Sunday, October 11, 2009

It's COSTUME Sewing...NOT 4-H Sewing!

Halloween is sacred in our household. It's been my husband's favorite holiday for as long as he can remember, and he's passing along that special joy to our children. (In fact, he bought the Princess's first Halloween costume shortly after we found out we were expecting.)

Interestingly enough, my eldest child developed a plan for her Halloween costumes when she was just 2 years old....and she held on to that plan with a tenacity that is just frightening for a child that young. Her plan? She was going to go through all of the Disney princesses - starting with Ariel and moving through the rest in a random order that she set forth within hours of completing her trick-or-treating as the mermaid in question.

This year, thank God, is the last....and this year she is to be Snow White. Her sister will be Cinderella, and we're not at all sure if that was the Pixie's choice or if she was talked into it.

We've been lucky for the last couple of years. The Princess was a flower girl in the summer of 07, and I was able to easily redo her dress twice into the appropriate princess gown. This year....well not only had she outgrown the flower girl dress, but she had also come to Snow White...a costume that requires considerably more than can be accomplished with a redo. Plus, the old Cinderella costume had been a cheap store-bought thing and long ago it disintegrated into a polyester mess.

Recognizing my limitations, I turned to my Mom for advice. Not only do I not enjoy sewing, but I also am completely kerflumoxed with garment construction and I knew this was beyond my capabilities. The problem? Grandma had carpel tunnel surgery two weeks ago on one hand and is scheduled for the second this week. We weren't sure if she would be able to help....and I was setting in for a weird amount of store-bought costume guilt. Fortunately, Mom decided that if I helped out we could probably get the costumes done this weekend. I bought the material last week at our local JoAnne's - once again coming home with a mountain of sparkly costume satin - using a Princess pattern that Mom had picked up some years ago. (We're not sure why, but hey! I'm not complaining!)

All in all, I'm not sure that I was that much of a help. I cut out pattern pieces...but not the actual fabric. I also pressed open seams and pinned a few things. Mom did the rest, and she did it beautifully. After a while, though, she kept repeating this funny phrase about how it was costume sewing - and not her 4-H sewing. She doesn't want anyone looking at her seams, and she grumbled a bit about it not being her best. (There was also a long rant about the point in the front of the bodice and how it was a bit much for a child's costume...but that it had been perfect for my red taffeta courtwarming dress years ago....) As far as I'm concerned, though, Mom's a genius and the costumes are perfect!

We had to leave the Cinderella dress with Mom so that she could put the skirt, side puffs and bodice together and then set the zipper - a concept that fills me with dread. I have to hand stitch the inside of Snow White's sleeve bands, and I'll need to hem both dresses - both tasks I feel comfortable with.

And come Halloween, I'll have the most beautiful princesses in town!


Anne said...

Halloween was always a big deal at our house too. My mum always made my costumes, and I think she may still even have some of them!

Bonnie said...

Oh boy - can't wait for the Halloween pictures!!!

angela said...

I love the idea of hand made costumes. I'm the same as you--the garment thing just eludes me. I do alright with knitted things...just clothing is all about easing and unsewing till you get it right.

In quilting and knitting both it is my choice and I often leave the glitch and go on to finish the project anyway. Ha ha. Perfection being the enemy of creativity...that's okay. On a garment that could be the glaring error.

Shelda said...

I love the cat hanging on her shoulder while she sews!

Good for you all for making real costumes. They'll be treasured memories for sure.

Paula said...

That is so funny to see the cat in the supervisory position! Kudos to Grandma for coming through for Halloween.