So, I have a thing about Halloween, y’all. I INSIST on making my kids’ costumes.
I’m not sure where this tick originated, but I really just can’t bring myself to buy any of those plasticky costumes. I think my mom always made my costumes (difference here is that she knows how to sew), and I loved them– I remember in particular one year she bought a pattern and made me a whole Laura Ingalls costume, replete with bonnet, undershift, aprony top thing (these are all technical sartorial terms for vintage frontier wear, you know). I wore that thing all year round and loved it.
So maybe it comes from mom, or maybe it’s just my nostalgia for my childhood and a simpler, cobbled together costume age. Or if I’m being all activist about it, maybe it’s my protest against commercialism and mass produced crap. In truth, it’s probably just that I love the way the costumes turn out.
I will share some of my previous years’ projects in a post soon, but for now I wanted to share some craziness I saw at the fabric store, while searching for patterns for this year’s costumes. Sadly, I didn’t find any patterns that fit the bill, but I managed to figure it all out online, so thank you interwebs! Much better than the Butterick catalog. Incidentally, this year I’m creating a four-year-old Mr. Freeze costume and a seven-year-old Draco Malfoy costume. But more on that soon.
So, have you ever looked at the costume patterns in a fabric store catalog? At first, I was intently focused on the clothes themselves since I needed very specific things. But then, I started to look at the big picture. Now, I realize that sewing your own clothes is probably a dying art, if it’s not already DOA. So I’m sure that there isn’t a huge budget for styling the pattern photos or for creating the patterns themselves. But seriously, they can’t do better than this? Or at least find someone who has some sense of aesthetics?
Let me share.
First of all, I’m kind of appalled at the options for women. Who wants to be Cha Cha Cha for Halloween?
If you wear this costume, you are not allowed any shoes, by the way. Who is this lady? Is she a flamenco dancer? A gypsy? What?
You could also be a SASSY LADY.
I will apologize right now for the sad quality of these photos, but I was taking them surreptitiously with my iPhone. Hard to see because of the blur, but do you see the title of this pattern at the bottom, beneath the Butterick label? ”Sassy Ladies.” What on earth? Like, again, who are these sassy ladies? Also, note the traditional 70s-style line drawing pattern book illustration. This is like a whole genre of its own, right? I’m sure they haven’t updated this aesthetic in about, well, like, EVER. Can we get on this? Can someone come up with a better option?
So, I’m protesting the sexualized nature of the ladies’ Halloween costume options. Everything is so… sexy. Where’s my scary mummy costume? Do I have to be sassy at Halloween? What if I just want to freak the bejesus out of you?
If you’re looking for innocent and tame, there’s always this “historical” costume.
A long winter’s nap, indeed. Is this pattern historically accurate? I’m pretty sure the following one IS NOT:
I think someone at Simplicity needs to do more homework on sixteenth-century hemlines.
They’ve even taken a classic, CLASSIC piece of innocent Americana and sexed it up. I give you:
Zoinks, y’all. Indeed, this is a “sassy version of these beloved classics.” Dorothy is so parched; would you be a doll and get her a little sippy of water? I’m gonna call it and say that the Scarecrow is totally phoning it in. What is that pose? The witch might have herself confused with a cat, although I can’t be sure. And what is this one-bent-leg-pigeon-toed-in thing that they are all rockin’? I cannot wear any of these costumes because my boobs are not nearly big enough.
One thing about these patterns that cracks me up is the blatant copyrighted rip-offs. I’m sure everyone is looking for a Snow White costume pattern, but they can’t really SAY Snow White, so they make up some private-label version that still lets you know what it is without infringing on copyright. So we get:
You can actually turn it into a party game if you try to guess what some of the patterns are really supposed to be.
I’m going with Lord of the Rings, obviously, but I think you could make a case, perhaps, for Harry Potter? No?
This one I love:
Halloween in the City, people? Do you really think Sarah Jessica Parker would be caught dead in that gingham bunny get-up?
Or, your whole family could go as the Happy Dancers!
First of all, HA! Second of all, they even rip off the original font.
I’m going to end with some historical costumes. For these, it’s not the costume itself that’s so bad, it’s the models. Apparently, everyone in history was either sassy, wistful, or mischievous. No one ever smiled in history? Just looked normally at the camera?
You gotta leave a comment telling me your favorite. There are so many doozies!
Post soon on the progress of this year’s costume production.