Expat Magazine

Halloween - Why, Oh Why?

By Expatmum @tonihargis
Will I ever learn? Or is that will I never learn? Any which way, you get the picture. It's Halloween in the States again, (and indeed, everywhere else if I'm not mistaken) which means a flurry of "What shall I be" in the Expat household and one over-worked mother.
It's my fault entirely. I'm a bit of a costume snob and can't abide those cheap, nylon costumes-in-a-bag.
Since the Queenager was a baby, I've hand-made the Halloween costumes. It helps that spookiness doesn't seem to be a required element of Halloween costumes here, so she has been everything from Red Riding Hood, A Medieval Princess, to Marie Antoinette with her head sewn back on, (stitch marks around the neck. Apparently a tad too gruesome for an 8 year old!) Boys are a bit harder as all they want to do is be is a Ninja, Batman or another boring old Superhero. I'm not lowering my sewing machine to attempt that!
Halloween - Why, oh why?Last year we went totally home-made with a cardboard box silver robot called "Recyclobot". We had a dead computer which we picked clean, and the robot had wires and other technical-looking things hanging from every side. The helmet is a plastic plant pot and the silver sleeves were from a previous astronaut costume. My did we get some compliments!! (Note - if you're going to attempt a cardboard box costume for a small child, make sure the bottom of the box doesn't impede leg movement. Poor little sod couldn't even get up one step!!)
This year however, the 8 year old decided he wanted to be some bloke from Star Wars (forgive me but I tend to glaze over when he starts differentiating the cloak-wearers).
"Oh", I said, a little too keenly, "I can make you one", and indeed, I had a pattern from a Man-Child costume (loaned and never recovered) which seemed to satisfy.
And that's when I remembered.
It's neither cheaper nor easier to make your own costumes. The damn thing required almost ten yards of various black fabrics, plus a new needle and a packet of inter-facing. Then, since I don't have a serger, and zig-zagging seemed to make things worse, I'm having to French seam the whole bloody costume as it's fraying so badly. (For anyone who wasn't forced to take Needlework at school, that's sewing each seam, yes, each seam, the wrong way then the right way so that you don't have any ragged, fraying edges.)
And since kids, well mine anyway, grow like weeds, this costume will probably never see the light of day again.
After Halloween I'm thinking of sewing black beads and sequins onto the cloak for any Christmas parties I might be invited to. Could start a whole new trend - Sith Glam!

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