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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.

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