Halloween Costume Archives

I was looking through old Halloween pictures from the past 11 years, and had a few good laughs about some of the costumes we have come up with over the years.

I’m going to share some of my favorites from the Halloween costume archives (hopefully my sisters will do the same for their families… hint hint! because they have some awesome couple costumes.).

Pillowcase Puppy Costume {Home Sweet Homebodies}

I loved this costume so much! It was the first costume I sewed for one of my children. I used a thrifted pillowcase, and an old corduroy shirt for the majority of the costume. My son was about 18 months old. The pillowcase was the perfect size for a little onesie romper with leg closures (I think I used velcro dots) and a hood. Since that used up all my pillowcase fabric, I cut up an old corduroy shirt that had belonged to Marissa’s husband, and made spots, floppy ears, a stuffed tail, and a little candy bag. I made a harness “leash” out of grosgrain ribbon and velcro. The dog tag was made from a broken ID badge holder (It says “Woof” on it). My husband and I just wore athletic clothes and said we were taking our “puppy” for a jog.

Curious George and The Man in the Yellow Hat Costumes

These costumes were created about 4 years ago. I had picked up the Jack-o-lantern costume for the baby from Walmart the previous year after Halloween for $5.  I made a “whipped cream swirl” out of batting, sewed it to a white beanie, and sat him in a pie tin and voila- pumpkin pie. I thought it was clever because we call my son “Lukey Pie” and he was pumpkin pie…  I was pretty much out of energy to make a costume for myself, so I donned an apron, grabbed a wooden spoon (which I forgot for the picture) and said I was the baker who made the pumpkin pie.  Not at all elaborate, but it worked nicely.

I put the monkey costume together by first drawing out a pattern on paper bags. I used a too-small pantsuit as my guide. The brown minky fabric was deeply discounted, and it was very stretchy and forgiving, so that made the pattern drafting much easier.  My husband’s costume was made by dyeing some old white clothes with Rit dye in the washer, and using fabric markers for the spots on the tie. Read more about how I made these costumes here.

I don’t always make my family’s costumes. :) One year we participated in a costume swap and borrowed the cowboy on a horse costume and lion costume.

Cowboy and Lion Costumes

Another year we straight up bought superhero costumes from Costco (I was pregnant and it was such a relief not to have to sew anything).

Avengers Halloween Costumes

One of my favorite years was when we used a combination of things we had already (the hats, wig, and most of the clothes), a few things we purchased (badges, handcuffs and the mustache), and some things we made (the masks and vests). If you can’t tell, my husband and I are the bandits with our wrists cuffed together, and my sons are the sheriffs, with their “tough guy faces” on.

Sheriffs and Bandits Halloween Costume

And then there’s this hilarious gem, which I’m almost too embarrassed to share. But it is so funny to me. It was our first Halloween after we were married. I was little Red Riding Hood and My hubby was the wolf that ate grandma. I tried to persuade my husband that it would be awesome for him to wear a “granny flannel nightie” from the thrift store. He wasn’t convinced, but I’m sure he did it anyway just to make me happy. 😉

Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf Costume

Thanks for humoring my trip down memory lane!

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A Wendy Dress

A couple weeks ago, a friend of mine called me up and asked for help in creating a costume for her daughter, who had landed the role of Wendy in her school’s production of Peter Pan.  We couldn’t find a reasonably priced costume, a nightgown that looked like it could be altered, or a pattern
specifically for a Wendy dress, so I semi-cautiously decided to make a pattern myself. (How hard
could it be? No matter that I mainly sew little boy stuff… hahaha.)

We opted to follow most of the stylistic traits of Disney Wendy’s dress, with a change or two of our own.
started by taking measurements and drafting the bodice pattern (I
actually didn’t start completely from scratch on this, but I radically modified
an existing girls dress pattern- including resizing it and pretty much
changing the entire shape, so… yeah, I’m going to count that as drafting.).  Thankfully, I made a muslin
first, because I needed to make several changes to my first draft to make it fit correctly.


I altered a simple cap sleeve to become a perfect puff sleeve using this technique on Vani’s blog.  Thank goodness for Google searches and awesome people who put up random super-helpful tutorials.

The skirt is just one rectangle, 1.5x the width of the waist measurement.  I know there are other, probably better ways to do this, but this is what I knew and felt comfortable doing, so I went with it.  The bottom ruffle is 2x the width of the skirt.  I sewed the zipper in first, and then sewed the rest of the back seam together.  Oh, and I added a hook and eye above the zipper.  The ribbon belt is tacked on at the side seams to keep everything together in the wash.

I used a little extra ribbon to make a matching hair bow.  (I have to admit that because I don’t have daughters, this is actually the first bow I have ever made- and I really didn’t know what I was doing- so don’t judge too harshly!)

I lined the bodice of the dress for 3 reasons: First, for the “seamless” look on the neckline; second, for a “no-itch” feel- which apparently is really important to eight year olds.  Third, lining the sleeves gave them a little more volume.

I do have to say that the puff sleeves might be my favorite part of the dress.  Aren’t they just adorable?  I’ll just answer my own question- yes!- they are about as adorable as the eight year old wearing them!

The dress isn’t perfect, but it makes a pretty good Wendy-bird costume for the play and for Halloween!  I have to say that I am relieved that it turned out and I didn’t mess the whole thing up… whew!  Has anyone else taken on a project they weren’t sure they could deliver on and how did it turn out?

Toasty Hands Trick-or-Treat Bag

The Toasty Hands Trick-or-Treat Bag

We never know what weather to expect on Halloween night out here in our neck of the woods.  Occasionally it’s balmy, but more often than not, blustery.  I recall more than one Halloween with inches of snow on the ground.  Of course I don’t want my cute little puppies/pumpkins/monkeys/cowboys to come back as popsicles, so I try to layer clothing on them under their costumes.  That still leaves their paws uncovered, and of course we can’t degrade the authenticity of the costume with gloves or mittens!  So what’s a puppy/pumpkin/monkey/cowboy to do?  This was the question going through my mind as I sat down to sew a trick-or-treat bag for my oldest son last week, and the Toasty Hands Trick-or-Treat Bag was born!

Since he is going to be a cowboy-on-a-horse this year, I figured it would be fitting for him to carry a saddlebag-looking treat bag.  It has a strap that he can wear around his neck or slung across his chest.  I sewed on two hand pockets that give plenty of room for wiggly fingers to stay toasty warm.  He can hold the bag open easy as can be, and if he decides he wants to take his paws out to encourage ol’ Trigger into a gallop, why, he can rest easy and just let it settle. Giddyap! (Imagine I said that in my best Roy Rogers voice.)

Seriously, though, I am really excited to use this bag! -Er, have my son use it.  It was easy to make, too.  I sewed it from scraps of tan fleece and some strips of brown felt.  I made it very simply (left the edges raw), and finished the whole thing during naptime.

The view from the front.

View from the back- the only thing I’d change next time is to not put the pockets quite so close together.

Side view with my son’s cute little arm.

There’s no tutorial or pattern because it is pretty self-explanatory, I think.  But if you have questions about dimensions or anything, leave a comment or email me, and I’ll give you whatever info I can.  Have fun Trick-or-Treating!

Last Minute Costumes- Curious George and The Man in the Yellow Hat

Last weekend, my husband said to me, “So…. next week is Halloween, and we have a party on Monday, and Friday, and Saturday… are we dressing up?”  He could have said, “Hey, remember 3 1/2 weeks ago when I told you that Halloween is coming and its going to sneak up on us and we need to start on costumes for the kids so we don’t have to do it all at the last minute?”  Um, yeah.  So I spent the weekend and Monday running to Jo Ann’s and trying to put costumes together (with some help from my very patient, non- complaining husband).
This is what I came up with:

My 2 year old has this monkey that he will not put down all day long and he won’t go to sleep without it (I pray we never lose it!).  He loves it and so I thought it was fitting that he be a monkey.  We recently watched the Curious George movie with him, so it became Curious George, and naturally, my husband would be Ted, the Man in the Yellow Hat.

I picked up the Jack-o-lantern costume for the baby from Walmart last year after Halloween for $5.  I made a “whipped cream swirl” out of batting, sewed it to a white beanie, and sat him in a pie tin and voila- pumpkin pie.  I was pretty much out of energy to make a costume for myself, so I donned an apron, grabbed a wooden spoon (which I forgot for the picture) and said I was the baker who made the pumpkin pie.  Not at all elaborate, but it worked nicely.

The monkey costume came together fairly easily.  I bought some brown fuzzy fabric that was way on sale and made the suit based on an old one piece pantsuit that was too small.  I used a big paper bag to make pattern pieces which I drew out by hand.

I made the hat based on this hat pattern I posted last year (which was way too small for him at this point, but was easily made bigger).  I found some furry tan fleece in the remnants at the fabric store, which was perfect for the ears, feet, and hands.  The tail was made by making a casing for this rolled batting stuff which I have no idea what it is but I found it in the home decor section of Jo Ann’s.

  I tacked the tail to itself to make it curl and then added velcro to it and the body of the costume to hold it up.  I sewed the front of the hat (the part that goes under the chin) to the front of the monkey suit, but I left the back unattached so it would be easier to put the hat on, and also so that he could take it off without taking the whole monkey suit off.

Same deal with the mittens- easy off to facilitate consumption of monkey snacks.

My husband’s costume was pretty easy but time consuming.  We used some white pants and an old white shirt he had and dyed them with Rit yellow dye in the washer.  We tried to dye his tie too, but it was 100% polyester, so it didn’t take the dye at all.  We ended up using fabric spray paint to get it yellow.  We also used fabric spray paint to turn his belt a darker shade of brown.  The belt buckle was previously brassy colored, so some metallic silver spray paint made it just right.  Circle fabric markers made perfect polka-dots on the tie, and some cardboard and yellow fleece made a… not so perfect hat.  Blah.  I am not too proud of the hat, but it was surprisingly difficult to make.  The shape did not easily allow for machine sewing, at least not using the method I chose.  After sewing, seam ripping and re-sewing a few times, I told it I didn’t care if it was crooked, so there.  I hot glued the black ribbon on.  Not perfect, but what costume ever is?  Anyway, you get the idea, and all the kids at the party on Monday night knew exactly who my husband was supposed to be. 

I should really learn my lesson and start on Halloween costumes a little earlier in the month.  I was in the same situation last year, and while I cranked out a pretty cute puppy costume (in my own humble opinion!) for my son, my husband and I ended up “dressing up” as joggers in workout clothes.

The puppy costume came together from an old pillowcase and corduroy shirt.

Next year I am totally going to start on our costumes earlier- promise! (Maybe.)