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Your Peacock…Your Peacock!

Let me see your peacock!

I couldn’t resist.

Unfortunately I’ve heard the song.  I have another post for another day regarding my affection for Katy Perry, but not today.

Let’s just say, since I don’t really know what I’m doing before I go into a project like this, unfortunately I’m not able to write a DIY type of blog post.  That would be cool, but to be honest, I really DKHTDIM (Don’t Know How To Do It Myself) except for winging it…All I know is, recently in a few books and when I heard a person speak, the questions were posed:

  • What makes you feel alive?  
  • What memory from your childhood do you have of yourself being really happy while doing something you enjoyed?  
  • What do you LOVE to do?

At first I wasn’t in a place where I even knew or remembered how to answer the questions.  I LOVE to be with my family.  I LOVE to be with my friends.  I LOVE to be alone.

Oxygen makes me feel alive…

All great answers, but not exclusively “me”…but when I’m in my basement, tearing things apart and re-creating, well, that’s when I see glimpses of what makes me feel alive…

Creating.  Art.  Designing.  Making it up as I go.  
And doing it on a dime.  It’s fun for me!


I’m not bragging.  I’m just so excited I’ve found something I love to do, something that gives me inspiration and energy to face the laundry and piles of dishes.

Here’s how it’s going so far.

First we cut strips of tan ultra-suede we had left over from Em’s Sacajawea costume,  celery green ovals from some upholstery, kelly green ovals from a Baja Expedition t-shirt, and royal blue spots from an oversized man shirt Jason got from a work softball game.  We added tassels from upholstery cording my mom had given me years ago that was sitting in a box that. whole. time.

These are for the feathers that will make up a bustle type thingamajigger on Em’s tushy.

Em had a navy blue t-shirt she wasn’t wearing so we used it as the base for the bodice.  I sewed royal blue feathers for the chest out of more of the oversized man t-shirt.

Remember “Caboodles?”  Yep.  That’s my Caboodle from Junior High which once housed my electric blue mascara, now posing as my sewing box.  And that lavender tulle is going to be a bolero.  I had to have my mom come over and tell me how to work with elastic.  There are some things I can totally wing.  But elastic stumps me every time…I don’t know why, but my brain freezes and I’m not sure how to use it…it’s weird.  Maybe I got flicked by too many flying rubber bands in elementary school???

And this is my favorite part because it’s entirely Emily’s design and creation.  We got the peacock feather with a few others attached in the floral dept of Wally World, but she did all the rest, complete with gold embossed feathers and all the bling.  The kid’s got an eye for this stuff!

As the “feathers” for the actual skirt were starting to come together, Em said, “Mom, this is actually going to be cool!  I had no idea you had something like this in mind…”

Thanks, kid.  Apparently she hasn’t been that impressed with my other impromptu costumes.  Smack.

And since the creative juices are flowing in the basement, Em’s gotten out her sketch book and started designing gowns and other fancy numbers.  It’s fun to see her put her dreams on paper…one day she and I will put her paper dreams into material.

A Brief History of Em’s Halloween Costumes

Hindsight is 20/20.

2005, Em’s 3rd birthday party with recycled skirts made from daddy’s pant legs.  Flower hats made from recycled upholstery materials.

Apparently I’ve always been a recycle-er.  I was “green” before “green” was even cool.

With jewelry I love to take old pieces apart and repurpose them into something fun and modern, which is what I mainly do with bebe and boo.  As far as sewing projects, I’ve always been a fan of cutting something up that I haven’t worn in a while and making something new.  When Em was a baby I took a pair of Jason’s old khaki pants and cut the legs off.  (I think he wanted shorts to mow the lawn in…???)  Anyway, with one of the legs I ripped out the seams, added some lime green and raspberry material strips, a zipper, and random flower petals and made myself a skirt.  With the other pant leg I put a strip of elastic in the hem, added decorative buttons, ribbon, and a fabric flower and made Em a skirt.  I’m not a fan of patterns, but throwing stuff together is just fun for me.  It makes my mom crazy.

I’ll be the first to admit that my randomness doesn’t always pan out.  I’ve thrown a lot of attempts in the trash.  Others are a pleasant surprise, like my Grandma’s old bed sheets I actually have on right now as pajama pants, or a $.25 pillow case and antique handkerchief I made into a skirt for myself.  For me, part of it is using something outside the box, part of it is the thrill of knowing it cost little to nothing to make.  The other part is knowing it’s a one of a kind creation.  It’s just fun!

So, today Em and I headed to the basement to see what kind of random stuff we had on hand to make a peacock costume for her for Halloween.  Thankfully she hasn’t listened to the Katy Perry album so for Em, being a peacock will simply be dressing up for fun as one of the most beautiful creatures on earth.

Jason and I are doing Financial Peace University, so I’m really, REALLY trying to make this costume on a dime.  We found some old t-shirts, old designer fabrics and tassels, and some old drapes (can you say “Sound of Music?”).  Em got out a sketch book and we googled peacock feathers and color palettes.  So far I’ve made ONE feather.  ONE.  It took 15 minutes.  This is actually good for me as I usually wait until the eve of Halloween to even START sewing a costume, so this year I’m ahead of myself I guess, but we’ve got our work cut out for us…

Here’s what we’ve found so far:

The treasures we found in the basement

Cutting stuff apart for a little trial and error 

Recycled T’s

Em’s sketch book 

Em’s sketch of what her shirt will look like

The first practice feather…it’s going to be a heavy skirt!

Who said microsuede (actually from her Sacajawea costume, 2008), upholstery, and t-shirts don’t go together?!

Cutting pieces for mass feather production

Sacajawea, 2008

Egyptian Princess, 2009

Betsy Ross, 2010

Em actually didn’t wear the Betsy Ross costume for Halloween, but for Early American History Week at school.  I’m not going to lie.  I was a little disappointed.  Halloween 2010, Em had it in her head that she wanted to buy a costume, a pirate costume, at that.  After we bought it, and she wore it, she asked me if I would please make her costumes from then on.  I was excited!  My mom always made our costumes, and even if it made her crazy, I think she had fun creating them, just like I do, too.
So, we’ll see how the peacock turns out.  The sad thing is, I won’t even be with Em on Halloween to see her in her peacock glory!  She’ll be in SD with her daddy!  Ry and I are just going to stick a bowl of candy on the front porch and go to bed early 🙂  My costume:  sleeping housewife.