Some of my most memorable times as a child took place during Halloween. My mother, a sewing
queen, would make my brothers and I the most elaborate and beautiful Halloween costumes. I learned very quickly that her needle and thread gift was not passed down to me. I was unable to sew a square pillow in high school home economics. As all good daughters do, I entered that time in my life when the most important thing to me was to be better than my mother. I decided there must be a way to produce such beauty from fabric without learning to sew. It turns out, I was right, and my first born won first place in his first Halloween contest. I have decided to share my tips with the world. I will explain how to view every project as achievable, share some tricks of the trade, as well as some Halloween costumes made simple.
First in order to view a project as achievable, one must rely on a little imagination and some confidence. The best way to start is to sift through costume ideas until you find one you really like. It is not necessary to know how you will accomplish it until you have decided what it is you want to create. After the ideal Halloween costume is found, observe the design, colors and shapes. Consider what you could use to recreate the same concept. For example, if you want your baby to be a peapod, consider what you might use to make the peas. Determine each piece of the costume separately, rather than as a whole. This will makes for an achievable project. Imagination and confidence will require support from knowledge. The only knowledge one needs is that of product. There are so many products other than needle and thread that can be used to make Halloween Costumes. This is what I call tricks of the trade and I will share a few.
The most difficult thing to duplicate with out sewing is the actual pattern of a costume. Long john sets, pajamas, and sweat suits make for a good base. The Peapod for an infant might be an oversized baby nightgown tied at the bottom. The next step is to build on the base of the Halloween costume. If you want to put a stem on the pea, you may use green felt and attach it to a baby beanie. Green felt could also be used on the nightgown to add layers or texture, depending on the costume design. Styrofoam balls can be used as the peas. The final step is to attach the pieces to the base. There are several products that make this process simple and still look professional. My favorites include fabric glue, Velcro, and hot glue guns. Fabric glue works great but can take a little while to dry. Hot glue guns are inexpensive, reusable, and dry immediately. Velcro is good, non-permanent, and works great on the back of costumes to easily put on and take off. There is no need for industrial Velcro as it could actually ruin the costume.
Keep in mind that details are what make a Halloween costume a first place winner. For example if you make a bird costume, use a rustic wicker basket resembling a bird’s nest for candy. Plastic bird eggs can be glued in the bottom. Fuzzy orange toe socks over orange leggings resemble the big bird look. Black witch nails can be put through the toes to resemble the talons. Glue rounded strips of felt, in rows, onto a matching colored shirt and then glue different shades of the same colored feathers to the felt. This gives the feathers lift and keeps them from poking through the shirt.
So next time inspiration to create a Halloween Costume comes up against the inability to sew, just remember it is achievable. One is not limited to the two ideas in this article, no-sew options can be taken from any Costume idea. Just remember the simple steps. Examine the costume, start with the base, and stock up on made easy supplies. I challenge everyone to help make Halloween a memorable holiday again.