Halloween 2010: Part 1: Creating the Costumes

Halloween began weeks ahead of time for this mama. Trying to get ahead of the game a bit, I talked with Aria early in the fall about what she’d like to be for Halloween. Repeatedly she voiced her desire to dress up as a cat for the holiday and so I deemed it safe to order her a set of ears and a tail for her costume. The very next day, as we were looking at pictures of various things online, Aria saw a picture of a Cat in the Hat stuffed animal and instantly knew that’s what she had to be for Halloween. She was very excited about it and I thought the idea to pretty cool, so I called Groovyland (the Hill’s toy store) and amended the order for a toddler-sized Cat in the Hat hat. After that I set out to put together the rest of her costume, sewing a white belly on her black turtleneck, finding just the right shade and width of ribbon and creating a Halloween treat bag showing Thing 1 and Thing 2. This was an important detail as Aria originally thought she could be Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2 all in one night. I talked her down to carrying Thing 1 and Thing 2 in some way and promised her she’d have them for the big night. I settled on a treat bag made up of blue felt (to match the Things hair and the book itself) with a drawing of the Things on a white felt patch. I also sewed blue felt “hair” onto the drawing for a little extra pop. As I worked on her bag the day before Hilloween, the following conversation unfolded.

“Remember the Fish!”
“What fish,” I asked, feeling a red flag slowly rise into the air.
“The Fish in the Pot!”
“But Aria,” I said, “you are having Thing 1 and Thing 2 on your bag.”
“But you need to put three things on my bag, Thing 1 and Thing 2 and the fish in the pot.”
“And don’t forget the boy and the girl. You need to put five things on my bag!”
Bossy little thing, I thought, but did not say.
“I’ll put the fish, Aria, but not the boy and girl. That’s too much.”

And so I spent a very late night finishing two costumes (more about Ani’s in a minute) and putting together a Halloween bag that had not only Thing 1 and Thing 2, but also the Fish in the Pot (I sewed a little fish cutout onto a drawing of the fishbowl from the book, on a white panel to match the Things drawing). I stopped sewing when I could no longer focus my eyes well enough to thread the needle I was using. (So this is what old people feel like, I thought…). The next morning I  put on the finishing touches and looked up step-by-step instructions on how to tie a bowtie. It was a lot of work, but also a lot of fun and, in my opinion, the results were worth it:

Getting ready at Grandpa John’s on
Halloween night.

I love this picture of her. 
It’s a bit grainy but you can see her whole costume (minus the tail)
and the fire shoes which she picked out and wears all the time. 
I think they look great on the Cat in the Hat 
– totally fit with the attitude!
Picture taken in Old Town Alexandria on Halloween night.

Taking a breather with Grandpa John.
Note: The bag is somewhat visible in this pic. 
You can at least get an idea of what the Things looked like. 
More pics to come…

Ani’s costume was another labor of love. I decided early on that I wanted her to be a fairy. I liked that it would be similar to Aria’s second Halloween costume but also wanted it to be unique. I bought her a pair of fairy wings and decided to make her a tutu and headband. After a couple of trips to fabric stores to find the tulle and ribbon in just the right colors and a night or two covered in tulle scraps, I came up with this:

I loved making the costumes for the girls. It reminded me of the Halloweens of my youth when we made our own costumes (with Mom’s help, of course!) and felt much more meaningful than buying a full costume. Admittedly, there were store-bought pieces to each (when I said something about making the costumes Aria was quick to point out that I did not make her hat or her tail) but even those had a bit of creativity and hard work in them as I tried to incorporate them into the whole costume just so.

Stay tuned for more pics of our action-packed Halloween weekend…

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