Monday, October 08, 2012

Today's Photo Journal: Halloween Costume Time!

Oh, heavens, it's that time of year again...

One of my closest friends and I have a running joke about the self-inflicted torture mother's engage in when it comes to doing crazy things in the name of loving their children.

My friend's particular poison is birthday goodies.  She doesn't spoil her kids -- far from it.  She's not spending a pile of money on bouncy houses, but she's dedicated to giving the kids a party where everything is homemade and positively perfect.  Starting a couple of months before her son's first birthday party she pulled out all her little Wilton's tips, made a cake and diligently mixed frosting so she could practice decorating the cake.  That doesn't seem sooo neurotic, right?  Would it seem more neurotic if I said she did it something like three times before the ACTUAL birthday cake?

(<--- Bitty's first Halloween!  My little sweet pea.)

Yeah, well, I'm not throwing stones.  A) She's basically my sister-separated-at-birth and I love and admire everything about her dedication to raising amazing, godly children, and B) I'm sort of outlandishly neurotic myself when it comes to Halloween costumes.  I don't know how it happens, but I always end up with way more money sunk into these toddler-equivalent-to-wedding-dresses than I mean to.

(---> Big Boy's first trick or treating experience at the United States Air Force Academy.  He went as Route 66.  I hadn't quite gone insane yet:  His costume didn't cost much and the most labor-intensive part was hand-tacking the cars to the front.)

Yes, it would make total sense for my youngest to wear the oldest's costume from previous years, but you see, I have a psychological condition that causes me to see this as some sort of injustice bordering on child abuse.  I don't see a problem with hand-me-downs for everyday cloths.  My kids generally live on others' lovingly-gifted castoffs and thrift store finds.  Don't ask me to explain the contradiction here.  Seriously.  I wouldn't know where to begin.

So this year I am gearing up once again for the circus that defines every October...(or at least the last few days of October, because I always fall hopelessly behind and end up stressing like a mad woman until the bitter end, even putting final touches on accessories during the car ride to trick or treat).  This year, Big Boy wants to be a shark and Bitty wants to be Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon.  I found some great pictures and tutorials to inspire me, and a friend even found a cool site that makes fancy Toothless hoodies already.  (Though it will be a great reference, it sort of bummed me out to discover this isn't an original idea.)

(---> Begin the insanity...Bitty's second Halloween I made him a chef costume that turned out to be the cutest baby costume EVER.  That year Big Boy got his own tailor-made scrubs and surgical mask, worn with Gran's stethoscope. Simplicity 3650 for both of these.)

I do have some modifications to the Toothless Hoodie in mind, because Bitty's delicate 3-year-old sensibilities took offense to the hoodie's lack of big green eyes on top like his favorite dragon.  (Sigh.)  I also want his tail, which will be loosely based on Train to Crazy's dino tail idea, to have a red flap on one side and black on the other, like at the end of the movie.  (WHAT AM I THINKING? HOW WILL I EVER GET THIS ALL DONE IN TIME?)  Though the process photo below shows padded sleeve accessories with straps, I've changed my mind yet again and I think I've found a simpler approach for that bit of the costume.

(---> Last year Big Boy was Bat Boy.  He was verrrry proud. McCall's M4951)

 (<--- Bitty played the Posh Pirate to a tee.  The little pants came to his ankles, but he kept playing on the floor and causing them to ride up.  The coat was legit velveteen to the tune of $18 a yard.  I'm all about being frugal, but that sensibility seems not to extend to my costume ventures. Simplicity 2561)

Anyway, I recently took Rossie's Process Pledge, and I'm going to make a better effort to let you in on my projects -- at least the ones that go on over a period of time -- at the beginning of the process.  So here goes!

First, sticking with Bitty's Toothless deal:  So far I've purchased him a black hoodie, some loose batting to fill the tail and the most amazing fabric for skin on all the Toothless-specific embellishments.  This stuff started somewhere in the neighborhood of $35/yard and I got it for $7.  (I should go back and get more.)  It feels like heaven and looks very high end for a reptile skin knit.  I realize that sounds like a contradiction in terms, but I promise you it's not.  It's amazing stuff.  

I've sketched out a rough list of things I need to put together to embellish his hoodie and to make the tail.  I haven't even touched the "wings" yet.  I need to get started with the list I have so far and get back to those in a few days.

I haven't done one of these for Big Boy's shark costume yet, but I'll tackle that this week, too.  When all this is said and done, I'll put together a tutorial and let you know what worked (and what didn't), for me.

(---> It doesn't have to be Halloween for this yahoo to play a little impromptu dress-up.) 

What are your kids going to be for Halloween?

What's your motherly neurosis?  (C'mon, if you have kids, I KNOW you have one!)