously, mom whipped up an angel gown and my dad made me some cardboard wings… I think if one of my kids did that I would just spraypaint the bat costume white!

      • The angel costume was pretty easy. Just an old white sheet (from my stash of weird fabrics), folded in half, slashed mu from the bottom corners to appropriate armpit area, and stitched to form an a-line cress with long, pointed, medieval sleeves. Then a circular hole for the neck, cut out and hemmed into a casing, and a piece of elastic threaded through. I think you probably wore a turtlenect (white?) under it. I know I didn’t make the wings! I think the gown part is still in the Hallowe’en costume box, along with the long black capes, black dresses with tattered hems, white tuxedo shirts & red cummerbunds, black lacey dresses, monks’ robes, etc.

  15. Good luck! Age-appropriatenes… OY! Every year it’s a pair of thigh high socks, a short cheerleaderish skirt and a tank top that is either a) zombie doll, b) zombie fairy c) zombie…. noticing a theme? It’s warmer in Australia but I still like some areas covered properly and non-tramplike! LOL

    • Well, I’m glad my kids aren’t the only ones! The running joke up here in Canada is that the only “good” Hallowe’en costumes are an “Eskimo”, a hockey-player, or a teddy-bear.

      Tyo last year was a Zombie Punk, which was actually pretty good… Syo was a Fire Fairy. Not so good. That was a chilly little punkin when we got home, and it wasn’t even that cold (like, 10C!)

  16. I’m going as Little Red Riding Hood this year. I’m making as many individual pieces as possible so I can split them up later on. It will be a headache but definitely worth it when I don’t have to sew as much for following years. I’m making a corset, skirt, crinoline, blouse, and cloak.

  17. *has nothing to contribute except endless amusement and anticipation of more Halloween costume complaining*


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  19. I think it’s AWESOME that both your girls picked female action heroes – both Buffy and Babydoll are strong, brave, selfless… I would argue that (midriff baring costumes aside) they are actually good role-models. Hmm, now I have to figure out what I want to be for Halloween…

  20. Pingback: Buffy-tastic | Tanit-Isis Sews

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