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Friday, September 23, 2011

Fake a Homemade Costume

As a young Girl Scout, I learned to sew. Both Shelley and I took classes in sewing, quilting, and knitting (What can I say, we're dorks). In fact she makes the most amazing crochet animals. (Hey Shelley you should post photos of those). I even own my very own Martha Stewart recommended sewing machine. It cost way too much money and was a tough sell to my husband 15 years and several tax brackets ago. I wooed him with promises of never having to hire out his tailoring and mending or pay retail for curtains and bedding again—it would practically pay for itself.

After the birth of our 3rd child, my craft room became a nursery and I haven’t seen my sewing machine since. Frankly, sewing projects take space, time, and patience, all of which I no longer have. (It’s sad how I loose a little of myself with each new child, but that is a conversation for another day. I know, not a super mommy thing to say, but tell me you haven’t felt the same way at least once in your life).

Our dear friends throw the best Halloween party every year—costumes mandatory. One of the highlights of my 11 year old daughter’s life was winning the “Best Costume” award at their party when she was 6. She has been trying to regain her crown every year since. Each year she picks the theme and the two of us create the costumes together—after convincing (and sometimes bribing) her brothers to participate.

I stopped buying costumes years ago, partly because I’m cheap and partly because costume manufacturers have decided that our daughters are never too young to start dressing in slutty little costumes. Last year Superstar (my pet name for aforementioned daughter) chose the theme Alice in Wonderland. I started my search online and this is what I found.

OVER MY DEAD BODY! What are these companies thinking? And what kind of parent is buying this? They wouldn’t be selling it if someone wasn’t buying it. Cyber Mommies, please tell me I am not alone on this.

I searched everywhere and could not find an age-appropriate version of this costume. It was time to fake it. No one knew. In fact, they all thought that we spent a ton of money. Here is my no-sew creation:

Darling Husband: I purchased the wig. The top hat belonged to my grandfather. The coat, scarves, vest, messenger bag, gloves, socks, and shoes came from my closet. Total cost $14

Superstar: I purchased the dress at an upscale consignment shop for $10 (Which she wore again on Easter Sunday). I ordered the apron from Ebay for 4.95 (and it makes an appearance every time we bake cookies). Superstar made a “Drink Me” bottle and “Eat Me” cake that she carried in a little purse.

Woobie : I purchased the hat, nose, and clock at the local party store for $13. Everything else was from our closet.

Total Price: $41.95, Winning the “Best Costume Contest”: Priceless

FYI: I dressed as the Queen of Hearts. I have been forbidden from posting photos of the other children and I can’t find one of myself without them. I absolutely respect their request and will do a better job of taking photos this year.

Stay tuned for this year’s totally top secret costumes—the costume contest business is cut-throat.

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