Sure, sometimes they wish I’d just buy the Halloween costume but in their guts they know they have a mama who loves to make things for them and in their guts they appreciate the work, inspiration and accomplishment in making something all their own. It’s a special magic — developing an idea into a rare object that cannot be replicated because it came from the unique brain and heart of a person or combination of people. Available to every human. What a gift it is to make art.
And as they grow into less dependent people with longer limbs and bigger ideas, I’m holding tight to the things that slow us down and bring us together. For our family that’s adventuring outside, gathering around beautiful meals and making things. I just feel so heart-burstingly whole when we get to spend time together in my studio over my grandma’s sewing machine just like I did with my mom. I was made for this.
To me, this costume-making ritual of ours is worth more than unicorn blood and the sorcerer’s stone combined.
This year we spent hours together planning and prepping, sewing and seam ripping. Ruby: a unicorn. Margot: Hermione Granger. The costumes are perfectly them, at this moment. Ruby prefers bouncing, enjoys all things furry or sparkly and was probably a mythical creature prophet in her previous life. Margot is a serious student of her passions, has a well-honed sense of style that supports cartwheels and quick wit and was probably a determined feminist wizard in her previous life.
Their creativity and confidence through the roof, I just rode around on their spells and rainbows. Thought I’d share a bit about it all.
Ruby and I made her costume in the early morning hours when the rest of the enchanted forest was sleeping.
For her horn, we cut a piece of felt in a triangle, rolled it up and hot glued it together (who loves the hot glue gun?!). She stuffed it and then wrapped it with gold thread. She then cut a circle of felt and stitched it to the base. To attach to the headband, we hot glued the headband between the horn and another circle of felt.
For the ears, we cut one piece of fabric in the shape of a mirror imaged-ear and then folded in half and stitched with the center light pink piece in place. We pinched the base of the ear in and cut little slits through the fabric through which we slid the headband. Super simple.
Margot and Gramma Joan helped construct Giraffey’s costume.
I didn’t sew her romper; I only sewed the white fuzzy fabric to the tummy. I bought the pink fleecy number here. She cannot stop bouncing in this outfit.
Margot’s costume was more involved but homegirl was up for the challenge.
My bug absolutely loved making her Gryffindor crest. She printed out an image in reverse, traced it with carbon paper onto fusible interfacing applied to felt. She then stuck it all together and used a sharpie to create the detail. Finally, she stitched it to the cloak
For her tie, we again used felt and attached it to a ribbon that threads through her white shirt collar. For the closure, she folded over the front of the cloak and we attached a snap with fastener pliers.
And, voila. Hermione Granger.
I had no idea how much I’d love being a mom. I mean, how can you know what you don’t know? But, sincerely, I was in the fence re: parenthood. And leaning toward not having kids. And then this is my world…one where I eagerly spend days researching, imagining and making costumes. One where I’ve designed my entire career and life’s work around these mystical humans. I’m gripped. I just love them so damn much.
I love your kids. They are such cool people.