But, as much as I'm not into decorating, I am all about Halloween costumes. I remember it being such a big deal to choose what I wanted to be, and then the excitement of wearing my costume to school (schools here don't let kids - isn't that sad), and then later putting it on over top of my snow suit and braving the Canadian cold to do some trick-or-treating.
I know I've mentioned this before, but I didn't really start sewing until my son was born. One of the first things I made for my son was a Halloween costume. He was the cutest little baby panda!
I used Simplicity 2506, and it was an easy enough pattern to follow. I did find that I wanted to change some things, like have attached feet, and I had to make it all small enough to fit my little 2 month old son, and this was good practice making changes to a pattern.
The next year, I was a little smarter, and although I used some elements from the same pattern for this dino (or dragon), I used a fleece sleeper as my starting point. For most baby and toddler costumes, I think this is the best base. I always seem to have a nice fitting sleeper to trace for my pattern, and I like the easy on and off of the zipper up the front. Most costumes that you can buy have a hood instead of a separate hat, and I also think this is the way to go. Our costumes end up in the dress-up box for the rest of the year, and it's nice not to worry about losing an essential part of the outfit. This is simple to do, since all you have to do is to trace the hood from a hoodie and sew it to the top of the sleeper part.
Tracing a sleeper is really my go-to Halloween move, and I did it again with round two of panda sewing. I love to match the boys, and since I know they aren't going to like if for much longer, I take every chance I can get.
Even though I am shameless about this whole matching thing, I did not make the adult sized fleece costume (nor was it seen in public). A visiting friend happened to have it, through a really strange coincidence that would take a lot of explanation, and I couldn't resist at least taking this picture.
Last year, the boys went as a cowboy and a cow.
I used the same trick with tracing a fleece sleeper, but this time I decided to do it sleeveless. Both for simplicity's sake, but also because my kids get too hot at most of the indoor Halloween activities in a full fleece outfit. This way I could add or take away layers as needed, depending on where the costume was being worn.
My older son's costume didn't involve much sewing, so I focused instead on making this fleece hobby horse. My favourite details include the leather bridle and reign, and the matching pink knit fabric ears on both the horse and cow.
This year my oldest wants to go as a fireman (we have pretty much everything already in the dress-up box) and I'm still trying to decide what to do for the little one. He's really into dogs so I think I may just continue my matching theme and make him into a dalmatian dog.
Are people interested in a tutorial on how to make a costume using a sleeper and hoodie (since I think I'll be sewing a dog costume in the next few weeks using this technique)? One thing I love about reviewing the past four years of costumes, is how easy it is to see improvement in my sewing skills. I started by following a commercial pattern, and fighting with fun-fur, because that was the recommended fabric, to drafting my own patterns and having much better results. I'm not a pro, but it's amazing what four years of sewing will do for your skills.
And as for me, I usually get lazy and either don't dress-up (how can I compete with my adorable children), or wear one of the several costumes I have stashed away from past years. What are you, and your kids going as for Halloween this year?