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Halloween Debrief

2014 November 5
by elizabeth_admin

Are you sick of Halloween pictures yet?  Well, I have the reveal of the costume I made for the daughter of a friend and my own last minute costume as well as my son’s store-bought costume.  So I humbly beg for your forgiveness for the lateness of this post with regards to the holiday, already long since passed.

Now I know there are two kinds of Halloween people out there: the die-hard make your own costumes with lots of forethought or last minute throw it together types AND the store-bought costume people.  I am definitely in the latter camp.  Since I’m such a slow sewer and have to over-think every decision, sewing a costume to be worn once or twice at the most is almost galling.  However, I can totally see the benefits of making a costume yourself.  It’s unique, you’ve put in the effort and it’s creative.

When Alex asked me to make her costume the week before Halloween, I couldn’t say no.  She had such a sweet, hopeful smile on her face.  She showed me the picture of what she wanted and I knew instantly that I could make it since it was so simple.  This is Wendy from the anime cartoon, Fairy Tail.




I immediately started to brainstorm on how I could make this costume.  I played with ideas in my head for days.  I formulated a plan and asked the cutting lady at Yardage Town if she thought I was on the right track.  She did.  Phew!  My idea was to make a tube for the bodice with elastic at the top to hold it up, and to add a circle skirt or a-line skirt at the bottom.  When I was searching for circle skirt tutorials on-line, I stumbled across a 1/4 circle skirt.  A 1/4 circle skirt????  I had never heard of that before.  I had heard of the full and half circle skirts, but never the 1/4 one.  When I saw an example of one, I thought, “That’s it!”  It’s the exact same drape and flare of the source photo.  And so, using just Alex’s measurements, I made the dress with an extra long bodice and extra long skirt so that I could change the length on the bodice and skirt to taste. The only thing I didn’t know was how much ease to calculate in.  I ended up using 1 inch negative ease, but with my fabric, a cotton double-knit, it was a little on the tight side.  Alex said she didn’t mind and at least that prevented any wardrobe malfunctions from happening, right?  Due to using an order of construction that was not quite right, I had to hand sew all the ribbons on.  Oh well, live and learn.

Here is the dress on a hanger and on Alex (photo used with permission).







Doesn’t she look great?  I can’t believe I was able to pull this off.  Phew!

And just for balance, here’s Jack’s store-bought costume.  He’s a golden ninja.



And I decided at the last minute to make my costume.  Make, not sew.  My costume was completely sourced from Home Depot purchases: duct tape, wood dowels, spray paint and twine.  I was a marionette doll.  It was a little unwieldy, but effective.



We had a blast at Halloween and I hope you did too!


On another note….  I want to thank you all for your kind and thoughtful comments on my last post about being an artist.  I am proud of that essay.  I am proud to say I am an artist, whatever that means and whatever connotations it has.  It helps me to frame my life and what I want to do next.  We all need a plan in life, even if we change it up occasionally.  I had a wonderful meeting yesterday with a local designer and she gave me some really great advice.  She was both realistic and optimistic — two qualities not often associated together.  I left our meeting with a blueprint to follow and feeling energized like I have never felt before.

This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!

Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.

Hamlet Act 1, scene 3, 78–82



3 Responses leave one →
  1. Robin permalink
    November 5, 2014

    woo hoo! The kids look great and your marionette costume is excellent, too.
    Glad you are getting the right sort of input as you think about the future.

  2. November 5, 2014

    Cute marionette idea! I haven’t seen anyone do that.

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