Few things are as rewarding as sewing your own Halloween costumes for yourself, your children, and your family. These Halloween costume patterns allow you to create incredibly high quality costumes for family members of any age with little worry about how the results will come out. With patterns from high-quality producers like Simplicity and others, you pretty much know you will get a Halloween costumes that you and your kids will be proud to wear.
There’s something special about making a Halloween costume for your child. Sure, you could head to the nearest big box retailer and pick up the latest superhero or cartoon character outfit, but why not get creative this year and come up with a costume that won’t get lost in a sea of look-alikes?
Making a Halloween costume doesn’t require professional sewing skills. If you can stitch a straight line with your sewing machine, you’re in business. If you are a more experienced sewer, you can get as intricate as you like. But even casual sewers can achieve great results that you’ll be proud to include in the family photo album.
Make one yourself, go to a thrift store and be on the lookout for a simple black or white summer or wedding dress. Look for something without sleeves that is also sheer and low cut. If you need to, you can always cut away sleeves and add slits up the dress to personalize it.
“Halloween is the second largest sewing holiday, next to Christmas,” says Gayle Hillert, vice president, education and training for Bernina of America. “What could be more fun and creative than sewing a great costume for your child — you don’t have to worry about fit, you can use all kinds of exciting fabrics, feet and machine stitches, and your kids will be the talk of the neighborhood in their creative creations lovingly sewn by Mom.”
Find a black wig at any costume shop. You could get the expensive kind, or just cheap synthetic hair. Check your local phonebook for good costume shops. Alternatively, you could dye it black with semi permanent dye!
Search either the Internet, costume stores, or trendy boutiques for a snake armband.
Complete the look with sandal wedges or gold slippers and you’re good to go!
* Look for fast, simple patterns — the fewer pieces, the better, especially if you haven’t followed a pattern for a while.
* Use patterns that can multi-task — for example, a cape pattern can be used for a superhero or a witch. A princess, a fairy and a ballerina all dress alike with a few changes (wings and magic wand for the fairy, pointy hat with netting for the princess, etc.).
Cut out or print pictures to use as a guide for costume creation. Put the pictures in a folder or box to keep for future reference with the same time period or similar setting.
* Details make the difference — don’t forget to include props and makeup in your costume planning; they contribute to the illusion. A broomstick horse completes a cowboy outfit; a cat needs eyeliner whiskers. Costume jewelry and scarves add pizzazz to a pirate’s ensemble.
* Don’t sweat the small stuff — costumes don’t have to be perfect. They are usually for short-term use and are only worn one or two times. No one but you will know if your hem isn’t blind-stitched or your seam allowances aren’t finished.
Develop the costume by building from a central piece of clothing. Use layering and creativity when adding details to costumes. Sew the costume according to measurements to achieve a tailored fit or to add minor detail. Embellish basic clothing for costumes by adding decorative details with a base stitch. Use hot glue to help secure embellishments.
* Use what you have — dig deep into your closet or visit local thrift stores for costume pieces. A velour top and pants are the beginning of a great puppy or kitten costume, for instance. One leg of an old pair of tights makes a great tail for those outfits, or use several pairs to add extra arms and legs to an octopus or a spider.
Modify the clothing to create costumes. Alter the garment with fabric paint. Adhere beads, lace or upholstery rope with a base stitch to create detail for authenticity. Collect basic style clothing from thrift stores, garage sales and estate sales.
* Check your presser feet and accessory collection — the right tools will make the job easier. Use a gathering foot for fast ruffles, a bias binder attachment or serger to finish edges, elasticator to quickly apply elastic, bulky overlock foot to attach fringe, coding and other trims.
Costuming is a fun profession, and I endeavor at all times to keep it that way by remembering the feelings of all my collaborators. At no time should actors feel their bodies are being criticized in a fitting, nor should a student, worker or volunteer be treated as slave labor, nor should a director or another designer be bullied into an unwanted design decision. A desire for excellence is good, but the desire should never be pursued to any degree that ignores labor law, common courtesy or civilized collaboration.
* Use reflective fabrics and tapes — this makes the costume safe for children to wear at night. If you live in a cold climate, make sure the costume is big enough to be worn over something warm.
Be sure you sew them on correctly the first time, because if you make a mistake and have to resew, the sequins will have twice as many holes and look pretty grubby. You should start over with new trim. It can’t be picked off and re-used on another garment, for the same reason, and this is a consideration if the trim is ornate and expensive.
There are parts of your costume–the bra cup, for instance–which would be difficult to fit under a machine presser foot. Handwork is necessary here. And it really does look nice to have a seqinned trim invisibly affixed with hand stitches.
* Get your kids involved in the process — they’ll be proud to wear a costume they’ve helped make.
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