Costumes: a little witch

I thought it would be fun to post all of the Halloween costumes I’ve made in the last 10 years. I’ll post them one at a time over the next few weeks, as I find all of the photos!

When I was very small, my mom made many of our clothes on her old Singer sewing machine that she got in 1959. I remember watching her whip up Barbie clothes for me out of the scraps and wanting so badly to play with the machine. (To this day, I have one of the doll clothes bags she made for me out of our living room curtains. That fabric was probably original to the house. I’ll have to show you that another time.)

As I got older, we were occasionally allowed to make some straight stitches and learned how to backstitch to finish, but some of the other skills – like threading the machine – seemed too complicated. When I was in 7th or 8th grade (I forget!), I officially learned how to sew in my by-the-book school sewing class. It was exciting to learn all of the parts of the machine and how to thread it.

Every now and then, I’d use mom’s cool Singer to mend clothes. When I was in college, I started working on a pattern for a tailored shorts outfit, a la Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. It was gorgeous and was turning out really well. I was nearly done when I realized the size in the pattern and the size I normally wore did not match up. I was at a loss for how to fix the problem and abandoned the project before it was time to put in the zipper. (This project was also my first realization that making clothes was no longer cheaper than buying clothes on the clearance rack.) About that time, I was away from the Singer more than I was around to use it, so I didn’t really get much sewing time.

When I had my daughter in 2001, it never occurred to me to make her Halloween costume the first year. I ordered an absolutely adorable bunny rabbit costume that, at six months of age, she wore for all of two minutes. I realized the $30 investment in the costume and shipping maybe wasn’t my smartest purchase.

The next year, as Halloween approached, I realized that I had the makings of a cute costume on my hands. Now an increasingly active toddler, the squirt had an old broom that she loved to “clean” with. This was inspiration, part 1. The rest of the inspiration came when I was often avoiding some pieces in her wardrobe that were black. Among the pinks, purples and yellows stuffed into her closet, the all-black pieces really stood out. One day, I was ruminating about where those black leggings and turtleneck had come from, when the squirt came by with the broom. Eureka! Black clothes plus broom equaled the cutest witch EVER!

Who’s mommy’s cute little witch?

You will have to bear with me on these photos. They were taken 10 years ago when we still used a little something called “film.” Actually, when these were taken, I was using a point and shoot film camera. Can you imagine trying to catch a speeding toddler with a point and shoot? Much blurriness occurred.

Besides a pointy hat (which is giant because I bought an adult one for like $1), I felt the black clothes and broom needed a little oomph. I went to my local fabric store with every intention of buying a piece of fancy Halloween fabric, swooping it around the kid and calling it a cape, ’cause that’s how I used to roll. (USED TO. That’s foreshadowing, peeps.)

I took a look at the fabric and realized it would need to be hemmed and it would need some sort of a way to tie it on her. So, I bought my pretty fabric and some black satin ribbon. I borrowed my mother-in-law’s sewing machine and did a quick hem, as well as a top hem to create a tunnel for a drawstring ribbon.

Baby witches carry sippy cups.

Of course, I didn’t own a measuring tape at the time. My measurements for the fabric consisted of me holding up a bolt of fabric next to the kid and saying, “Uh, yeah, I don’t know, like, a yard?” Turns out, you can make a year’s worth of capes for an 18-month-old out of a yard of 45-inch fabric.

So, I used some of the fabric to fashion a sarong, to help hide the boring leggings and turtleneck.
The broom, which was chipped red paint, needed a little something, something. So, I spray painted it black. And, while I was at it, I spray-painted a pair of baby tennis shoes which she was about to outgrow. (Somehow, those tennis shoes aren’t in any of these photos.) When I got done with that, I stepped back and thought, “hmm, this needs something … GLITTER!” I grabbed a bottle of spray glitter glue and glittered the shoes, the broom, the hat, the ground, my toes and maybe the dog.

If you were this cute, you would get
money in your bag, too.

While I was really happy with how quick the costume came together and how darn, stinking cute my baby looked, I will admit it was just a smidge too long for her. Ok, more than a smidge. It was long enough for a five-year-old to wear. (FORESHADOWING???) It was ok. I made it work with safety pins.

Baby witches can conjure creepy photo orbs.

Am I the only one dying over the cuteness?

And those cheeks. Mmmm. I love those cheeks. Such a scrumptious little bug.

I hope you like my first Halloween costume, created in 2002. Stay tuned! There are 10 more coming your way.

What are you going to be for Halloween this year? Do you have any great ideas for kids?

Author: rosie

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