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Halloween 2008

November 1, 2008

Lesson #1: Don’t wait until October to buy Halloween costume patterns.  Especially when they’re on sale for $1.99.  You won’t find what you want. 

OK, that’s really lesson #2. 

Lesson #1 is don’t get in the habit of making Halloween costumes in the first place. 

Actually I’m generally willing to help them be whatever they want to be.  Halloween is all about the costumes for me.  I’ve always loved dressing up.  We have a big box of costumes from various kind people that the boys love to wear year-round.  This year they wanted to be knights.  Perfect, I thought.  We’re studying the Middle Ages, I had already ordered some wooden swords and shields, and I sort of sew.  We’ll come up with something.   

And this little guy is the source of all my troubles.

We couldn’t find a pattern for a knight costume, so one day they brought me this little plastic knight and said, “That’s what we want to be!”  While I sew, I do NOT make up stuff.  But they were adamant about looking like him.  They didn’t want a red. . .what do you call that anyway?  a surcoat?. . .anyway, it couldn’t be just red, or just yellow, or red on one side and yellow on the other.  It had to be all mixed up like that. 

A was a knight a few years back with a plastic sword/shield/breastplate/helmet, and I found some sparkly material for a “chain mail” shirt.  I didn’t have enough left over for another one, so we went looking.  It took me three tries, but I finally located some.  And happily, in one of too many trips to the fabric store, there was a really great sale on red and yellow felt, since I couldn’t find anything else suitable. 

Then procrastinator that I am, I left it all until last Saturday when we had a family Halloween party and the Utah Symphony Halloween concert to go to.  Good thing I work well under pressure.  Here’s what I did:

  • Made shirts and pants this time (jeans just don’t make the outfit) out of the sparkly material for chain mail from a very simple and cheap pajama pattern I had.
  • Used the girl’s A-line nightgown pattern for the surcoat–one half yellow, one half red.
  • Measured down to the boys’ waists, cut the yellow and red in half and then switched pieces.
  • Tore my hair out trying to figure out which way to match them up to sew so the colors would come out right. (Felt doesn’t have a wrong side.)
  • Added some elastic at the waist.
  • For lack of anything better, sewed two squares of velcro to the back, in the car, on the way to the party.

Actually by Saturday night, I only had one set of chain mail and the surcoats finished.  C wore the old shirt and black pants underneath.  Over the last 5 days I have applied (and reapplied iron-on velcro), invented some hoods, and made C’s chain mail.  Then they didn’t want an easy shield shape on the front.  They wanted lions, of course.  Thank goodness for the Story of the World volume 2 Activity Guide with a lion design, which was a real pain to cut out of paper once.  And out of black felt.  3 times. (I messed up one.)  One day I need to go back and actually sew them down so we’re not just relying on Elmer’s glue to keep them in place.

But, the time and Effort (with a capital E), not to mention imagination, paid off and their smiles were worth it all.

Here they are, my own two knights in shining armor:

And yes, their colors are opposite, that’s just how they turned out.  And A ended up using the old plastic sword and shield because his (and D’s) red and gold Richard the Lionheart sword/shield sets I ordered clear back in September are on backorder.  Still.  Indefinitely. 

A few other things I learned:

  • Never send DH to the fabric store to save you time.  It won’t.
  • Long sleeve patterns really look like headstones.
  • C’s waist is bigger around than A’s.
  • Sparkly fabric will leave glitter all over the laminate floor in the music room.
  • But it is highly forgiving of imperfect workmanship. 
  • If black thread keeps breaking, navy blue is just fine.  Nobody will notice. 
  • It’s a real pain to unpick a seam in sparkly fabric when you can’t see the thread. 
  • Rotary cutters won’t work on felt unfortunately.
  • But I can use scissors again now that my tendinitis is gone.  It’s so nice!  Maybe I’ll start sewing some more.
  • Maybe not.

Here’s a picture with D.  Bless that child for wanting to wear the Tigger costume we already had.

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18 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2008 10:00 pm

    Wow, those are impressive costumes. I’m sure they’ll be used more than just at Halloween. Great job!

  2. Michelle permalink
    November 1, 2008 10:05 pm

    Good job–those are so cute!

  3. November 1, 2008 10:54 pm

    Those are perfect! What talent. Thanks for stopping by- yes I have all the cyber-homeschooling idols I can find on my sidebar for inspiration. I wish I knew you all in real life! But a comment is a great start.

  4. Becca permalink
    November 2, 2008 12:23 am

    well done!!!

  5. Sheila permalink
    November 2, 2008 12:28 am

    Wow! You did a great job on the costumes! Aside from all the sewing, the lions must have been a real treat to cut out. That fabric for the chain mail is perfect.

  6. November 2, 2008 6:27 am

    Holy cow woman!! You are….my hero, in so many ways.

    What very handsome knights you have! Love, the tigger too!

    This made me smile and laugh, in addition to wanting to fall at your feet and proclaim my unworthiness. Thanks for that. 🙂

  7. November 2, 2008 8:44 am

    Wow… you are such a great mom to go through all of that for Halloween costumes. They turned out great and the boys will remember those costumes for a long time.

  8. November 2, 2008 9:38 am

    Oh. My. Gosh. You did an absolutely fabulous job with their costumes. I’m SOOOOOO impressed!

  9. Mom permalink
    November 2, 2008 11:10 am

    What can I say more? Thanks for posting the pictures. Now if I just had a color ink cartridge, I could make my own copies. What I don’t understand is how I can look at your blog on November 1st and the Halloween blog is not there and by the time I look again on November 2nd it’s there and there are eight comments.

  10. November 2, 2008 6:26 pm

    I’d want those knights coming to save my day anytime! Their costumes are spectacular! Really.

  11. November 2, 2008 10:40 pm

    Those were great! I also have a “Bless that child” child. I was VERY thankful that my daughter wanted to be a Ninja! (and for as long as I can remember a Cat or a Bat!)
    Black sweats, black long sleeve shirt (with tail and ears OR bat wings), and this year a black long sleeve shirt tied on her head so she could look all ninja like.
    My son wanted to be a Jedi Knight and we actually found everything needed in our Halloween box! Success!
    and good thing too, we NEEDED easy this year… we’ve been so busy we didn’t even get to our pumpkin carving! 😦
    Anyway, can say enough how awesome those knights look! Good job!

  12. Tamaran permalink
    November 3, 2008 9:58 am

    I loved the “bless that child” bit, too! My favoirte was not to send DH to the fabric store to save time.

    You did a GREAT job on their costumes. The chain mail fabric you found is fantastic. And the lions really top it off.

  13. Gina permalink
    November 3, 2008 11:00 am

    What’s that crazy talk about you sort of sewing?! You did an awesome job! I am so jealous. They look absolutely amazing! I wish I could do an ounce of what you did. Great job!

  14. November 6, 2008 8:51 am

    Ok, I haven’t been over here in way too long. I love this post because it:
    1. Validates my new goal not to make anymore hand sewn costumes for Halloween.
    2. Makes me laugh because I too love the child who is easy to please on Halloween.
    3. Once again makes me want to bow at your feet and say, “I’m not worthy!”
    4. Shows just how amazingly awesome homeschooling done right can be for boys.
    5. Makes me wish, for the thousandth time, that we lived closer to each other (as in, I want to be your nextdoor neighbor).

  15. November 8, 2008 2:35 am

    Those are adorable! I missed all of halloween- but I am going to say this is the costume of the year! And the fact that you made them is even more insane. I can’t sew a stitch! Very impressive!

  16. November 8, 2008 11:15 pm

    Well done! What a fantastic mother you are.

  17. November 12, 2008 12:31 am

    Those are very nice! Good job mom! So what is the plan for next year??? :-))

    Patricia in WA

  18. November 12, 2008 2:01 pm

    Great costumes! I’m impressed!

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