Monday, October 31, 2005

Ghosties and Ghoulies and Long-legged Beasties

The rain held off until we had turned off the lights and most of the trick or treaters had gone home. Not a very elaborate Halloween for us: the highspot was probably the magic show performed by Count Wakula at the library.

I have been involved with Halloween costumes since the kids were little. Back then it was pretty basic, usually involving a cardboard box and some wire or a couple of yards of cheap fabric. The PreTeena caroon by Allison Burroughs hits the nail on the head. There are more indoor parties these days, which demand fancier and fancier costumes. The fabric store is a riot of spangly, glittery and colorful material, but, amateurs beware! These same fabrics tend to be slippery and treated with all kinds of gummy substances, which can play havoc with a machine. Liesl’s butterfly wings last year were decorated with sequins, which were glued onto the fabric and my thread frayed every inch. And this is the time of year when the soccer mums descend on the fabric store the week before Halloween. “Halloween costumes,” they think, “how difficult can that be!” An assistant at my favorite store was telling me about the woman who bought an elaborate pattern, opened it up and asked what all the sheets of paper were for.

This year I made two very simple costumes. That was just as well as my sewing room is full of books and my machine and iron are crammed into one end of the bedroom. Liesl was an angel (infinitely easier than her earlier request for a rock costume. Not as in Christine Aguilerra, but an honest to goodness geological specimen.) And for Manny I made a king’s costume. Kate made her kids costumes and the others passed around costumes from previous years.

I also found a photo of the armor I made last year for Emmanuel, but haven't been able to find photos of the costumes I have made in the last few years actually being worn. I did manage to find a photo from 1973. It is blurry and faded, but it brought back memories of dying a mophead for Kate's wig and cutting up sacks for the Indian chief. Again I vow to make an early start next year and have costumes made and ready by September. Let's see!

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