At our house, October usually means our kids are dreaming up great costume ideas. They know I always prefer to make a costume than buy one, so they dream big! I have enjoyed making costumes for my kids over the years. What I enjoy most, aside from the cuteness, is the problem-solving it takes to figure out how to make the costume they are requesting. That's probably why I enjoy being a do-it-yourselfer.
I don't always make costumes for my kids but I do find ways to make things work. Sometimes I combine some handmade ideas with thrifted ideas. Other times we get creative with what we've got at home. Truth is, I don't always have the time (or the energy) to make 4 different costumes from head to toe! But whatever we make, it's fun and the kids enjoy it!
My main goal is to do what I can so that my children like their costume and feel happy wearing it. I also want the costume to be made in an inexpensive and creative way! In my opinion, the best costumes are the ones you put together creatively with what you've got.
I like to first look around the house and use what we have or use it as a starting point--we try to use parts of costumes from previous years. Then, we might make a trip to the thrift store to fill in the gaps. Other times we just walk through a thrift store and find inspiration from a simple item. The Sherlock Holmes costume was inspired in this way when we found the hat.
Over the years, my kids have become more and more creative and and are happy to create a unique costume with what we have on hand. They enjoy the process of creation much more than heading to a big box store and buying one. It makes me smile and so excited to see what we can come up with when we put our creative minds together!
Let me share some creative tips for costume-making:
- use t-shirts! T-shirts are made of a fabric that doesn't fray. This will save you time when sewing the fabric together because you won't have to hem. It also means you can just cut the t-shirt and transform it without having frayed threads! That's exactly how Obi-Won Kenobi's cloak was made. We cut an XL t-shirt up the front and then cut a second one to make the hoodie. Hermione's scarf was made by cutting up 2 t-shirts into rectangles and sewing them together.
- If you don't sew, use fabric glue!
- find a simple piece (at the thrift store or in your home!) that inspires an idea. Princess Leia came together after finding the top at the thrift store.
- make temporary alterations by using basting stitches. You can shorten pants or adjust the fit of a piece by sewing it to the length or width you want and holding it in place with long stitches by hand or on a sewing machine. You can even just use safety pins!
- most important tip, don't be afraid! I have a friend who says she doesn't sew but she makes some of the best costumes because she dreams!
Don't forget, Sew You Studio has a sewing workshop scheduled on Tuesday mornings from 9:30am - 11am. Bring your ideas and materials and we'll help you with the construction of your costume! If all you need is space and tools, please join us! You can use our sewing machines, cutting tools, and other extras that you may not have at home. Please register so that I know to expect you, Sewing Workshop for Moms (it's scheduled for moms but open to all!).