I’ve been obsessed with Halloween since I can remember. There’s the candy (specifically, Reese’s pumpkins), the movies (Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus on repeat), and then the absolute best part: costumes.
That’s why each October, I find myself filled with equal amounts of dread and excitement. How can I possibly top last year’s costume?
I blame my mom. She sewed us matching spider costumes when I was 5. I was a homemade foam banana at 8. And then there’s the costume that will forever live in infamy: the Titanic.
Yes, my parents actually constructed half an ocean liner out of cardboard. We completed the morbid look with blue lipstick, white face powder, plastic icicles in my hair, and a period-appropriate white life vest. Keep in mind, James Cameron’s epic came out earlier this year. I wasn’t a disaster-obsessed, politically incorrect adolescent. At least, I didn’t know I was at the time.
My mom continued helping me out into adulthood. A month into dating Marc, we went to a party dressed like Dirtbag Peter Pan and Lumière the Candlestick. As if the shiny vinyl, white batting, and gold lamé look wasn’t cartoony enough, my lovely friend Veronica painted my face with a glitter bomb of metallic makeup.
The next year, I spent Halloween at Horseshoe Casino in Indiana, where I pulled slots as an ostrich. That’s all tulle and fake feathers under the bustle. That same winter, my parents gave me a gift that would change my life: my beloved Brother sewing machine.
It was time to start making my own Halloween costumes.
Before I started this humble blog, I had an even humbler tumblr. That’s where I documented my first me-made Halloween costume: a spring roll. “You’re sushi!” Wrong, but close enough. The dress was a complete mess inside, but I loved it.
Then came double Wonkas. Never again will I sew two coats in the span of a month.
Last year I learned the importance of a good wig. Cruella de Vil just isn’t the same without the black-and-white hair. A cute puppy accessory doesn’t hurt, either.
That brings us to today. It’s only a couple weeks until Halloween, and I’m surprisingly zen about my costume situation this year. Let’s just say I’ll be chopping off a certain light-green bridesmaid dress, and I need to find or make a 2-foot-tall blue wig. 😇
Sometimes I wish I didn’t have the Halloween-freak gene. Trying to outdo myself each year is daunting. But if there’s any trait that my parents passed on to me (beyond the obvious eyebrows, chimple and overzealous arm gestures), it’s resourcefulness. My Halloween costumes have never really looked like anyone else’s, and I want to keep it that way.
Halloween sparked my love for sewing, and sewing makes me love Halloween a little bit more each year.