I'm remembering all the good old days of Halloweens that I used to hate. First enduring my mother's sewing escapades where I had to go look through pattern books and touch fabrics, and then be pinned into paper pieces while she created award winning costumes. I just wanted plastic vampire teeth. She hand beaded my Indian Princess costume, and created real fringe. She used long grass from the field for my grass skirt, (then made me wear a coat over it.) Inevitably we would have a discussion about me not appreciating all the work she was going to. Yeah...yeah...can I go watch Mickey Mouse Club?
I graduated to being the unappreciated creator. I didn't sew, so my costumes were witty, crafty, and the kids didn't get the joke. Coming up with seven clever costumes was a yearly horror more terrifying that any goblin I might see. (Example: Table of flowers. Box had hole cut in it, then was decorated with tablecloth, place settings, and my adorable daughter stood in the middle of the table, held and walked with it, decorated as a vase and flower centerpiece.) It was avant gard, creative, daring, and not-cool among the ugly plastic WalMart costume crowd. 4th Grade is not the time to be unique.
One year my 5th grade son went as a girl. No matter how we explained the repercussions of this plan, he was determined. Well, he came home early, devastated that we'd made him humiliate himself in such a dorky way. On the spot we had to turn him into the Terminator to counteract the damage done by his role as a girl. The year my daughter went as a Halloweeny was the year I tossed in the towel. Nobody ever liked my suggestions, so why did I bother? They were on their own. Actually they did fine, and we all liked the holiday a lot better.
I occasionally dressed up as a gypsy, or something classic and easy when I was a room mother, or hosted a kids party, but nothing that lasted to the next year. I've always wanted to have a signature costume--one that I could wear every year for the grand kids. I want it to have a little meaning behind it, be comfortable to actually wear the whole time, and not be too hard to put together (since I don't own a sewing machine.)
To spur myself on, I'm hosting a Hero Halloween Party tomorrow night. Everyone comes dressed as a Hero (from a movie, sports, book, life, any Hero that makes sense to them.)
I came up with the epitome of a hero for me, so I've researched how she could have looked, spent some time imagining and planning, and today was the day. After purchasing fabric, and a few notions and extras, I started to cut, design and sew by hand. I measured, folded, pressed and hemmed all the edges, then I gathered the skirt (by hand) and tried to figure out how to make it stay. I created ties and straps, turned a store-bought witch hat into something else I needed; bought and recreated stripey socks, and created little touches. I discovered craft glue is not reliable, but is a mess, and stitchwitchery gums up your iron and ironing board cover, but does work well. I even added a ruffle! It's been a day full of unadulterated creativity.
Tomorrow I'll make my appearance as my hero, and explain why, (both here and at my party.) I'm thrilled that after eight hours of straight effort, I have invented, created and made my own design. I hope you'll judge it by my lack of experience and abilities, rather than your own expertise.
I have to say, though, that I think my mom would be impressed, and that's saying a lot. Considering I always cut crooked, I can't see well enough to thread the needles, which ultimately get tangled and knotted, and poke my poor aching fingers relentlessly, there were very few swear words escaping my tongue tonight. I was having fun!
And You are invited!!! You'll want to get some donuts and cider to celebrate the unveiling of the costumes. It will spice up your little pre-party with Marty. BYOB, in fact bring your own chair, trick and treats, games and prizes. And guests. This will be taking place anytime that's convenient for you, right in front of your own computer. The party will probably last 3-5 minutes, so plan extra activities as well.
I may post late (you know how these wild and crazy family parties are) so if "early to bed" is your thing, check us out Saturday. In fact depending on how crazy it gets, I may be indisposed until Saturday myself. This group has a don't BYOB clause, so we get high on Root Beer Floats and hot, mulled cider. A hangover is sugar induced rather than alcohol. Either way they sometimes require an extra bit of recovery time in the sack Saturday a.m. Isn't it all about how to face the people who witnessed you making a fool of yourself anyway?
Whenever your little Marty Party is, it will hopefully get you in the Halloween spirit. I've been dabbling between being a Hallo-winner and Hallo-weeny this year. You can have the final vote. See you there!