Hallowe’en wrap-up

(and other odds and ends.)

The costumes, as worn.

It’s been a long and hectic week, finishing Hallowe’en costumes and trying to get the house into something resembling order*. I did, however, spend a remarkable amount of time in the sewing room, partly in the desperate Hallowe’en Final Push and partly because it’s a handy place from which to supervise the children’s attempts to reclaim the basement, aka playroom, aka guest room, into something an adult might be able to tolerate sleeping in.

Anyway, in a vain attempt to impose order on chaos (as with the rest of my life), let’s have Fun With Headings:

Hallowe’en costumes

I'm a Vampire Slayer, yo!

They were worn! (There were no last minute back-outs. This is worth commenting on, as Tyo nearly refused to wear hers to the school Hallowe’en Dance on Friday.)

There were the inevitable snit-fits over wearing tights under leggings. Seriously, kids, why did you think I bought both?

I’m pretty sure Syo forgot to take her yellow and blue pompoms out with her, despite the fact that I thoughtfully attached them to hair-elastics so she could put them around her wrists and have her hands free for holding the treat-bag. And they even survived being worn in her hair all weekend. /sigh.

Tyo never did come up with weapons that were suitable to her costume. Babydoll wields two katanas and a gun with charms hanging from it. We have any number of toy katanas and at least one toy gun in the basement mess, but none were deemed worthy. Or she forgot.

We had the first snow of the season yesterday morning (this is actually remarkably late), and the daytime high was only 6C. It can’t have been more than a couple of degrees above freezing when the kids went out. Nonetheless, Syo survived in just her cheerleader outfit and velvet leotard and leggings (over tights). I really like how the velvet leggings turned out—I’ll have to get better photos later. I’m sure she’ll be wearing them lots, anyway.

Tyo, as you can see in the top photo, is not quite as much of a trooper and added a white bunnyhug. I can’t blame her, anyway.

In fact, I can’t complain about anything, as my mother-in-law and her husband took the girls out for their first go-round and then my husband took them out for the second, so I sat on my butt and handed out candy all night. We had about 30 kids come by, just enough to completely clean out all the candy we had. D’oh.

Also, the kids have no school the day after Hallowe’en! Even though it’s the middle of the week! Man, we would’ve killed to have the day after Hallowe’en off school… (mutter… kids these days… mutter)

Stuffed Chairs:


Tyo has been harping on the chair project, lately. I am approaching this with the same enthusiasm I have for all home-dec projects, but she is remarkably persistent (although remarkably unhelpful with things like pinning pattern pieces and stuff.) Anyway, we got the first pieces cut and stuffed over the weekend: two bolster-type pillows that will be the arms of the chair. I’m noticing that they’re not very big—the chair seems more toddler-sized than my-kids-sized. Ah, well. The kids stuffed them with scraps. They didn’t use up nearly enough. I wanted to start with the arms, since I figure if I stall on the rest of the chair, bolster-cushions are still frequently useful, even when they’re scrap-stuffed and not particularly soft/squooshy.

Upholstery fabric

Incidentally, scrap-stuffed pillows are heavy.

Another hold-up on the chair has been that I didn’t have enough of any home-dec weight fabric I was willing to part with (at least that would be good for sitting on—I have some scratchy curtain-type material pegged for coats). Fortunately, one of the things my MIL wanted to do yesterday was trawl thrift stores, and I nabbed this velveteen-esque fabric. I think there’ll be enough. It’s a little hard to tell as the pattern assumes you’re going to use three different fabrics so it doesn’t give you a total on the metrage. Meterage? Yardage. Y’know.

Since I was going through scraps, I decided on a whim to tackle another uncharacteristically-crafty project that’s been lurking in the back of my head:

Coffee Coats

Coffee Coats

I may have mentioned at some point my extended family’s obsession with Tim Horton’s coffee. This might, alternatively, be termed Canadian Crack. Not being a coffee drinker myself, I can’t tell you if it’s actually good coffee or not, but whatever they put in it (the rumour is MSG, which is probably completely unfounded), people are willing to line up ’round the block for the stuff. Despite the cups having crappy lids and, more to the point, none of those nice heat-shield paper sleeves.

Anyway, back in the summer, whilst creek-adventuring, we found a reusable coffee-cup sleeve, made of quilting-cotton and a thin layer of batting. It was quite cute and I imagine someone eco-conscious was very sad they’d lost it. And of course, it looked stupidly easy to make.

So when I stumbled upon the scraps of my (very, very expensive) interlining from my winter coat, I couldn’t help but scurry upstairs, liberate a Timmy’s cup from the garbage, create a curved pattern by marking off parallel lines on the side of the cup and then cutting it up and spreading it flat. Some bits and bobs of coating and a few interesting construction issues later, I have (almost) coffee coats. All they need is a big button for the elastic loop to fit around. I am holding off until I have another cup to judge the size of so I get the button in (at least roughly) the right place.

Sewing up Scraps:

A cute little tee

Still in a scrap-busting mood, I decided I must do what I could with the scraps from Syo’s costume, and determined to whip her up a little, fitted tee if I could. I pulled out a knit sloper I had made her last summer, traced it off, added cap-sleeves,  forgot seam allowances, and stitched it up (with added band-sleeves.)

Naturally, it doesn’t quite fit. She can wriggle into it, but it’s very snug (the sloper was more for a leotard/swimsuit lycra type fabric). I guess we’ll be passing it on to one of my nieces. Anyway, none of the remaining scraps are more than two inches wide, so I think I’ve done well. I even had to piece the band for the neckline.

Next up? I don’t know! I’ve been ogling my blazer and coat patterns, but I don’t have much time right now so I’m hesitant to commit to a serious project. I’m already pretty sure I’m wimping out on NaNoWriMo despite the best idea ever (next year!). If Tyo’s lucky I’ll finish up the stuffed chair while I’m waffling.


More thrift store finds

Oh, yeah. I bought fabric. And patterns. The patterns are odd—they were part of some kind of set (it looks brutally 80s to me, although the dates are mid-90s), but these were the only patterns that were sufficiently classic to catch my attention. They refer to cards for the instructions (no instructions in the envelopes as far as I can tell), which I assume were part of the larger set, but didn’t seem to be there at the thrift store. I can’t even determine the company with certainty, but the sizing is standard Big 4.

The fabric is a sturdy, non-stretch denim with a bit of a stripe. I’m such a sucker for denim.

And I found Syo winter boots (which she’s wearing in the Hallowe’en photos) for five bucks. So, win.

*as my inlaws arrived Sunday night—incidentally a day before I was expecting them. It has become traditional since we moved away from the rest of the family to try surprise everyone else with your visit—our crowning glory was arriving at 10 pm last New Years’ Eve without telling a soul we were coming—so I can’t complain, as we started it.



Filed under Sewing

16 responses to “Hallowe’en wrap-up

  1. Ah wow what great costumes! If you like dressing up check out my fancy dress competition. Its just a bit of fun.

  2. Wow! You’ve been busy…
    Great coffee coats. What is up with the Timmy lids?!

  3. I agree about the Timmy’s cups having terrible lids, but curious: at every Timmy’s I’ve been to (in BC and Ontario) they have paper sleeves. But at the one by my old work they were stingy with them and you had to ask. Is it possible they’re just holding out on you? (Not said to be a party pooper… Quite the contrary, I’m a tree-hugging hippie so I think the fleece sleeves are awesome!)

  4. Awesome costumes! I’m so glad the girls cooperated. Logan almost didn’t and there would have been murder, I promise. You’re a busy bee! Snow keeps you inside, eh?

    • Eh… “snow” was really only a dusting in the early morning, just enough to put us in a foul mood—it was melted well before noon. Not like the dumps the east coast has been getting. But really all of this (except for the thrift-store shopping) was done before the snow. The winters here are fairly mild (by my standards) anyway.

  5. Wow, that’s a lot going on. I’m glad to hear the kids wore their costumes. The bunny hug works as you can still see the collar.

    I know what you mean about the cups. Even double cupping tea (I’m not a coffee drinker either) is still too warm. I usually grab a couple of napkins to protect my hands.

    • Yeah, and the tea is so much hotter than the coffee! I don’t get that at all.

      My mother-in-law thought the coffee coats were wrist-warmers… perhaps they could be a dual function: fashion accessory and coffee-sleeve. That way you’d have something to do with it when you finish your coffee… lol.

  6. Wow, you’ve been busy! Glad to hear the kids wore their costumes and didn’t kvetch too much. I can’t believe your kids got the day after Halloween off school — that doesn’t even happen here in the US of A!

    I share your apathy about home dec sewing. Fortunately, my kids are now too big to even consider kiddie chairs.

    I like the coffee sleeves. I’d make some myself for Christmas gifts, but the only person I know who drinks fancy coffee that often is the Hubs and I’m pretty sure the first thing he’d do is throw it away by accident.

    • You’d think my kids would be too old for kiddie chairs, too. We’ll see. 😛

      I’m not sure how well the coffee sleeves will go over in my family, either, since they’re not the most avowed tree-huggers. Still, it seemed like a fun idea, and better than throwing away the scraps of that lovely fleece!

  7. I love a nautical detail so Tyos costume is one of my favourites!

    Halo to you for scrap bustin’.

  8. The costumes turned out awesome! And I’m guessing they must have been plenty warm, since they went out for two rounds!

    As for the coffee cozies, I don’t drink coffee either, (yuck!) but those seem like a good idea and a good use of scraps. Maybe they’d be good gifts for teachers and stuff at school?

    • Well, I think the hot chocolate between rounds helped… I’m actually surprised they weren’t much colder than they were.

      Gifts for teachers are definitely a possibility. 😀

  9. Oh! Your girls look great! What great costumes!

    The coffee cozies are great too! It’s always good to find a use for scraps.

  10. Ohmygoddess! Those costumes turned out awesome! It was rain, cold and icky here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin USA for official Trick or Treat day too (between 1 and 4 p.m.) Unofficially, the subdivision I live in has night-time trick or treat and if you want to participate you leave your porch light on and the kids come pouring up the driveway. Love this kind of end to the summer/introduction to winter, eek!

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