Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Halloween 2002

It's hard to believe that it is only 10 days to Halloween. You see, Halloween was always a huge holiday for my family, at least when my kids were little. My Halloween fever would begin in August when I started pestering my kids about what they wanted to be, costume-wise. Usually DD1 would have decided long before, but DD2 would keep me guessing until the last possible second.

I don't know where all my photos are, but I found these low-resolution photos from Halloween 2002. That was the year that DD1 (then almost 10), and her best friend wanted to be "The Girls That Didn't Want to Go to Sleep." And of course they needed matching costumes and they wanted matching teddy bears. So I laid in a supply of flannel from

Since DD1 loved to dance, and wanted her costume to twirl, I drafted a nightgown with a circle skirt. Also, since their teddy bears were different sizes, I had to draft a different pattern for each. They also wanted sleeping caps, so I got out my knitting needles and some Encore yarn (an inexpensive acrylic) and knitted each of them (and each of their bears) a sleeping cap.

They wore sheepskin slippers and their bears had matching slippers purchased by H's mom. These were little booties intended for infants and they worked perfectly on the bears.

(They were about to attend a Halloween event at the Academy of Sciences, a week or so before October 31st. DD2's costume wasn't finished, so she went as a cat.)

(Twirling, with H, in the courtyard at the Academy of Sciences.)

(H's bear on the left and DD1's bear on the right.)

Obsessive? Did I hear you call me obsessive? Well, maybe a bit. lol

Then, there was DD2 (age 7 at the time). She always made me crazy when it came to costumes. She was quick with the concept costume that would be impossible to execute well. When she was 3 years old, and I asked her what she wanted to be for Halloween, she immediately responded, "an eyeball." When I asked her again, she just as quickly answered, "a dirty sock." Even at 3 she was a jolly joker.

This particular year she wanted to be (in her words): "An Alien Robot from the Moon." She soundly rejected any robot suggestions that involved boxes and dryer hose. She wanted to have a round head and a silver body suit, cause she wasn't just a robot, but an "alien robot from the Moon, mooom."

One day I was in ToysRUs and noticed the playground balls. I realized that a Scooby Doo playground ball could be perfect for her helmet. I cut it into the right shape to fit over her head and neck and spray painted it silver.

She also wanted a control panel with "working" buttons on her costume. (Well, who wouldn't?) I spent ages in hardware and craft stores looking for suitable buttons and couldn't find any, so I concocted ten of them by gluing plastic curtain rings together, wrapping them with metallic silver thread, and gluing clear circles of plastic on top. My daughter labeled them using a Sharpie. I attached these to her silver lame "control panel". I had a string of clear lights intended for a wreath, so I inserted one of the lights into each button, from behind, through a small slit. I then created a little silver box to hold the battery pack for the lights. When she wanted to, she could turn on the battery pack and her buttons would flash. That was about as operational as it would get.

Besides her silver pants and shirt, which were very easy to sew up, I also made some spats because she didn't want anything to show that wasn't silver. Finally, I made her a silver trick or treat bag (which you see hanging from her waist in the first photo below). The costume was a hit. When she returned home from school, I had to re-glue some buttons and bolts because she was over-fondled by the other children. (Yes, because she was a robot, she had bolts glued to her knees and elbows.) She turned heads as she was trick or treating, buttons flashing in the dark.

(The requisite silly shot just before heading out for trick or treating.)

(You can just make out the 3D pocket for the battery pack under her control panel.)

(Even Alien Moon Robots have to take piano lessons when they occur on Halloween.)

I'll never forget how she told me right after Halloween that next year she wanted to be a keyboard, with keys that actually played notes when you touched them. Nope, that one never happened – I told her when she was older she could design and engineer that herself.

Should I admit that these costumes were long ago given to Goodwill? Yup. We don't generally keep these things forever and I like to think other little girls are enjoying them.

These days, I have nothing to do with costumes. My Halloween duties pretty much begin and end with hosting a sleepover and buying lots of candy. :)

(And sorry my pictures aren't better, but this was before I had gone digital and I came across these old scans. I don't know where the original photos are. Hopefully safely tucked away in some box.)