I started sewing the girl's Halloween costumes when my oldest was three, and every year since I have insisted I would not be sewing at midnight the day before and definitely not the morning before trick or treating.
Halloween seems to be the busiest sewing holiday for me, especially since I did a costumes for a couple of friends this year. The girls originally wanted to be ballerinas, but our church is having a Reformation Day celebration which includes costumes for the kids. The princess theme wins again.
Baby Girl's dress uses some of the material intended for the ballerina costumes; everything else came from stash or thrift fabrics. I wanted to do a laced overdress and a peasant-style underdress, so I was thrilled to find sheets for $1.50 at the thrift store.
Big Girl's was a shiny, crinkly ivory with a beautiful quilted border at the bottom. Small Girl wanted to be a warrior princess, so I chose a plain cotton quilt that had a lovely embroidered border to give a touch of femininity to her battle-ready dress.
It was rather fun to create princess dresses that, for the most part, didn't involve yards and yards and layers and layers of tulle, chiffon, and all other poofy things. Baby Girl's dress did use tulle, and it did have poof, but it was small-scale compared to what normally goes into a princess dress around here. My favorite part of the dresses to make (and the part that took the longest) was the sleeves.
Big Girl's sleeves are made of the sheet material, some stashed stretch chiffon, and a band that matched the bodice of her overdress. I love the double-gathered poof near the top, especially since the chiffon is super-soft. It's rapidly becoming my choice for non-scratchy poof. :)
Since Small Girl had to fight in her sleeves, I kept it more simple. I did navy blue sleeves with a band of the same embroidery that borders her underdress and some gathered stretch chiffon. I left an opening in the band so that she could have sword-swinging freedom.
Big Girl's dress was the perfect project for an inexplicable amount of orange shiny poly-silk drapery fabric I bought a while back. I intended to make a baby sling but it was too slippery so it just sat in my stash for a while, huge and orange and hopeless. Until this dress.
I love the golds and oranges together. I probably would never have thought to pick these colors for her but I love them. It's so vibrant and a refreshing change from the more traditional princess colors (though we will always love purple in this house).
She loved it. She twirled in it. She wore her brand new Big Girl almost-high heels and thought she was all kinds of grown up. I will let her believe that for now.
Since Small Girl wanted to be a warrior princess-- I am trying to convince her to call herself a shield maiden because Tolkein references are never gratuitous-- we kept the colors muted. In a nod to Reformation Day, I went with the colors of the Christian flag-- navy blue, red, and white-- with a brown faux-leather armor-style bodice. Her favorite part was the sword and shield. No sooner than two minutes after the costume was on she was off to kill bears.
She could barely stand still long enough for me to take pictures. Too many battles and adventures!
Baby Girl's dress was the most traditional princess dress. It had a poofier skirt and a layer of tulle (but only one! I promise!) and lots of ribbon. I loved the textures and shades of purple in her dress-- everything from lavender velour to violet organza to lilac tulle. It was fun to sew. I kept it short enough to keep her from tripping over it, as I didn't want her to spend her first time trick or treating falling down every few feet.
She got the hang of her tiny purple trick or treat basket real fast. Most of the candy will go to her sisters (or her dad and me!) but she is old enough for some of it. Plus it was adorable to watch her work up the courage to go and grab the candy out of the bowl.
We had a blast this year and I think these costumes are my favorite yet.
Next year, though, I'll start sewing in August. Honest!