Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween 2010: Little Bo Peep

Jon (vampire), Andy (indian), James (cheetah), Tim (sad he doesn't have a costume), Amy (a woodland fairy)

Each October, my mom would take us to the material store. She'd let us flip through the pages of patterns, and choose what we wanted to be for Halloween. And then, with her skill and creativity, she'd buy some fabric and whip up unique, inexpensive, yet comfortable costumes that we just LOVED to wear for Halloween. One year I was a butterfly, another year, a bunch of grapes. Then there was the year I wanted to be a princess, and my gown was blue, just like Cinderella's, and she even made a faux fur sash. I loved that costume.

When I became a mom, I wanted to do the same thing for my kids, but I forgot about two big differences between my mom and me. 1.) My mom's name is Martha (no joke). 2.) My mom can sew. I...cannot (head hanging in shame).

So, for past Halloweens, I've done my best to do the same thing, but to find things at thrift stores that would work, or could be altered to work by using a needle and thread or a glue gun.

Boo - A flower in a pot (felt, craft foam, staples, needle/thread)

Red Riding Hood cape made of felt by my mom. My nightgown and real prescription horn-rimmed glasses from DI.

Thrift store velour shirt, glue-gunned gold trim and cravat.

DI for red t-shirts, printed iron-on logo

Fast-forward to this year's Halloween: Yaks wanted to be Buzz Lightyear, so I thought it would be fun for one more year to go together as a theme. Boo decided she would like to be Bo Peep, and so began my hunt to find a costume that looked like this:

I found this pink satin shirt that I thought was just awesome. Sure, it was an adult size, but I fell in love with the bell cuffs and could just picture them shortened into 3/4 length sleeves, all pleated. Are you laughing yet?
Who dresses this girl?

Remember the small detail that I can't sew? I tried hot glue to adjust the size in the shoulders and around the middle. It looked awful. Then I tried snaps and elastic. Again, awful. I tried needle and thread to pleat the sleeves, but it kept pulling out. Poor Boo had to try it on 500 times. Even she was getting sick of this project. Satin is THEE most difficult fabric I've ever worked with! It's so slippy and slidey (I's satin!). Finally, during a moment of desperation, followed by inspiration, I abandoned the shirt after hours trying to will it to behave. Goodbye, satin shirt! Good riddance!

We went to Old Navy, and bought a pink short-sleeved t-shirt. I cut a rectangular piece of baby blue polka-dotted fabric to make a shirt front. I hot glue-gunned lace trim and the criss-crossed ribbon on the front. Then I tacked that whole thing to the front of her shirt, and stitched some lace onto the sleeves, so she can wear it again (just like a bridesmaid's dress!). It took all of 30 minutes. Unbelievable. Keep it simple, I learned. It's SO much easier!

I had the most fun making the hat! I found a straw gardening hat at a thrift store. It had the chin tie already, with embroidered strawberries on the brim, so I covered them with the same blue fabric, and picked up some cheap fake flowers in blue and pink. Boo had fun choosing flowers to match and pulling them apart. I had to hide where I folded it in half to make it a bonnet, as well as cover the glue job from the fabric, hence the flowers and some trim.

I felt just like the girls from Pride and Prejudice, who sit around all day decorating their hats.

The shepherd's staff is a dowel duct taped with the basket handle of an old Easter basket. I needed something that I could bend. Thanks to Annette for the idea! Boo painted it, and I attached it with a piece of wire.

The white skirt I found at a thrift store. It was an adult size, but I just took the sides in and covered my amateur job with pink tulle. Then I cut out felt dots, and hot glue gunned them all around the skirt. I added tulle between the lining and the skirt to give it volume. Then I tried to hide THAT sewing job with a ribbon sash.

Her hair we put in curled ponytails, ankle socks and her brown church shoes.

Again, A Looooot of work. It turned out really cute, but it took so much time...and money....and time. I was talking with my mom on the phone and telling her about my costume saga. I apologized AGAIN for not taking her up on her numerous offers to teach me to sew. She said, "You know, I have three sewing machines (passed on by Grandmas). You can have one, and I'll give you a basic lesson, and maybe you have some friends out there who can teach you." I quickly replied, "Yes." to all of it.

So, is there anyone out there who could give me sewing lessons? My kids and my glue gun would be grateful.


kthom said...

Oh Amy, this is beyond impressive! How did you do the skirt...did you cut out all the dots? Having zero sewing skills as well, I bow at your glue gunning feet! Awesome!

Dianna said...

It is great! I wish my lack of sewing ability could produce such a masterpiece. Our Kristy was born in September, so you know she had to have a costume for the ward Halloween party. That brought out the same creative craziness in me that you described, only my handsewn angel costume with cardboard tinfoil covered wings was not so successful, but it was funny. Good luck with the sewing lessons, but it looks like you don't need them - maybe only to help you feel more confident and reduce the time on costume making. Make sure you post pictures of the whole family this year. Is Josh going to be Woody? BTW, that last comment from your friend kthom gave me a very entertaining image of you glue gunning WITH your feet!

annettepaulsen2 said...

Oh Amy, Boo looks just darling! You know me...whatever it! And you did an awesome job...better than what a sewing machine would do! When I did Abby's Little Bo Peep I hardly sewed a thing..infact I think I used two-sided tape on Abbs poka-dots and then when that ran out I used some fabric glue.(hmm I remember some of the poka-dots falling off...the taped on ones! (Hers was just for an announcement assembly..haha not a serious as Halloween of course!) We want to see pictures of Woody's Roundup!!
Love Nana

Plowgian Page said...

That costume is soooo cuuuute. Can you be my Halloween consultant please? I don't normally make costumes--I buy them. Sad, I wish I could be more creative in that way, but those off the rack costumes are so temptingly easy to snag. Maybe some day...

Sarah said...

yeah that I can check in and see HOW CUTE THAT TURNED OUT! Really, impressive. And, she looks super happy in it. Way to go.

Catherine said...

Cute! I can't believe Mom made you all those costumes for you! I was that cheetah you see james dressed up as for the first five halloween's of my life followed by a scarecrow for the next seven years because I could just wear one of the boys plaid shirts and stuff some hay in it.

Amy said...

*Dianna - Yes, we're all going as the Toy Story gang. Sadly, I just learned that our trunk-or-treat is going to be outside, in the dark and nothing else but collecting candy.

*Cath - I'm sorry. It's interesting how our perspectives are so different, depending on where we fell in line, eh?

Cara and Steve said...

very, very crafty!!! I would have never thought to use a glue gun in so many ways... no wonder your glue gun exploded when I came to visit... it definitely gets some use! I didn't know that you never learned to sew. I totally would have shown you some simple stuff while I was up there... it makes crafting "sew" much easier!! Someday we'll have to do a sewing project... it's quite addicting once you learn how :)

Mary Jane said...

I am VERY impressed with all of your costumes. I've never tried to make a Halloween costume. Maybe next year I'll try...

steph said...

It's darling! I am very impressed with your make-the-best-of-it skills. You were very resourceful and made up for your lack of sewing skills with a boodle of creativity. I love it.