After last week’s admission that I put off sewing Halloween costumes until the last minute, I should explain how I handled my deadline of 4pm on Saturday.
Thursday I cheated on my diet and made myself feel horribly sick. Sometimes I can gluten myself and get away with it. That was not one of those days. So I curled up in a ball that night and went to sleep early.
Friday morning, I took the kids to school. I washed the fabric, finished altering patterns, and started cutting out the pieces, pinning them as I went. This took a bit of time, but things were going well. I’d been running on Red Bull that day, and around 7:30, I hit a wall. The Red Bull wall is definitely worse than a normal sort of caffeine wall. It was only after I drank 2 full glasses of water that I started to recover and was able to get the boys up to bed.
After bedtime, I came down, popped in Sleepy Hollow and resumed cutting and pinning. I’d finished cutting out their breeches, waistcoats (vests to you non-pirates) and one shirt. And ran out of pins. Since it was late at night, I couldn’t go buy any. So I knew I had to start sewing so that I could get pins.
I started to sew the first pair of breeches. Not just what I’d pinned, but the outer seams and crotch so that it’d be ready for a kidlet to try on. Then I sewed parts of a waistcoat, and went to start on the next breeches, but realized I was seeing double. It was already 10:30 pm.
I caught some Z’s, and bright and early Saturday, I picked up where I left off. Wisely, I tried the breeches on the Oldest Kidlet, and put in the elastic. One thing down. From there, it was a flurry of sewing. Until I realized I still hadn’t cut out that last shirt.
By the time I finished the last elastic cuff on that last shirt, it was 3 pm. About an hour after my original estimate (that morning I’d said I’d be done by two), but I hadn’t accounted for things like bathroom breaks and eating.
If you look closely at this one, you can see threads that I hadn’t trimmed yet, but those are the costumes! The Oldest Kidlet is holding a book about pirates because his school did a literary costume parade- you had to tie your costume to something published. It was so hard to find a book about pirates. (I’m kidding. We have a lot of them)
We later replaced the green sashes with red scarves, and the hats and swords were something that the boys already had (dollar section hats and the swords were from Disneyland). No fancy boot covers, but the boys didn’t care- they had a fantastic time at the Halloween party on Saturday night, and a great time on Halloween (both at school and trick-or-treating).
I bought pretty decent fabric for these costumes- I wanted them to be wearable (and washable) as play clothes. I’m not 100% happy with the pattern for the shirt, and probably should have made the breeches a bit longer- but really, I’m proud of these costumes.
If you’re just starting out in sewing, I promise that you can make a costume like this. It just takes a little planning. But my tip? No matter what skill level, if you’re working on a project, get a big trashbag for your scraps and don’t empty it. Inevitably, you’ll throw out some elastic, a cut piece or part of your pattern- and if you keep the trashbag next to your work station instead of emptying it regularly, it’ll be much easier to track down anything you accidentally threw away. (I didn’t throw anything away this time. But I did learn this lesson when I sewed my own pirate costume years ago)
Next year, I WILL start earlier. But I was able to down down and pull this off (it’s in my genes- I have mentioned my mom is an amazing costumer, right? I can’t tell you the number of times I saw her get a last minute costume order from a dance company and come up with something amazing). Of course, in the process I got myself re-addicted to caffeine. The price you pay for procrastinating, I guess.
I didn’t go costume-less. I have a bunch of things that I can throw together for costumes- bits and pieces from past Comic Con costumes, weapons I collected for costumes that never came together, and corsets and hats that I liked and said I’d wear someday. Here’s my costume.
Lion tamer! Though I was lion-less. I bought the corset last year (it’s a little long for my torso, I admit), and the bullwhip was a gift years and years ago.
That’s right- just keep around a few handy items and you can always pull together a costume.
Day 1 of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Post Month – where I write a blog post every single day)