Halloween 2013 – Last-Minute Costumes

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Halloween2013 034bNothing like last minute, right?

Halloween costumes have recently become a big source of stress for me. Gone are the years where I could shop a year ahead and grab something cute on clearance, “oh don’t you want to be a _____ this year? You’ll be so cute!”.

Yeah, right. Now the kids are old enough to have opinions – and the question of what to be for Halloween is one that requires much thought, research and hand-wringing. And after that, I have to figure out how to make their ideas actually work. With a very small budget. And limited crafting skills for anything other than knitting. 😉

We started thinking about Halloween costumes pretty early on. We really did. But Hannah’s initial costume idea was very obscure (the elf princess Arya from the book/movie Eragon, anyone?) and while Abbi’s should have been simple to implement (vampires are everywhere lately it seems), she is now taller than me and in adult sizes, not children’s anymore. And let’s just say that finding a vampire costume that’s anywhere close to appropriate for a tall 12-year-old is a difficult prospect at best and pretty much impossible on a limited budget.

Halloween2013 004Becca’s costume was actually the easiest – she put it together herself from various pieces of dress-up clothes combined with items left over from previous Halloween costumes. Whether she was being incredibly creative – or just indecisive – doesn’t really matter, in the end she wore a very inventive costume.

She was a witch/fairy/princess/fashion designer. In that order.

Check off costume number one done – and didn’t cost me a cent. 🙂

Halloween2013 030For Abbi, it finally came down to just needing to spend the money to buy her something – anything – that would work. On a trip to Walmart for materials for Hannah’s costume, I spied an adult-sized gothic vampire costume that wasn’t horribly indecent – it had a long skirt at least. The neckline wasn’t great, but I figured she’d be wearing a shirt underneath anyway, so it would work. Coupled with a cheap pair of vampire teeth, she was thrilled.

Check off costume number two done – this one cost more than I like to spend, but didn’t totally break the bank at $24.99 + $1.99 for the teeth (which she lost during the day at school, sigh).

iPhone 001Hannah’s costume became the real challenge. First off, while there were Arya costumes online, they were all several years old from when the Eragon movie came out. I looked to see if I could re-create it at home, but decided that going a different route would be much easier. Her second choice was a Greek or Roman goddess. I had the same challenge here with the store-bought costumes as I’d had for Abbi – I don’t know why everything has to be so low-cut. Or have tiny skirts. I mean, really??? Who wears these things? Don’t answer that – I really don’t want to know.

So I got to thinking – I mean a Greek or Roman toga-type thing couldn’t be TOO difficult to make… White fabric, some gold cording and voilà – right? Even my limited sewing skills should be able to handle that.

iPhone 008Hannah and I did a mom/daughter shopping trip to get fabric, trim and gold cord. We were fortunate to find ribbon with a Greek-style design on it at the fabric store, plus gold cord for the waist and some sparkly gold cord for her hair.

Sewing the costume was fairly easy – I wasn’t working from a pattern, but everything was essentially just  straight seams. I cut two equal rectangles of fabric, then hemmed each of them at the bottom with the black-and-gold Greek-design ribbon. Then, I used pins to determine how much to sew along the top edges for the shoulders – leaving a wide neckline in the middle since Greek style togas kind of swoop along the neck. I then hand-sewed each shoulder to gather the fabric together and used some of the same ribbon to wrap around each shoulder. Finally, Hannah helped sew up each side seam – and we were done!

iPhone 009The hardest part actually, was looking for clothes for her to wear underneath. White cotton fabric is rather see-through, so she definitely needed white clothing – a white shirt was easy to find, but finding white leggings in October proved to be a definitely challenge. I finally found some sparkly white footless tights at Target, and they worked out perfectly.

Halloween2013 015So while each of the girls’ costumes worked out completely differently this year, in the end they were all very happy with them, and everyone looked pretty darn cute. We had a very wet Halloween this year, but that didn’t stop the girls from trick-or-treating. Becca even lasted as long as Hannah did this year – and Abbi hit the milestone of being able to go around through the neighborhood with just a friend (and a phone, just in case).

Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween!