October 31, 2014


So, Halloween costumes are done. This is going to be a long, boring discussion about sewing. There are pictures of kids at the end though. 

 The costumes weren't a total failure. But they weren't quite perfect either. Orianna wanted to be an Egyptian princess, Lily wanted to be an Indian Princess, and Gilbert and Elsie didn't get to choose. Gilbert was thrilled to be an astronaut, just like his cousin Elliott (who we stole the costume from) and Elsie got to be a gnome girl because I love gnomes and happened to have a red gnome hat from Gilbert's Gnome costume last year. 

So here are the basis for the kids outfits. 

Pretty specatular hm? This is from an enormously expensive catalog/site, chasing-fireflies.com, and I think for the whole get up, it would have run into the hundreds. (Note the plural at the end of hundred.) 

There were a lot of different things for Indian princess costumes, but this was the one Lily and I liked the best. (Maybe because the girl is so stinking cute.)

And this is the Little Gnome Girl costume from chasing-fireflies.com, which was about $60-$70. 

So with these pictures in my head and a list in my hand, I headed off to JoAnns. Where I quickly discovered that trim is not very cheap. After spending $40 for all this stuff I was a little disgusted. I could have bought two $20 costumes with absolutely no work involved. 

Last year I made myself use fabric and trim I already owned, so I spend about $0. $40 inflation in one year.... Me thinks next year might be back to zero. 

Lily's costume was pretty straightforward, no real problems. I didn't use a pattern, so the sleeve holes are a little tight, but otherwise, simple. 

Orianna's on the other hand was horrid. I hate that fabric. It bunches, it twists, picks up stains like no tomorrow, and it poofs in all the wrong places. 

This is me ripping out the first messed up attempt at a zipper. And I thought I was doing so well! until I turned it right side out and saw how messed up it was. I also didn't make enough of a seam allowance, so the raw edges of the fabric were not sewn down and were getting caught in the zipper. Wahhhh!

This is the second attempt. Yep, that is a huge swirl where I sewed extra fabric into the end. It was really easily fixed actually. Just pulled a stitch or two and it was back to normal, albeit, poofy.

To tame the poofy, I ironed it. Too hot as it happened. Which sort of melted a bit of the fabric and made everything nice and smooth, (and a little rough in patches.) It does look better anyway.....

Then, Lily needed something for her head...

Haha! This headdress was $4 on Amazon, so I got it, but it had us all laughing hilariously, so we will just use it for playing. 

Daddy had a leather braid headband he made that seemed pretty good, which is what we went with. (See what I mean about the sleeves being a little too tight? Annoying. Maybe I should use patterns.)

And this is a headdress Lily made a month or so ago for Halloween by pulling feathers out of my feather duster. 

Orianna's Amazon headdress. This was $10 and I am not really nuts about it. But she loved it. 

Gilbert and his $5 astronaut helmet. I love Amazon.

Orianna's belt and collar, done. The belt is too wide and the trim is wonky on the collar and belt, but she is thrilled. Which is the point anyway. When I just had the gold and red on the collar, it really, really looked like the beginning of a Mexican Party Sombrero. I had grave doubts. But at 9, the night before Halloween, you can't change direction, so I just kept on. Even after the blue trim went waaaay off course. I decided that makes it look sort of like a necklace. Ha. 

The final result. The dress isn't long enough, but she said "I'm so happy!" with a little bounce. So I wasn't about to tell her it wasn't perfect. 

My happy astronaut

Love these kids!

Gnomes and astronauts are always good friends!

The Halloween parade at school

This is the brother of one of Lily's friends, pretty cool truck!

Cool owl wings that you can't see. Someone cut out a lot of felt! It was pretty!

Fall fairy

Lily getting a hug

Lily's friend, Caleb, as an excavator. This is Caleb who has decided he is marrying Lily. He has given her a ring. She is not the least bit sure about marriage. But she likes the ring. 


Lily's class. A lot of the teachers dressed as Scrabble tiles. I was wondering if they spelled something all together, but I never saw them all together. 

A fat suit

This really cracked me up for some reason. Her hair was in curlers, lots of make-up, a bath robe, and pajamas. I felt like she should have a cigarette and a cup of coffee and talk out of the side of her mouth about disillusionment. 

And a tree on the way home.

October 30, 2014

Of failed Halloween Costume Sewing and Random Pictures

I was planning on having the kids Halloween costumes done and doing a blog post on how original their costumes were and what a great seamstress I am. But surprisingly, they aren't done. I just had to rip a zipper out this morning. So tomorrow might be pictures of cobbled together costumes that I could have bought cheaper, with higher quality sewing to begin with. I always think it will be fun. As though losing my temper at inanimate objects (like my sewing machine, a zipper, recalcitrant trim) is fun. 

One of my facebook friends posted an Elsa dress she sewed in one afternoon. And it went so well, she sewed another dress (just for fun!) for her daughter. 

I might hate her. 

Meanwhile, I will go sew the zipper in again, (probably to tear it out again) and make a mental note just to buy the stupid things next year. The trouble is, next year is so far away, so by the time it rolls around, it seems like a good idea again.  

Elsie just pulled out a little bunny snow hat and is perfectly delighted with it. 
She would be content walking about trick or treating in a snow hat. And yet I somehow think I need to make a darling little costume.... I must love complication. 

In lieu of pictures of Halloween costumes, here are some random pictures from September. And they are from my phone, so they aren't even great quality. But it makes me feel sort of caught up. 

A newt on one of my morning walks. A newt! I had never seen one before. Isn't it cool? 

The meeting of the two Elsies. One of our good friends has a niece Elsie, just a few months younger than our Elsie, so they had to meet. 

Gilbert getting ready for his tube surgery

Isn't he cool?

The Down Syndrome Society walk

There is face painting, which the kids love. Gilbert was a pirate.

Lily just got a design

Orianna is a princess

Gilbert's speech teacher, for four years was there, so Gilbert had to walk with her. He loves Cathy!

Walking in front of the library. 

Gilbert and Logan

Some of the Down Syndrome Society members.

A bouncy house obstacle course!

A stop at Bokie's afterward for ice cream. We love Bokies!

Autumn field

Apple Tree

Super Gilbert ready for meeting

Corn in the morning

Best Buds