Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Let the wild rumpus start!


For Max's first dress-up Halloween (I refused to make him a costume for his very first Halloween, on the grounds that he couldn't even sit up for me to take a picture of him in anything) Max from Where the Wild Things Are  was a fairly obvious choice.


Now, apparently it's no big thing these days to purchase a Max, King of the Wild Things costumes.  I can only assume it's because of the movie that came out a couple of years ago.  But in 2006, purchasing the costume was not an option.   (Or maybe it was, and maybe I just had it in my head that Halloween costumes are supposed to be homemade, and I just didn't even look for one to buy.  No matter...)

I do remember that I searched and searched for an all-white, or even ivory, sleeper with footies, and did not find one anywhere, at least not in toddler-size.  So, several yards of white ribbed jersey (and a trial-by-fire learning curve in machine-sewing stretch fabrics) plus one clumsily-hand-sewn-in zipper later, and the bulk of the  costume was complete.  Having purchased the pattern for the sleeper, I was too cheap to shell out for another pattern to make the hat, so I took a winter hat that Max already owned, the kind that fastens under the chin, and used it as a model to fashion the head piece out of more white jersey.  I cut out the ears from cardboard, covered them with fabric, and hand-sewed them onto the hat.

The final element was the tail.  I purchased some fake fur and cut out the shape I wanted.  I knew that it would be difficult to deal with Max's car seat if the tail was attached directly to the costume, so I folded over the top of the tail, glued it down, and ran a string through it so that the tail could be tied around Max's waist.

As soon as I tried the costume on him, I realized it's fatal flaw - he was slipping and sliding all over the place!  So I traced the feet onto a piece of that grippy rubber shelf paper, cut out the foot shapes and glued them right on.  Worked like a charm.

I made Adrian a "Wild Thing" costume that year, which he wore with great humor.  His costume featured a striped shirt that I made out of some upholstery fabric (did I mention that Adrian is a very good sport??) and some scaly silver lame spandex pants, plus a tail like Max's and some furry cat ears.  He was supposed to be Moishe:


and I am very sad that I do not have a decent photo of his costume.  It was okay ;)


All you can really see there, as he is leaning over to talk to our little wild thing, is the big brown tail.  You can catch a glimpse of the silver pants down at his ankle.  Oh well.

In true me fashion, I ran out of time to make my own costume that year.  I did manage to do an iron-on Max long-sleeved t-shirt for myself, kicking off a long trend of me dressing everyone else and throwing something together last minute for me.

Of course, the very best part about the Wild Thing costume is that it was repurposed a couple of years later.  Max's uncle directed a production of "101 Dalmatians" at his middle school, and my boy just had to go in costume.  Out came the Wild Thing costume, a bunch of black felt, and some glue:


Instant Dalmatian!

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