Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween 'Fifteen!

To say I have been neglecting this blog is a huge understatement, but I hope you will take note of the changes above (HINT: new menu bar) and bear with me through just a few more growing pains.  BIG IDEAS are in the works over here at Sartor, and I am so excited to share them with you.

In the meantime, here's a look at what's kept me busy in the past couple of weeks - HALLOWEEN!

I had a couple of really fun challenges on the machine this Halloween.  I'll start easy, and work up to.....THE QILIN.

My neighbor's family did a whole Dr. Who family-theme, and while Mom did an admirable job with a couple of weeping angels for the girls and a Dalek for her son, she needed a little assistance with her own costume:

Rose Tyler and The Doctor, "Idiot's Lantern"
I've never met a circle skirt I didn't like, so I knew I could whip this one up in a flash.  Mom had her own jacket, and I remembered a beaded tank that's been in my stash for awhile now.  About $15 worth of fabric and tulle later, and we were in business.

 I ended up having to hand-sew the tank to the skirt, which was kind of a pain, but after I broke the fourth needle on my machine, despite my best efforts to avoid the beading, I gave in to the inevitable.

I wish that I had asked her to bring the jacket when she came by to try the dress on, because I would definitely have shortened the waist.  Lesson learned!

Next up was a bandida dress for a 9 year old girl who fell in love with a dress in that-catalog-that's-full-of-amazing-and-beautiful-and-incredibly-expensive-costumes-that-is-the-bane-of-every-parent's-existance (or at least it is if you're on their mailing list).  Mom was willing to shell out for the hat and the mask, but the price tag on the dress was enough to give anyone pause:

Look out, Zorro!
I found a dress on eBay for $11, and just added black lace ruffles in tiers.  I also replaced the sleeves with lace.  The cape and waist cincher were made from various scraps of fabric I had on hand.

This one was shipped off to Charlotte, NC with zero opportunity for a fitting, so I'm delighted to report that it fit well and, more importantly, everyone was pleased.

My favorite little toddler girl has a serious obsession with Minnie Mouse, so her Halloween costume was a no-brainer.

Minnie Mouse is a Halloween staple, and you can find dozens of versions of her, readily available at stores or online.  But around here, we like homemade, so...... Circle Skirt #2 of the season, with some layers of tulle underneath just for fun.  I used a t-shirt as a pattern for the bodice, and added some puffy sleeves.  Mom supplied all the fabric for this one, so I'm unsure of the cost, but I do know that it was simple to make and was not made out of that shiny synthetic fabric so many off-the-rack costumes are made of.  Making the ears myself was probably a bit of overkill, but I had black fur on hand, and this way I was able to attach the ears and bow to a stretchy elastic headband, which we knew little Miss tolerated, rather than a traditional plastic headband which might not have lasted two minutes on her head.  

 Black leggings and a black turtleneck completed the look.  Little MeeMeeMoo (as she calls it) had a big night, for sure.

My nieces decided to be Wall-E and Eve for Halloween.  Yup. Robots.  One of which hovers.

I've had this idea ever since I made the Gingy costume for Shrek The Musical this summer (oh, what...you mean I haven't blogged that yet?) about making skater dresses.  I love skater dresses, because a) circle skirts and b) they're cute.  Anyway, this idea I have about skater dresses is kind of a take on bounding, in that the costume is real clothes (i.e. the skater dress) but it's also a costume (because it's clearly based on a character).  I thought the robots would be a good way to try this idea out, since making actual, literal Wall-E and Eve costumes would likely prove unwieldy, heavy, flimsy, frustrating, some-combination-of-those (plus I doubt my ability to make a 4 year old hover.  Just sayin'.)

Because so much of the detail and identity of these characters is in their heads/faces, I decided to make a headpiece for each costume, too.  I used felt, because it's inexpensive and easy to work with, but also because I knew that I especially wanted the Wall-E dress to have a bit of boxiness to it, as a nod to the original character.

I added the leaf logo to the Eve costume so that it wouldn't be quite so plain.  I liked working with felt as a medium, but I think for future I would splurge a bit on some finer wool felt for the details, so that I can get cleaner cuts.  

Brace yourselves for the most photogenic girls EVER:

As for my own kids.....

Milo told me waaaaay back in June that he wanted to be "Phantom Foxy from Five Nights at Freddy's 4."  Not regular Foxy, not Five Nights at Freddy's 1 or 2 or 3....he was very specific, and very determined, and did not waver once in his choice until I finally had no choice but to give in.

Part of my reluctance had to do with the difficulty in finding a clear photo of what this character actually looks like.  For those of you lucky enough to NOT be familiar with FNAF, it's a very dark game.  It's hard to get a good look at anything, and then a lot of images you can find online are fan art, which vary WILDLY.  Phantom Foxy from FNAF4 basically looks like this:

Adorable, right?  Milo insists he actually has yellow pants, so we went with that.  I started with a basic black long-sleeved t-shirt and a pair of black leggings, and then just made layers on top of that, and then snipped a whole lot of those top layers away, and then made some wire-y looking pieces out of felt that I glued in behind the holes in the outer layers....yeah.  Lots of holes, lots of hot glue.  The headpiece was built on a black baseball cap, and I pulled out assorted colors of my old standby, fun foam, to construct the snout and ears.  I am not ashamed to tell you that both this costume and Max's involve several wine corks.  Yep, I save everything.  You never know when you might need it ;)

A close-up of the headpiece.  I was actually really excited to make the lower jaw - I had a second cap that I cut the crown out of, and turned it upside down to use the bill as the lower jaw...but when I explained it to Milo he said he didn't want anything hanging below his face.  Oh well.  I'll have to try that idea another time.  

For a costume I was REALLY reluctant to make, I'm very pleased with how it turned out.  It was pretty inexpensive, too, maybe $10 worth of red jersey, felt, and fun foam and a couple of bucks for the baseball cap.  The hook we had on hand (HA!  ON HAND!!) but they're pretty cheap, too.

And finally.....Max.  Always marching to the beat of his own drummer, that one.  For Halloween '15, my kid decided he wanted to be a qilin.  A huh?  Do what?  So he gave me this picture:

We went a couple rounds on this costume, negotiating colors and fabrics and the general look.  This was definitely one of those costumes that I just had to dive into, and boy did I put it off.  I started collecting the raw materials early, but did not actually begin work on the costume until the morning before Halloween.  YIKES.  I'm not going to bore you with the details of how it all came together, but here's what I used:  A yellow morph suit, 2 pairs of those mermaid leggings you keep seeing advertised on Facebook, shaggy yellow fur, and some super bulky yarn that I partially spray-painted.  Oh, and of course, fun foam for the ears and antlers.

I used one pair of the leggings for the upper parts of his legs and arms, but I took the other pair apart and used the fabric to cover his back.

The antlers were a tad two-dimensional since I used fun foam, but I liked using it for both the lack of added weight and the fun detail I could cut into it.  I would love to be able to get those kind of clean cuts out of felt for pieces like Wall-E's solar panel.  Maybe my exacto knife needs a new blade?

Obviously, the original picture Max gave me was a starting point, and I was going to have to take a lot of liberties with the concept to make it into a costume he could comfortably wear and move around in but still jive with his vision.  There were a lot of, "Hey Max? Can you come try this on again???" moments.

He seems happy with the progress.
Finally, three hours before we were scheduled to go trick-or-treat, we agreed that the qilin was complete:

And that's a wrap on Halloween '15!  

What did you dress up as?


So, whaddya think?