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Half of the logo is sewn on, the other 
half velcros over the zipper. Swim suit 
fabric is perfect for capes, 
shimmery and swingy.
Half of the logo is sewn on, the other
velcros over the zipper. Swim suit
fabric is perfect for capes,
shimmery and swingy.
(# 3799)

Click on "Superman" to see
Dianne's Costume Gallery

Halloween Costumes

530 words


If Your Children Can Think It, You Can Sew It
by Dianne Roth


It started three years ago when my oldest grandson, four years old, wanted to be Tigger for Halloween. His mother called to ask if I would sew a costume for him and a bear for his two year old brother.

That year I used flannel. Tigger, of course, had stripes and a bouncy tail made of a long, flannel tube with elastic in it. Bear had earthy spots. Both had contrasting bellies and a real belly "button". I improvised a hood with a tie under the chin. They were pretty darn cute.

The pattern I used was a simple, one piece pajama with a zipper up the front. The second year I found a pattern for a balaclava, a hood with a face hole. Those same two patterns have been modified for a beaver, a triceratops, a bat, Superman, a gorilla, Flash of the Justice League, and, for the new baby sister, a cow.

Making “on demand” costumes has it challenges. I spend several weeks on “think time” and use the internet to get ideas. That is how I made Superman’s S logo. I just blew it up and used it for a pattern. Each costume is its own puzzle: how to make three horns on the triceratops, how to make beaver teeth, how to make real looking bat wings, and how to make a cow tail.

Finding the right fabric is one of the first tasks. Our small town has several fabric stores and a mail order store front for outdoor fabrics and notions. I always seem to find just what I am looking for.

I have switched from flannel to fleece. The costumes can be worn over clothes and the fleece keeps them warm for trick-or-treating in our Pacific Northwest Octobers. They even sleep in their costumes. Keep in mind they are not flame retardant, but since most of their jammies are, I don’t worry too much about the nights they sleep in their costumes. Since they are fleece, they wash and dry nicely.

The not-so-good news should not be a deterrent for hearty sewers. These costumes are time consuming and sometimes difficult. And, they are not cheap. The three costumes I made this year totaled close to $100 dollars.

However, if you get the bug, your children will have a collection of dream-come-true costumes. My own children had the “costume barrel”. My grandchildren have a wooden box to store their dress up wear. And, they use them! They cozy up in them after baths. They sometimes use them as coats to play outside. Friends think they are great fun!

This year, the three costumes took over my October. I spent afternoons working in my yard, not wanting to miss these gorgeous fall days. Evenings were spent sewing. When the gorilla was finished, I called my seven year old grandson and “spoke” to him in gorilla. “Oo oo oo. aa aa aa aa!” For a moment he didn’t get it, then he began talking back, in gorilla. Finally, I said to him, “What do you think I am saying to you?”

He thought a moment, then said, “I think you are telling me my gorilla costume is finished.”


Dianne Roth is a teacher, mother, grandmother, and freelance writer. She lives in Oregon.



Last updated on October 8, 2012