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It wouldn’t be Halloween

November 2, 2010

Without some last minute sewing.  So my mother says.  Although this year, it was technically some last minute stapling of velcro inside A’s jacket.  Sew-on velcro is such a pain.

You can always tell what we’ve been studying by looking at our Halloween costumes.  Two years ago, they were knights.  Last year A was George Washington and C was a cannonball.  This year?  Civil War soldiers, naturally.  We had the makings of a regiment:

C has been planning to be a Revolutionary drummer boy for months and wanted to wear the Washington costume from last year.  When we ordered Civil War kepi hats a few weeks ago though, he couldn’t resist and had to wear his kepi instead.  D changed his mind on costumes repeatedly, but finally settled for being a knight.  But of course, last week, he just had to be a Civil War soldier like A.  I told him I didn’t have another soldier costume, but his favorite fleece shirt was navy blue and he could just wear that.  He liked that idea just fine–after all it is his favorite shirt and he’s not too concerned about historical accuracy, thankfully enough. So he was our flag bearer.  (Of course he can’t quite articulate “bearer” so Poppa had a great time making us all laugh by asking what a flag bear does.  Is it like a brown bear?  “He leads the troops into battle,” D said.  And how do you get the soldiers to follow a bear?)

For A, we followed the instructions in our Great Civil War Projects You Can Build Yourself book and found a navy wool jacket at DI that we (OK, mostly Grandma) converted with gold buttons and braid into a uniform jacket.  Officially he was Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 20th Maine Regiment (who, incidentally, thanks to FamilySearch, we’ve discovered we’re related to.  5th cousins, 4 times removed, I believe.  I was wondering after remembering we have Chamberlains in our line from that same part of the world.)

And E was just a dragon.  We already had that outfit and I don’t spend much time or effort on children who really couldn’t care less about Halloween.

On the other hand, I put a whole lot of time and effort into sewing my own costume last week.  Yes, I really did sew myself a costume.  Then I didn’t even wear it on Halloween (Saturday night when we celebrated anyway) because it was pouring rain when it was time to go to the Stake trunk-or-treat, DH had just barely gotten home from work, and I can’t get into or out of it without assistance as I found out Friday.  That was some smart planning.  Oh well.  I’ve always wanted to make a big poufy dress and I do have somewhere I may actually wear it in a few weeks.

Now you find out how frivolous I can be at times. I love Lord of the Rings. I love the books.  I love the movies.  I love the music.  I love Eowyn.  I love Eowyn’s clothes.  I’ve always wanted to dress like her.  And my hair is almost Eowyn-length.  So two years ago when the boys were being knights, I really wanted to make a medieval dress or something Eowyn-ish.  It didn’t happen.  Last year I didn’t even try, being 7 months pregnant.  It wouldn’t have been quite the look I was going for.  This was the year I just had to make it happen.  But I couldn’t find the pattern I really wanted.  Thanks to the 99-cent pattern sales, I finally did pick out a couple of medieval dresses (Butterick B4827 and McCall’s 4491.)  But then I couldn’t find fabric in the color I wanted, or something that wasn’t way too expensive.  Running out of time to sew, I was getting desperate and came this close to just giving up.  But I decided to look one more time and just happened to pick up the very last in-store flyer at Joann which had a 50% off coupon in it.  I saw it as a sign.  So I bought some polyester (wish it was silk) shantung at half-price in blue, (although I completely misread the yardage needed for the long drapey sleeves so had to settle for just regular sleeves) and whipped up a dress last week:

And that makes it sound so simple.  I can’t just whip up anything when I sew.  I put some serious blood, tears, and sweat into this thing.  OK, maybe not blood, but I think it’s my most ambitious sewing project yet.  The belt doesn’t fit quite right and I need to find some silver trim for it still.  I was finishing the belt in the car on the way to a family Halloween party Friday night, so I guess there was some last minute sewing after all.  And I did get to wear it at least once.

The most daunting part, after the 3-hour hemming job (there’s a train in the back you can’t really see), was the eyelets in back for lacing up the dress.  That was definitely something new for me.  (Also the reason I couldn’t get into or out of the dress without DH’s help.  What a pain lacing is.)  DH was trying to take a picture of both my face and the back of my dress here.  Sometime I’ll wear this again and try to get some better up close shots.  Maybe I’ll also remember to find my A-line wedding dress slip at my parents’ house so it will really be poufy as well.

And I can pretend I’m standing at Edoras rather than in my dying front yard.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 2, 2010 2:20 pm

    I love the dress. I am so sorry you didn’t get to wear it.

    • cellista permalink*
      November 2, 2010 10:21 pm

      I did wear it to a party, but it was just too hectic on Saturday night, plus I wouldn’t have wanted to keep the train off the wet ground anyhow.

  2. November 2, 2010 2:20 pm

    Oops, that was my comment.

  3. Grandma` permalink
    November 3, 2010 7:09 pm

    The pictures are great. It was good to help you. Thanks for retelling the story about Poppa and the flag bear. It made me laugh again.

  4. November 10, 2010 8:57 am

    I love your photos , looked like you all had a great halloween

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