Well, this was our last Halloween here. This year found us experiencing some of the cloud bursts common to life here. Halfway through our trick or treating, Oliver had to run home for an umbrella when it started to rain on us. It wasn't a huge deal because it wasn't more than a shower and the night was warm, but it was still nice to have the umbrella. By the time we got home, the rain was gone and we were all feeling a little soggy.
Still, it was great fun as usual. Here are the boys sporting their costumes:
So, in light of that problem, and because there was no freaking way I was going to spend fifty bucks on a costume for him, I convinced him that it would be pretty cool if he went as a submariner. The utilities were replaced by the cammies a year or so ago, so I knew it would be no big deal if I cut one down and used all the patches.
I really haven't sewn much more than patches and small mending jobs for, um, twenty years now? So, I was a little scared I wouldn't be able to pull it off. However, my mother did a good job teaching me when I was a teenager how to sew, and much of it stuck with me. I liked sewing, but not the rules of patterns, and remember always asking her at every step (especially ironing -for some reason, I really hated ironing seams) if I could just skip that. Unsurprisingly, I only managed one full project, a sun dress I wore once because I outgrew it right after as it had taken me so long to finish it. I did make a lot of doll clothes, however, and made my own patterns so I had some experience that helped a bit here.
Since real clothing is different, however, I found a few tutorials online that showed me how to make patterns for both shirt and pants (since there isn't a fabric store to buy a pattern, either). I also looked at a blog that had clear instructions on how to cut down a man's shirt into a boy's. So, that spared me buttonholes and hemming on the bottom, but I had to figure out the collar since I wanted one that looked like the original and that isn't what she had done with hers. I had to do it twice, including cutting a second one, and it still isn't completely right, but it was close enough. I also made sure to iron all those seams, and, yes, it really is important to do that.
I learned a lot along the way, including how to use self-fabric as interfacing as I couldn't, once again, run to the store for that. I recycled buttons, belt loops, and some elastic I pulled out of an old pair of pants that were too worn out to pass on to anyone else. The only real cost in all of this was some thread.
I used all the old patches (the name one is blacked out in this pic, in case you are wondering why it looks a little weird), and we finished the costume out with Oliver's old command cap, some collar devices (wouldn't be worn normally, but it helped keep it down and made it look more military), one of Oliver's uniform belts, and a dog tag. The Navy guys we ran into during trick or treating all recognized it right off, which made it all the better.
As for Oscar, his was kind of a remake from one Wyatt wore back in Washington. He really wanted to be a firefighter, so we pulled out the rain gear I'd bought for Wyatt in WA (it's a fleece lined coat, so way too warm to wear here - we mostly just get wet when it rains and it's no big deal), used the pieces of a firefighter set we'd bought for Wyatt for that Halloween and they still play with, and then Oliver got creative and fashioned a fire extinguisher out of cardboard, the top of a spray bottle, tinfoil, and some printed off pictures to put on the side. He carried that instead of his pumpkin this year for treats. Sadly, this picture doesn't do it justice.
(I found it completely hilarious that after the kids kept calling it a "fire hydrant", we ran into an adult who immediately proclaimed it the same thing.)
While I don't know if I'll get get so involved in costume making again, I know we'll keep on creating costumes. It was so much more fun than just picking something and ordering it, which is what I did last year (although Oliver did build a train out of cardboard and our wagon for Oscar's get up).