Thursday, November 3, 2011

Homemade Costumes to the Rescue

Homemade Halloween costumes tug at my heart strings; there is something about the get-ups that are obviously homemade that get me everytime. I like their imperfections, as opposed to the mass produced costumes with perfect lines and straight stitches.

That's not to say I haven't seen some super cute ones out there that haven't caught my eye. Mitchell's first Halloween he dressed up as a skunk. I don't think I could have pulled that one off  (I was talking about making the costume not wearing it).

So stinking cute...

Fast forward three years and I had two little boys who were both interested in being super heroes.

We put our heads together and came up with Star Man and Lightning Man:

These costumes were fun to put together, and easy peasy!

Here are the steps I took to turn my little angels into superheros:

1. The cape and mask were store bought, we glued lightning bolts and stars cut out of foam onto the masks.

2. I bought girls' leggings (Don't tell JD, he thinks they are track pants) and folded the lace on the bottom under. I am actually keeping the leggings, I mean track pants, for when we go up north to the cold country for the holidays.

3. The belt is made out of felt. I cut it to the desired length and glued on the black felt buckle. I sewed snaps onto them, but needed a little tape at last minute for a little extra reinforcement (we are a lot of tacos at dinner that night).

4. The shirts were my favorite part to make and basically cover the extent of my sewing capabilities. The method is reversed applique, a technique that I learned from my good friend Rachel, over at Stitched in Color. Here are the steps as I remembered them:

a. Draw or trace desired design on fabric (white long sleeved shirts in this case) using a sharpie or fabric chalk, depending on whether you want your line to be visible or not. I used sharpie and it did run a little bit in the wash, but didn't ruin anything.

b. Pin the fabric that you would like to show up under the shirt, make sure the fabric reaches beyond the edges of your design.

c. Stitch along the line that you've drawn, so you are basically sewing the fabric to the article of clothing.

(I apologize because I stopped taking pictures here. I think I got too excited about the end result, I didn't stop for much. I bet you can still follow along, you smartie, you).

d. Using sharp scissors, cut the shirt inside of the stitching, revealing the fabric underneath. If you use a shirt that is made of cotton, the edges should roll up once you wash it.

And that's it. The boys loved their costumes, and I loved watching them save the neighborhood.

 Our little guys made out like bandits, I mean super heroes. As soon as they went to sleep that night I purged their pumpkins of all candy that was simply sugar or loaded with food coloring (except for dum-dums, once in a while you need a sucker on hand for emergency situations. And they're so small, right?). We basically saved the chocolate bars. Many of which were sent off to work with the husband (I didn't ask if they were going to the break room or into his desk, I won't ask). I'm hoping the boys slowly start to forget about the chocolate bars (fact: they have hardly asked for any, It's me I'm hoping forgets about the chocolate bars).

Hopefully next year they will want to be something else simple that I can create in just a few steps. Or maybe I'll become a fabulous seamstress in 2012? OK, enough dreaming, I'm off to forget about chocolate by partaking in apple crisp.

P.S. My very talented husband put this short video together feat. Star Man and Lightning Man- check it out!


  1. Great post, Erin! Chocolate bars or apple crisp. Hmm.. That's a hard one.

  2. My grandsons will always be my super heroes, thank you for creating such wonderful memories, love you all !!!

  3. You did a great job Erin! I also have a special place in my heart for handmade costumes as my mom made as many of our as she could. I don't know how it'll play out for me though, I don't have sewing skills like you do! So cute, and the video is perfect!!

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