I love Halloween. Costumes, candy, staying up late… what’s not to love? The girls and I have been discussing potential Halloween costumes since probably 3 minutes into November last year. There was talk of Elsa and Anna, there was talk of Zelda and Link. We thought about kittens and mice and astronauts and Lego guys. Last week Violet got a packet of stickers from Gramma and Grandpa, stuck them all over her face, and said she wanted to be “The Girl Master of Halloween”.
And then, suddenly, it was the weekend before Halloween and it was time to commit. A couple weeks ago we began reading through Charlotte’s Web (again) at bedtime, and so when Fiona said, “I wanna be Charlotte!” I did not hesitate to encourage a group costume. Violet was excited to be Wilbur, I claimed Fern, Bianca seemed willing to be a goose, we assigned Templeton to baby brother, and Nate made an exemplary Zuckerman.
As usual, we had about a zillion things on the docket for the week leading up to and including Halloween. Of course there was the procurement/creation of everyone’s costumes, and then there was pumpkin carving, and school parties for both preschool and grade 1, plus a party at Sparks. There was trick-or-treating at Nate’s office, regular trick-or-treating, fireworks, not to mention Fiona’s birthday celebration thrown in on Thursday evening.
But the main event is of course the trick-or-treating. I managed to snag only a handful of snaps before it got too dark for pictures, but the weather this year was great. Not too cold, not too windy, and even the rain let up for the entire evening.
We made a couple loops around the neighborhood, one side of the street at a time. Fiona and Violet ran ahead to each next house, Violet shouting “NEXT HOUSE!!!” every single time. Bianca insisted on walking up to each door, and did the best she could do to keep up with her sisters on those little legs of hers. We started with pumpkin buckets, but quickly stopped back at the house to get some pillowcases. I think Violet was carrying her body weight in candy by the end of the night.
When they’d finished gathering, we headed back to the house, where we shoveled down some mac&cheese amidst the craft-supply-covered shambles of my living room before heading back out to catch the neighborhood fireworks display. It was a really fun night.
And then on Saturday afternoon I made everyone put their costumes on again, so I could take more pictures. Because I didn’t put this much effort into these costumes NOT to photograph them properly.
First up, we’ve got my little gosling. I did my usual, finding articles of clothing at the thrift store and then modifying and embellishing them to turn them into costumes. Bianca’s goose costume began as a pair of orange leggings, a terry cloth hooded cover-up, and an orange ballcap. I cut some wings out of this cool fluffy fabric I found in the remnants bin at FabricLand and stiched it to the shoulders of the robe, stitched the hat inside the hood. Eyeballs glued on top, and orange felt-covered cardboard feet that fitted over her sneakers on the bottom. I think it’s tee double ee double rr double rr double eye double ff double eye double see see see see see.
Next up, we’ve got my little Wilbur. Violet’s costume started with pale pink pair of pants and a sweater and some brown boots. Sewed up a simple vest-ish out of white fleece for the body of the costume, with a curly pipe-cleaner-filled tail, and made a fleece hat by loosely following the pattern I found here. Subbed out the bear/cat ears in the pattern for pig ears that I cut out free hand. The first hat I made was too small and the ears looked like rabbit ears. SO I tried again and it turned out much better. The nose was originally supposed to go on her face, held on with elastic around the back of her head, but when she wore it to preschool she said it was too uncomfortable, so I glued it onto the hat before trick-or-treat, and added some eyeballs. To complete the look, I made a medal by sandwiching a length of blue ribbon between a couple of canning jar lids painted gold. She really is Some Pig.
And then there was Charlotte. Easily the most time-consuming of all the costumes, Fiona’s arachnid started with a grey shirt and pants, with black boots and gloves. Her grey hat was easy enough to embellish, just some eyeballs and pipe cleaner antennae. The next piece was the light grey vest, with velvety legs stitched into the seams with yarn to connect the legs to her arms. I made a sort of pillow for the abdomen, attached it to the bottom of the vest. I wasn’t thrilled with the final shape of it, but it did the job. The finishing touch was a piece of spiderwebby fabric we found on sale, which I attached to a couple loops of elastic to slip onto her wrists. I also used yarn to spell out “some pig” on the web, but I used this greyish brownish yarn, and you really couldn’t see it. But we knew it was there. And she did look pretty. There’s no denying that. Almost all spiders are rather nice-looking.
(On a note completely unrelated to her costume, Fiona’s also wearing her new snowflake necklace. When Violet and I went shopping for birthday presents last week, I had a list of things I thought Fiona might like. I figured Violet would just pick one of my suggestions, but when I asked “what do you want to give Finn for her birthday?” she thought for a second and said, “A snowflake necklace! Because she loves drawing snowflakes! It would be perfect!” and so we went to Claire’s and when we didn’t see any, we asked the girl working there. Somehow, she remembered having seen some in a box in the back. She came back out with them, and it was perfect. Finn hasn’t taken it off since she opened it on Thursday night. It’s really so cool to start seeing them gain this level of independence. Next up, paying for things themselves!)
OH! I almost forgot about my Templeton! His started with a fleece bear costume that I picked up for half off at the consignment store. I added some big rat ears, and stitched on a long rat snout, complete with broom bristle whiskers, and added the long ratty tail on the back. Clearly he was thrilled with and impressed by my efforts.
So happy Halloween, everyone! Maybe next year I’ll do costumes early enough to have time to decorate the house as well? A girl can dream, right?
“…perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle.
Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”