Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Costume dilemmas


It's that time of year again - time to get serous about my kids' Halloween costumes.  I used to be firmly and totally in the homemade costume camp, but last year I admitted the reality of how little time I have for sewing costumes, and how little satisfaction my kids and I had had from some of the results.

I took them to one of the big Halloween stores and let them pick out costumes.  It wasn't too bad for the boy, who knew what he wanted, found what he wanted, and was happy with it.

But the girl struggled to find what she wanted.  First she wanted to be a ghost, but they didn't have any basic ghost costumes!  (I'm still flabbergasted that a simple ghost was just not available, but I guess it's too plain for our modern tastes or something.)

Then she wanted to be a witch.  And here was where I discovered the sad fact that little girls' Halloween costumes have become really tacky and inappropriate.  I know adult women have embraced the holiday as a chance to dress like a "sexy cat/nurse/race car driver/etc", and that the teen costumes are pretty bad too, but if you are buying a child's size 4/5, it should not be sexy.  No.  Not OK.

We ended up with one that was still inappropriate and I made her wear leggings under the dress instead of the thigh high stockings it came with.  But it was so cheaply and poorly made it didn't even survive one party and then a short stint of trick or treating.  Really not worth the money at all.

So what should I do this year?  The boy wants to be The Curiosity, so we'll be doing cardboard construction and buying some bicycle lights to put on it or something, but she has listed her ideas as: a goth rag doll, Snow White, or a Ninja Girl.  Now, the Ninja Girl seemed like a chance to reuse his Ninja Boy costume from last year, but no ... she doesn't like that idea.

There is WishCraft, and I think that may be the route I'm going to take this year, even though it is pricey.  Hopefully the quality will hold up and not rip apart in two uses.


  1. I hated kids storebought costumes for the same reason – ten years ago when my girl was little. I think the goth rag doll could be very easy if you went the Tim Burton route: striped BW tights, black lace up boots (you could even make felt spats with yarn laces), a simple cotton empire waist dress with a Peter Pan collar from the thrift with a rectangular piece of cotton tacked on a the front waist seam for an apron (you could even hand pleat and staple if you had to)... maybe some black cardboard circles for buttons... I'm guessing it would probably take the same time to "make" as it would to run around looking for something suitable in the store bought variety. Good luck!

  2. I agree. Last year it was impossible to find something age appropriate for a 13 year old. Everything was way to adult even for the kids costumes. I too had to go online and really search out what we needed. Currently I am searching for a unicorn costume for a Narnia play and running into the same problems.