I love Halloween! Hands down it is my favorite holiday. Costumes, handing out sweets to friends I haven’t met yet, scary movies and Autumn breezes cannot be beat.
But dressing up has to be my favorite part. I remember my favorite costumes growing up – a space alien with green face paint and wearing the clothes from my Raggedy Andy doll that was the slightly bigger than me when I got it for Christmas.
As an adult, I got back into the spirit in late 90s when I worked at Georgia Perimeter College (now called Perimeter College and part of Georgia State University). The campus where I worked would have little visitors trick or treat our hallways after a talk about Halloween safety from our campus police and before a “stay in school” talk.
My costumes back then were cheap off the rack get ups. It wasn’t until I had the space and a designated room to sew that I began making my own costumes. The first was Butterick 4571 followed by McCall’s 4948 (View B Alice in Wonderland) pictured below.
I never could have made the first one on my own. Some garments you just need a mannequin, dress form or a partner to help with fitting.
I love wearing this dress despite making some fitting mistakes. The pattern runs large even though I went with the size that matched my measurements. I adjusted the waist but didn’t realize the bodice was slightly too large for me until I was finished. I was too lazy to frog it back and alter the shoulder. So this week I finally added a bra holder to keep it out of sight and keep the shoulder from sliding off.
I wanted a few costumes I could rotate. In 2014 I thought I would try making a dress on my own and picked the Alice in Wonderland pattern from McCall’s 4948.
Big mistake! It was a lot more challenging for me at the time and without having a dress form I had to guess and make blind decisions. One arm is too tight, the peter pan collar wasn’t included so I had to find one online and I forgot to buy fabric and had to use a less than optimal fabric I had on hand. It didn’t help I started this way too close to the holiday and had to rush to finish.
Someday I want to go back and fix these especially since I completed the BurdaStyle teaching certification (find me here). Now I know exactly what I would do to make the collar lay correctly by understitching and edgestitching the collar in place. I also learned a few tricks that would have made gathering the sleeve and skirt more of treat. I think I broke the gathering threads in the skirt at least three times and had to start over. Now I know better.
My next big idea is to make a dress that looks like Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas. The most difficult part I think will be finding all the different fabrics to make the patchwork dress.
Do you make homemade Halloween costumes? If so, share in the comments.