Hi there! I made my own Halloween costume!

This summer, I started watching The Good Place. I’d started watching it when it came out, but then stopped for whatever reason. I decided to pick it back up, and while I was watching the second episode, Miles wandered into the room and sat down. And was hooked. By the third episode, all three were watching it (and had gone back to watch the first two.) Over the course of a few weeks, we binged all three seasons and were pretty obsessed. We even listen to the official podcast. Nerds.

I thought it’d be fun for the boys and I to dress up as characters from the show for Halloween, but you already know they declined to do that. I’m not sure why, honestly. They re-watch episodes constantly and we actually sit and watch the new episodes when they air. (Who does that anymore?!?)

But I still wanted to do it, and naturally with my hair I wanted to be Janet. (I hate wigs.) (And strapless dresses aren’t my thing.)

I thought briefly of buying a purple vest and skirt on Amazon but AS IF. Instead, I bought a few yards of purple scuba fabric. Obviously I was going to make it myself!

The skirt was easy. I figured I’d make a simple half circle skirt, but then I remembered I have the perfect pattern – the Linea skirt by Wardrobe By Me. That came together quickly, especially since I left out the pockets. I hemmed it using bias tape to give the bottom a little more body.

The vest was a little more challenging. At first I was just going to wing it and use a t-shirt pattern and just hack it, but then I came across this blog post from a woman who made a Janet costume and decided I needed to step it up a bit.

So I went to Joann’s and bought a pattern since I couldn’t find any suitable pdf patterns. I ended up getting Butterick 5359 which worked perfectly (view C.)

Well, I should have lengthened it some, because once I was done I had to pull the skirt up to my ribcage so that the top would be covered by the vest.

In any case, it was pretty easy. I couldn’t find buttons in the correct color, so like the other blogger, I painted some that were close with purple nail polish, which cost me like 17 cents at Walgreens. Nice.

The last thing I tackled was the shirt. I had a plain white button down that I was never going to wear again, so I decided to paint the design on it instead of tracking down expensive fabric and sewing a shirt I’d never wear again.

My plan was to make a design of the stencil with my Silhouette and then paint it on the shirt with a mix of blue and purple fabric. In my head, it came out perfectly. In reality…well, I mean, it was a bit messier. Oh well! I also bought a little bit of white crepe fabric from the remnants bin, painted the design on that as well, and safety pinned it to the neck of the shirt for the ruffle. I mean, it wasn’t exactly ruffly, but it worked well enough.

Before the neighborhood Halloween party Saturday night, I straightened and curled my hair (thank goodness it wasn’t humid!) and put on some makeup and low heels and voila!

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That one’s me.

 

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That one’s the real Janet. I know it’s confusing.

Some details:

I was pretty pleased that so many people at the party knew who I was dressed as. I mean, I did get a few “Violet Beauregarde?”s but not too many.

Next year…Bad Janet?

PS If you don’t watch it yet, start at the beginning and watch!

Making Halloween costumes

I’ve told this story before, but I started sewing right after Mardi Gras last year. Right after I spent a day frantically buying random things and hot glueing and doing anything I could to avoid a needle and thread for our Mardi Gras costumes. All things considered, they turned out pretty well. But then within a week I fell headlong into this sewing obsession, and I had to wait until Halloween to get an opportunity to finally make costumes for the boys that didn’t involve tying fleece together or safety pins.

But they just wanted to be soccer players, and as you might imagine, we have plenty of soccer uniforms floating around. No sewing required. And then Mardi Gras came around again and they could not be convinced to go in costume (tweens, amirite?)

Now they are nearly 12 and my chance to lovingly craft costumes for them is probably nearing the end, so I hounded them endlessly for ideas that I could make. Inexplicably, Miles came up with a penguin, and Linus decided he wanted to be the Easter bunny. I mean, of course.

We had an event yesterday (Sunday) and these decisions came on Friday, so I didn’t have long. I could have made Oliver’s costume as well, but I was not unhappy to see that we could buy it at Target. So we did:

Hilarious, right?!?!?

So back to Miles and Linus. We went to Joann and bought a bunch of black, white, and pink fleece. I’d make Miles a tunic he could wear with black leggings, but I’d need to make Linus pants as well.

Since a penguin needs flippers, I didn’t want to just use a standard shirt pattern, so I thought the dolman sleeves of the Pumpkin Spice Dolman from Patterns for Pirates would work well. I printed out the smallest size and got to work.

Boy, it sure is easy to sew when you don’t have to worry about finishing seams!

Miles also needed a hood for his penguin head, so I used the pattern pieces from the Go To Jacket I am working on for Linus, and just used a pajama pants pattern for the bottoms. (I would have used the P4P pattern for this as well, but I had a Simplicity pattern for kids’ pajamas that was just as easy.)

Then I cut out a white chest piece and sewed a red bowtie (guess where that pattern came from?), stuck that on, cut eyes and a beak from felt and voila! We had a penguin!

penguin

Next up, the Easter Bunny!

This bunny got a pink belly and we made him a Halloween-themed bow tie. Because the Easter Bunny respects holidays that aren’t his own. He didn’t need a hood since we’d purchased ears. I used eyeliner to paint on whiskers and we dug out Linus’s Easter bucket and filled it with eggs. I also found some gloves that belonged to a Mario costume from a few years back. Too bad one was lost at the mall. Oh well. But still, the cutest Easter Bunny ever (promise he and the penguin weren’t as grumpy as they look here.)

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Since Halloween isn’t for another couple of weeks, I have some time to adjust and finish their costumes. Miles needs shoe covers for penguin feet, and he wants the belly to go down further. We need to attach a tail for Linus, and maybe figure out how to secure the ears onto his head better. And of course I need to make my costume (no spoilers.)

Ten (eleven?) Halloweens

What the heck? How can this be the boys’ tenth Halloween? I suppose we could say it’s their eleventh. Ten years ago at about 28 weeks pregnant, I dressed up as a magic 8 ball, which was pretty fun. I wish I had better pictures of my costume, but this is the only one I have…

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2007: Magic 8 ball

The costumes improved a bit after they were extracted from the womb…

2008
2008: Candy
2009
2009: Monkeys (and a bunch of bananas)
2010
2010: Woody(s)! And Jessie.
2011
2011: Construction workers
2012
2012: Superheroes! (Note Ironman’s feet)
2013
2013: Power Ranger, Anakin, Power Ranger
2014
2014: Hulk, Wyld Style, some Transformer, Mario
2015
2015: The Pokemon year
2016
2016: Ninjas
2017
2017: Little fox, vampire, brown raccoon (named Darcy)

Busiest weekend ever!

Here’s how it looked:

Saturday morning:

Up bright and early(ish) to go with Stephanie to City Park. We have a mutual friend who works there, and she needed people to be in the background at the amusement park for promotional materials for a Christmas event. Let me tell you, it’s not easy to find Christmas accessories at this time of year. Normally I’d be grateful for that. But not when I really needed it.

ANYWAY, Big Lots came through for us and I picked up a few sparkly headbands and light up necklaces.

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Halloween 2015

Right, technically that’s tomorrow. But because of major thunderstorms coming through, everyone is trick or treating tonight. Plus, it’s Halloween at school. So yeah, today is essentially Halloween.

People are way up in arms about “moving Halloween” and saying, “in my day we trick or treated in the rain and snow, uphill both ways” but you know, I’m happy not to go out in a downpour. Even for candy. And you know how I feel about candy. (Very positively, in case you didn’t.)

But that’s beside the point. The main point is this adorableness…

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All Pokemon characters. I’m sure you knew that already.

Oh, this is amusing/distressing/outrageous. Linus needed an orange shirt to wear under his costume and the only one I could find was this old shirt I wore to Mardi Gras in 2005. It’s funny because of what it says on the front. It’s distressing and outrageous because it’s a woman’s XL shirt and it fits my 7 year old perfectly. He’s normal sized, the shirt is not.

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on a seven year old
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on a thirty year old

Anyhoo. So tonight we trick or treat! And since tomorrow morning is the half marathon, you can bet my carb loading will take this form:

Bowl of smarties

Oh, and if you’re wondering what to do with your kids’ Halloween candy, check out the post I wrote a couple of years ago.

How to Deal With Halloween Candy

All of the boys’ costumes so far can be found here.

Halloween 2014

I can’t believe I never posted a photo of the boys and I last year for Halloween. So here it is. For my records.

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Since it was four days before I had LASIK, I had to wear my glasses, which is not part of Wyldstyle’s costume, but I had no choice.

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There. Hands in LEGO position and everything. That’s dedication, man.

More Halloween festivities

When did Halloween get to be such a long, drawn-out holiday? When I was a kid, it lasted one night. Maybe two days total if it fell on a weekend. (Yeah, yeah, get off my lawn and all that.)

We did Boo at the Zoo a week ago, and then this past Saturday night was Ghost in the Oaks. Both really fun events, but yesterday there was a neighborhood party and the boys were just like, ENOUGH ALREADY. Plus it was 85 degrees, and who wants to wear polyester costumes with fake muscles in that kind of heat? Not my kids.

I don’t mean to sound too grumpy. After all, stealing the boys’ Halloween candy is a sport at this time of year. It’s my hobby. It brings joy to my life. And the more events we go to, the more Smarties and Snickers to steal.

Some pics from Ghost in the Oaks:

And a time lapse video of the Scrambler. SO FAST!

It’s “Fall” so we went to the pumpkin patch

The boys are on Fall Break this week (don’t even get me started on this ridiculousness…I’m just lucky I work from home now, because this is bullshit for working parents) so I took today off so we could go to the pumpkin patch. I’d been eying the forecast for the past few days, and today was shaping up to be cool enough to make the trip and not be totally miserable.

The weather was gorgeous, as promised, but a bit warmer than I would have liked. I mean, is it too much to ask for the air to be crisp when you’re at a pumpkin patch? Of course, we’re in south Louisiana. I’m fairly certain it’s not a real pumpkin patch anyway. I could see the giant crates of pumpkins that they litter a field with, and it was pretty obvious they were shipped in from elsewhere. Never mind, it’s not like it matters. It’s a great place and I’m sounding very grumpy about it.

After the hour-long trip to get to the pumpkin patch, we sat down for our picnic lunch. I’d promised it was too chilly for bees to come out, but I was a lying liar. There were bees. Miles freaked out, wouldn’t eat. Linus sat calmly and finished his food.

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After “lunch”, they milked a cow. Nature, man.

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Then they went on the giant bouncy pillow thing.

Then they went on the zipline thing, but I have no pictures of that, because I was too busy trying to hold a rubber tire horse thingy in place and simultaneously lift a 50-lb child onto it.

Then they rode on ponies. Miles had words with his recalcitrant equine.

Then I saw a shady spot that would make a good background for a group selfie. I was right.

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Then the boys climbed all over the haystacks. That was fun. They cooperated for some group pics, they jumped from stack to stack, they played with other kids, etc.

At least I got a good group picture.
At least I got a good group picture.

When they were done playing in hay, they wanted to go down a slide. A slide with a puddle at the bottom. After Oliver ended up sitting in said puddle, he declared it a terrible day. Gee, thanks, kid. His brothers mocked his tears, which didn’t help much. We picked out some pumpkins. The selection was weak. Whatever. I had given up on photos by this point.

Before leaving, I told them we’d get drinks and a snack. Oliver and Linus picked Sprite (judge all you want, they never drink soft drinks) but guess what else likes sugary beverages? That’s right, bees. Again, Linus was like, “whatever” but Oliver was freaking out. I ended up throwing the can in the trash to the sounds of Oliver’s declarations that this was indeed THE WORST DAY OF HIS ENTIRE LIFE. Dramatic much?

Next year…grocery store.

 

Sweet brotherly moment

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That guy in the middle is the coolest.

So, as predicted, Miles had some costume regrets after he decided on a Luke Skywalker costume (actually, it’s an Obi-Wan Kenobi costume, but whatever) while his brothers chose to be Power Rangers. I was so delighted that he chose something different, on his own, that I didn’t push him very hard to reconsider, and maybe I should have. Or not, because then I wouldn’t have witnessed this disgustingly sweet moment…

The other morning, they were playing in their costumes, and Oliver and Linus both came up to me in private, separately, to suggest that I tell Miles how cool his costume is. “Don’t tell him we told you to say that.”

A little while later, after I effusively complimented Miles’s outfit, I heard his brothers say, “Woah, Miles, that costume is SO COOL. It is WAY cooler than ours. Woah.”

And then I melted into a puddle of goo, the end.