Costume stress–what would October be without it?! Halloween is all about the costumes for us. I really do enjoy seeing what the boys dream up though and going through the creative process to make it a reality for them. I really should start a little earlier, though. I mean, C told me clear last October that he wanted to be Gandalf. So I had a year to plan. But there we were, at the fabric store on October 21, a mere ten days before Halloween and actually just five days before a family Halloween party we were invited to.
So here’s what we had to turn C into Gandalf. It’s a good thing I work well under pressure!
I guess I could have taken pictures all along the way, but who had time for that?
I bought a costume pattern for Gandalf and other cloak-wearers when Simplicity patterns were on sale for a dollar a few weeks ago, but when I got home I realized it was adult-sizes only and I didn’t want to try to size it down for a 10-year-old. I’m not that good a seamstress, it took 9 yards of fabric (I was on a slim budget this year), and the hat was all wrong anyway. So I decided I would have to make up something on my own.
Gray fabric must not be an in thing this year. I couldn’t find anything I really liked, but finally opted for the cheapest plain gray cotton I could find which best matched the felt I had for the hat. I sewed a long rectangle for the tunic and two more rectangles for the sleeves (with a slight bell shape at the wrist.) Easy peasy, except that it was way too wide for C and my thread didn’t want to gather so I ended up making one-inch pleats all along the shoulder line instead.
I found this Gandalf hat tutorial online that had the look I was going for. With a lot of trial and error and about 17 fittings on C’s head, I got it to work. It was a little floppy still for the party last Saturday so Wednesday night I added some cardstock inside the brim to stiffen it and decided I should have started with that to begin with.
Then there was the beard. Gandalf had to have a beard, so we bought some yarn, not quite knowing what we were going to do with it. Reason #687 I love the internet! Searching Google, I came across this “How to Grow Your Own Epic Dwarf Beard in One Evening” tutorial. Who knew there were so many crafty people out there? We weren’t doing all the dwarf braids in the beard, but the concept was the same. Start with a plastic canvas base, then thread the yarn through the holes. It took more than one evening though, I’ll admit.
Put it all together, add DH’s staff and C’s medieval sword, and you’ve got a pretty convincing Gandalf the Grey:
A wanted a very creative costume as well, but I knew I couldn’t manage two involved projects, plus what he wanted to be will very possibly show up in the pattern books by next October. So I’ll keep that a secret for now. I convinced him that Indiana Jones would be easy to throw together and so he opted for that. Of course then we couldn’t find DH’s bomber jacket, but a perfectly placed and labelled box in our storage unit yielded it up. He could have used a few more accessories, but it worked. E kept calling him Indy-Andy Hones, which made us all laugh.
D wanted to be Anakin Skywalker. I thought surely I could find someone who had a Jedi costume, but alas. A yard of brown crinkly fabric draped and crossed over worked perfectly however.
And then there’s E. E’s never been thrilled about dressing up, but for months he’s been talking about Yoda and his brothers convinced him he’d like to dress up like Yoda for Halloween. Then we watched the two trailers for the second Hobbit movie and he changed his mind and wanted to be the fearsome dragon, Smaug. Of course Smaug is red, but I couldn’t find a red dragon costume anywhere and finally borrowed a green dragon costume from a friend. We talked it up for weeks, and while he wasn’t convinced it was really Smaug, he did wear it a few times around the house to chase his brothers and consented to wear it for trick-or-treating at DH’s work, but that was it. Nobody else got to see him in costume.
Here he is yelling at me, “I don’t want my picture taken. Don’t take my picture!” I had to get one though.
And me? I’m feeling big and round these days anyway, so I wore my red blouse and slapped an Ocean Spray label on my tummy and went as world’s largest cranberry. I really don’t look round in this photo, but trust me, I’m growing!