Halloween 2015

Oh goodness, did I get piled on this year for Halloween! The entire month of October was spent sewing costumes for the kiddos. It’s not that I don’t love dressing them up for the occasion, but the planning and plotting is so much more fun than the actual doing!

Oliver waffled between many, many ideas, but in the end went with a construction worker. He loves to build things, put stuff together, help with home maintenance, car repairs, you name it. The hardware and auto parts stores are his happy places. All I had to make was a vest, which only took an afternoon and half a yard of fabric. I traced a safari vest pattern from the 3/2015 issue of Ottobre magazine; it already had some pocket details, so it was just a matter of using bright orange fabric and ironing on some reflective tape to get the look I needed.

Isabella decided on Sleeping Beauty for her costume. That was slightly more problematic because there are literally no good patterns (in print) for that dress. My kids have come to expect a certain level of authenticity, and I dreaded trying to figure out how to make the shoulder detail work. A desperate google search, however, led me to an out of print Simplicity pattern (5835) from 2002 (I think?). Finally! Um… except that it was listed for $20-30 everywhere I looked. Fortunately, I snagged one on ebay for under $20, because c’mon. It looks perfect. Okay, almost perfect. I really cursed that skirt. Under the peplum, the waistline is gathered. And the only satin I could find in the right color combo was that really heavy poly satin, which was a nightmare to gather. I don’t understand why costume patterns draft such huge skirts for such tiny people! There is over 60″ of width gathered onto a 22″ waistline (!!). If I ever make this again, I would take the time to draft a proper gored circle skirt, because the gathers keep the peplum piece from sitting nicely.

Sylvia decided on the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. I was going to try and accurately replicate the dress from the Disney movie, but I stumbled on Simplicty 2834 (also out of print, but still in stores) and thought it looked fun. I probably should have stuck to my original plan, because this one really took a while to make. It has a under dress (with the front chevrons pieced) plus a fully lined coat. Um… didn’t notice how involved the outfit was when we decided on this pattern! The dress has a partially elastic gathered waistline, and pieced circle skirt. I didn’t realize the pattern called for a full lining on the coat (minus the sleeves), so I didn’t buy enough fabric for that. Instead I created a facing for the bodice portion, and used bias tape to finish the coat hem. I had to be super diligent about cutting all the pieces correctly and not mixing up the red and black sections. It took forever to check and double each piece, but fortunately I got it all right on the first tryโ€”yay! But holy cow. There were a LOT of pieces to cut for this outfit. So. many. pieces.

Anastasia is a huge Star Wars fan (movies, yes, but also the animated series, as well as the hundreds of books out there!) so she knew she wanted a Star Wars character. She generally dislikes going the well-known or popular route, so she picked Jaina Solo. I used a pants pattern from the 4/2015 Ottobre magazine, which are made in a ponte knit. They’re basically elevated leggings, so pretty easy to make. For the robe I picked up a brown interlock and used Jalie 2919. I kept the shoulder pleats free (because stitching them down is for crazy people) and she was able to cross it in the front, and keep it closed with a strip of black fabric wrapped around her waist. The pattern has narrower sleeves, so I simply re-drew the sleeve to have a wide opening at the wrist.

Now, the light saber was a bit of an issue, because apparently this character (almost always) has a purple light saber. My husband ran to the store Friday afternoon to see what could be cobbled together… He found some bubble wands with purple tubes (talk about luck!) and glued two together. Then he used electrical tape to tape a mini flashlight to the end and voila! Purple light saber! Best part is, we only had to spend $2 and about 30 minutes making it.

And that, my friends, was our Halloween! The kids were so excited about their costumes, and received many compliments. Most of them got a couple different outings with school parties and whatnot, so it’s not like it was all for a short two-hour window on Halloween night. I don’t go all out like this every year, but I’m willing to every once in a while. Let’s just hope they go easier on me next year!

โ€”lisa g.

20 thoughts on “Halloween 2015

  1. Emily says:

    Woah, I’m so impressed! These costumes are amazing. I’m a big Star Wars fan too, and I love that your daughter picked Jaina Solo (one of my favorite characters from the books too!) The purple lightsaber is indeed very important. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • lisa g says:

      Thank you! She had other more obscure (and elaborate…) characters picked out, but this one was easy on my limited time. And oops… saw that I mis-spelled her name! Fixed now ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. crab and bee says:

    Holy cow! What an accomplishment. I especially love Sylvia’s Queen of Hearts costume – I kind of want something like that in non-costume colors just to wear around ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Carolyn says:

    Oh my gosh, Lisa, what an epic project this was! I give you a lot of credit for making 4 costumes from scratch – your kids have a very generous mom. ๐Ÿ™‚ That Queen of Hearts costume really does look like it took forever with so many pieces to cut and sew, but all 4 costumes came out great! Now go get some rest and make something for yourself. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. teri dodds says:

    Lisa, these are all amazing! I can’t believe you got all of those made in October. Just one of those dresses seems like a huge undertaking. I’m sure they were the best dressed kids at all of their parties!

  5. macstabby says:

    So sweet! Aurora is one of my favorite princesses, and I love that your other two daughters went off the beaten path for their ideas. We’re doing house reno- send your little guy over haha. They all look so great.

  6. Liza Jane says:

    I love how they were all so specific! Good job, mama! I know you worked hard on all of these costumes. You deserve some special fabric for all that hard work! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • lisa g says:

      I think they got their perfectionist standards from their mama… oops! It’s surprisingly hard to jump right back in to sewing for myself… I keep waffling between ALL the projects! I’ll figure it out, though… Thanks!

  7. Heather says:

    And the greatest mother of the year award goes to……Lisa G! Wow lady these are amazing! I hope your kiddos know how lucky they are. It’s extremely hard to chose but I think the Queen of Hearts is my favourite – such an awesome costume!

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