In a lead up to Hallowe'en this year I thought I'd post a round up of costumes I've made over the years. After compiling all of these photos in one spot, I'm noticing an intense progression into insanity. You can also see I trade youth for more sewing skill and money for materials.
About two years before this photo I started University. Hallowe'en had become an awkward holiday until this point. I was no longer little and cute and I'd had some typical awkard teen moments. An especially horrifying memory is that of me dressed as Pipi Longstockings when I was like 15...so cringeworthy. Then I realized that you could dress as something cool. I dressed up as Lara Croft from Tomb Raider. It was pretty much just a tank top, khaki shorts, a french braid and some guns in holsters but it worked well and I felt super cool and badass all night. I wore the same costume the next year and drank TNT beer all night with bravado. This started a trend of dressing as badass super hero type ladies to justify my running around and acting obnoxious all Hallowe'en. I also felt this was somehow superior to dressing as a "sexy cat" as the costumes were accurate to the characters. Look at me on my high horse.
For Wonder Woman, I had about zero sewing knowledge but I think ignorance was bliss and I just jumped in and went to it with this costume. I borrowed my mom's serger and copied a tube top and some exercise shorts I had for construction. I covered my boots in red fabric which closed with some velcro under the sole. This led to me slipping and diving face first into the sidewalk. My partner took me to the bathroom to clean up where I freaked out because the sink was full of blood. I was hysterical until I realized it was decoration and that I just had a scraped up chin and an embarassing bruise.
My partner was an excellent Steve Zissou mostly because of his ability to grow a full beard at the age of 20. I helped with the gun holster (what with all my Lara Croft experience) and he did the rest at Value Village.
I'm realizing that in these early days we didn't take a lot of photos and that they were generally terrible.
I had just graduated and was super broke and looking for work. I butched what I think was a children's dress from india, added an apron and a shirt I already owned to make this costume. Most costume energy was focussed on my partner who was an amazing Edward Scissorhands. His crazy long curly black hair was perfect and we went from there. I can find zero pictures of this costume which is a shame. You can just imagine Johnny Depp here.
Leelo and Waldo
I cropped a t-shirt too short (check out the bottom of my bra) and drew lines down the front of some tan yoga pants. I made the suspenders out of some thick orange mystery fabric. The hair was a ton of hairspray and orange spray on top of that. I loved this costume but regretted it when I wore it to a party in an unfinished trappers cabin in the woods near Whistler. Everyone else showed up in neon ski suits and I nearly froze to death.
My partner just commented that this costume was super lazy. He's right. I showed him how to handsew and he threw some white stripes on a red sweater.
My friends told me to dress as Xena every year and this was the year I relented. It was an awesome costume but my fingers were sore for days after putting in all those brass studs in the pleather. I had no pattern I just made this up as I went along attempting to make bra cups out of pleather. I fastened everything with adhesive backed velcro that I sewed to the pleather which essentially destroyed my $60 sewing machine I bought at Canadian Tire. I painted a lot of the gold details on with gold paint and my weapon was made from a stack of paper plates.
My partner was a super creepy Jesus from the Big Lebowski. This costume was mostly just dying all his clothes purple and wearing a lot of tacky jewelry.
Silk Spectre and Max
I am a huge fan of the graphic novel The Watchmen. The movie came out right before this Hallowe'en and I remember it made a bunch of money at the box office. I assumed that this meant a lot of people had seen it. I was wrong, everyone thought I was Betty Page and out of a 2 parties of at least 100 people only 3 or 4 had seen the movie. I attempted to drape some chiffon into a garment and I think it looked good enough but looking back on this one I'm noticing how sloppy the sewing is.
Where the Wild Things Are also came out that year. My partner was super comfy and warm and everyone wanted to hug him. We made him a giant furry suit and he begrudgingly learned how to sew buttons. The pipecleaner whiskers were my favourite. We lived in a cold and damp house that year and I would wear this max costume around the house constantly to keep warm until it became so musty and gross we had to throw it out.
I cannot find any better pictures of these costumes but they were actually really good.
I even had red tights and white lace up boots. This was my first year using a sewing pattern. I adapted a shift dress pattern from Sew U heavily. I cut out gold and appliqued it on with a zig zag stitch but left raw egdes so it frayed quite quickly. I ran around kicking the air a lot that year.
My partner was adamant that he would be slutty Robin Hood. I was all for it as I think it is hilarious when men wear tiny shorts and tights on Hallowe'en just like women. I have one male friend who always wore typical sexy costumes on Hallowe'en. That way he could walk up to girls and say "Oh wow, I'm a cat too" while wearing tights and a tube top. I made this green top based on a tshirt out of some green felt and my partner learned about eyelets and hammers.
This was the turning point of Hallowe'en. I feel like we can never go back now. The bar has been set, however I don't know that we can ever top these costumes.
I bought an XL blue MorphSuit and took in the waist and crotch to make it fit better. I then mixed acrylic paint with a fabric paint additive to paint scales all over the suit. The most time consuming part was the hair and make up. It was a 45 minute process to paint my face, gel my hair and spray it red and then carefully put in my yellow contacts. This costume was so much fun and I felt constantly compelled to do weird yoga poses in it.
We ended up purchasing the Data shirt to save time. More facepaint and yellow contacts helped with this one. I think my partner was very good at nailing his detached expression.
Despite these characters being unrelated everyone definitely enjoyed them more together. Ever since we have done couples costumes for the added fun.
My partner convinced me to wear these to Fan Expo that year. I had never been to convention before. He told me that everyone went in costume and it was like Hallowe'en in May. This resulted in us waiting for the skytrain in the spring dressed like this while everyone pretended not to notice. A guy came up to us and asked if he could take a photo and as soon as we said yes, all 40 people on the platform raised their phones and took a picture. I have never been photographed so many times as I was that day. People handed me their babies and took photos. It was like being a nerd celebrity. Very surreal.
I saw this concept on some blogs and thought it was genious. We are big fans of The Big Sleep so modelled ourselves after the film noir couple. Our clothes are all grayscale 40's looking finds from Value Village. I wore a grey wig. I even made us grayscale fake cigarettes. We wore greyscale facepaint and grey contacts which looked red in a lot of photos but I think worked in person. This was a lot of make up and I don't know that my partner will ever agree to another costume that involves face paint again.
I thought we looked very recognizable, at least as film noir characters, but everyone thought we were zombies.
The Shredder really stole the show. Such an epic costume. I sewed a grey tunic based off a t-shirt my partner had. I finished the edges of the cape to prevent fraying. We spent a long time cutting out and spray painting black foam for the armour. The helmet I made through making a number of tries with paper first and then made it out of foam. It was fastened with staples and those brads you get at office supply stores. His mask was a spray painted mask from the hardware store with a hole cut in it for drinking. The only down side to this costume was it was quite fragile and some of the foam spikes broke off over the evening.
My jumpsuit was made from the pajama bottoms from Sewaholic Patterns with some extra pockets added. I used the Archer shirt pattern for the top but again added cargo style pockets and shortened the sleeves. With the belt I don't think you tell they were separates at all. My partner made my Channel 6 News label for an Xbox microphone. Most people thought I was on a safari. Am I the only one who remembers the original Ninja Tutles?
This years costumes: Sansa Stark and Petyr Baelish.