"http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd"> urbanMamas

Halloween costumes: Are you an early owl?

Trick_or_treat "Can we not make my costume on the day of Halloween?" Everett asked. "So you don't finish it when it's already time for trick-or-treating?" Oh, my son knows me too well. Desperate to create something wonderful and handmade for each child, I'm typically still sewing when dark arrives and end up rushing around frantically, pulling a costume on him at 6:30 that's a few steps below the masterpiece I'd planned and very, very tardy. My photographs are dark and blurry as he runs away from me toward the candy loot he longs for.

So color me gobsmacked when I see other mamas whose children are wearing their costumes to early Halloween festivities nearly two weeks before the big day. I just don't get it! Especially when they're lovingly handmade and far more artful than my last-minute scraptastic creations. What, have you all conquered the procrastination demons far better than I?

What's going on in your house for Halloween? Did you have the costume picked out and purchased by September 1st? Are you blessed with a capricious child who changes her mind once a day? Do you use the same costume every year? Or are you, too, foreseeing a mad rush of sewing/gluing/knitting/crafting on October 30th?


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

teehee. when i was 5, my mom made me a snow white costume that was wayyyy too big. but i loved it dearly. i wore it for the next 6 years until i couldn't squeeze into it...lucky mom. ;) that's so awesome that you make the costumes!

I buy a few gently worn costumes from 2nd-hand stores & let my daughter pick which one she wants. I just can't get frazzled about homemade Halloween outfits -- it's a lot of work to blow on something she'll wear for just one nite. I'd rather invest some of my rare free time on something else... Just my 2 cents.

HA! I love to make my boys costumes. And every year I am finishing them, you know, the day *after* Halloween. (Seriously, I don't know if I'd consider any of them actually "finished", except for the first year when I made a super-cute dog costume. Like, 3 or 4 people thought he was a dino and I was all..."a brown dino with spots and floppy years, puh-lease," but I digress...). I actually make costumes for the whole fam...2 years ago it was Star Wars (Leia, Obi-Wan, Darth Vader and Yoda), last year it was Marvel comics (Johnny Torch, the Thing, and dh and I went as X-Men.) They usually turn out cute, although my older son typically wants a store-bought costume. I kinda think store-bought is cheesy, and a big point of Halloween is working together on these masterpieces. (I should mention, though, that my older son regularly wears store-bought costumes as clothes--I get them at Halloween stores the day after Halloween so they're super cheap--so to wear a store bought costume on Halloween almost isn't as special for him/me.)

This year, though, marks a sad year for me. We moved to Portland from NY--by car/trailer--and I left my sewing machine with my mom. She was supposed to bring it with her when she moved to Idaho, but decided to leave it with my sister, who was supposed to be back in Portland (via NY) from Spain by now. Apparently, Spain is beautiful and the sis hasn't made it back to the states yet. Hence, my machine is sitting in NY. (Insult to injury, my mom gave away her old machine when she bought a super-deluxe uber-machine last month, thinking my sis would be back by now and I would have no use for the old machine. *Sigh*)

Eli, my son, however, was psyched to find out he could pick out whatever costume he wanted online. Wolverine. It got here Saturday--he tried to fake being sick so he could skip a birthday party and stay home and wear the costume. He's been wearing it ever since.

My younger son, however, refuses to even acknowledge Halloween. When asked what he wants to be, he will adamantly reply, "Just a boy. And that's it."

OK, I'm the mama sorting through the remaining dregs of the Fred Meyer costume rack on Halloween morning, trying to find something vaguely tolerable for my offspring, without flimsy masks and lots of vinyl, all the while waxing nostalgic (& guilty) about the costumes my mom used to hand-sew for me. So enough with self-flagellation, cafemama! ;) Props to you and all the crafty mamas out there.

I am an obsessed sewist and love to spend some of my free time sewing for myself, husband (he loves vintage shirts) and 2 boys. Halloween costumes are my particular weakness as they represent (for me) the ultimate in creativity and fun sewing. After all, who cares if the hem is crooked and seams aren't finished on a costume? I spent this weekend drafting patterns for a pirate coat for the 2 year old and a puffy shirt for the dog (yes, Mr. Po gets a costume too). I'll likely spend some late nights finishing up the sewing this week in anticipation of the Sellwood Monster March (Sunday, October 28th at 3 p.m. - starts at Llewellyn Elementary) I know, I'm crazy but it's really fun for me. Maybe I need to squelch my obsession with making Halloween costumes but each year I think, "I love this - could I do this for a living?".

I royally suck at sewing and luckily have a reprieve from this for a few years yet (my little Bean is only 14 months old) but I found this post to be very, very helpful:


well, this is only the second year I've worried about this, and so far it would appear I'm with you. And that's with only making one costume and leaving the other to get store bought. The elephant has no ears, trunk, or tusks yet. But I have till Saturday to finish. At night. I should be in good shape. Probably.

Here's my dilemna though. I love the idea of making the costume. It's totally an act of love for me when I know I could easily buy an elephant costume. My son is very excited about it, picked out the fabric, "helps" me sew it. But, he won't wear it. I know he's a little unusual in his eccentricities, but there's really nothing wrong with it! I've needed him to try it on a couple of times (hem and what not) and he won't. I think I'm buying an elephant trunk mask just in case, but I'm betting more than a nickel I'm going to pour sweat and soul into this and it goes unused!

Several weeks ago I hit the Goodwill store and bought a bird costume for $4.99--it was such a bargain that I thought it would be a good staple for the dress-up trunk that I'm starting to build, even if he wasnt excited about wearing it for Halloween. But he likes it, so I think it's gonna fly. I'd like to think that when my kids are older and Halloween is a bigger deal for them, that I'll start making costumes. We'll see!

My mom made my first costume - a yellow clown costume with brown dots. I wore it three years, my brother wore it for three years, the neighbor kid wore it a few and finally the dog wore the collar. She always said it was a ton of work for one night so it was the only one that she sewed. After that I made my own out of what ever and I got really creative. Imagine a Dracula with a garbage bag cape.

Being a knitter and not into sewing I have never tried to make her costume. The first few years my daughter wore store bought costumes from Goodwill - her younger sister is now wearing them. Last year (at age five) she started making her own creations like I did. Last year she was a ballerina princess fairy. This year she will be a butterfly fairy. I like that it is her thing not mine. I also like that while half the girls in her class were in outfits from the Disney store, she wore things she found in her room - and she was proud doing it. There was a girl in her class that made a truck outfit from a cardboard box - recycling and creativity!

To me it is a kids' holiday and they should take ownership over it. I do a lot for my kids so I will never feel quilty about them not looking exactly like a character or like they stepped off a movie set.

it *does* seem like a lot of work for only one night, but my kids have always gotten lots of pleasure & use out of the costumes -- though I didn't really finish the edges of the 'boots the monkey' tunic i mad for everett's two-year-old halloween, he and his brother still wear the tail over their clothes for playtime (I made little grey velour underwear with a tail attached and put it on over grey tights). ditto with the princess skirt I made last year for the girls who were staying with us; the buzz lightyear pants; etc. I guess my lesson is to make little pieces that can be used alone for playtime (and it really helps to have lots of kids -- you'll get plenty of use :).

this year I'm making pirate (everett) and corduroy bear (truman) costumes. SarahM, I'm dying to see your pirate coat ideas!

Oh my. After reading this I'm feeling mighty inadequate! I um...haven't ever made a halloween costume? And this is coming from a girl who never wore a store-bought costume in my life. My mother would slave over the most complicated costumes for all 3 of us girls, things like genies (5 or so pieces), fairies, homemade witch costumes, pumpkins, cinderella...

Her costumes were amazing, but I think she usually pulled all-nighters to get them done.

After the first 2 years of my son's life where I was at Target sifting through the leftovers on Oct. 25th, I decided to shop early this year. I love Old Navy's costumes b/c they are cheap and fun for the dress up bin, and this year I splurged for my little 7 month old for a totally unnecessary fairy costume at Gymboree in early September. I know, silly me, but it was just so cute.

If I had to make my kids costume, I don't think they would ever get one. Sad to admit, but true. I'm just really not much of a seamstress, which is sad. I wish my mom had taught me more about sewing when I was growing up.

You all rock for being so crafty!!!

this is my first year being ready a month early! I went by Sweetpeas in Sellwood a month ago & she had her costumes out--my daughter fell in love with a giraffe. My youngest can wear her sister's old costumes or even her costume from last year (she's 16 months old, she won't mind!) I like to make them but I'm relieved that this year I get off easy!

My mom made all of mine and I've made all of my son's costumes. I guess since I grew up going to Renaissance Faires and sewing costumes for school plays that it just seemed normal to make stuff for Halloween.

Everyday is a dress-up day in our house. Lots of outfits and accessories. We're the kind of family that each have fake beards, mustaches, and goggles.

Just an update. Costume finished around 10am, party at 4. I figure that's pretty good. Costume worn in full for approximately 10 minutes in the car on the way to said party. Rejected shortly thereafter. We'll see if any mods can be made before Wednesday to make it a little more pleasing to the boy.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment