The Art of Darkness

This Year’s Costumes

October 26th, 2010 by Cobwebs

ShadowboyAs per usual, I have to show off the annual costume photos (it’s my blog; I can brag if I want).

Every year I make an entirely-too-elaborate* costume for Shadowboy, then have professional photos taken. I also occasionally make costumes for a friend’s niece, and when said niece decided that she wanted to be a bat this year, I managed to talk Shadowboy into being a vampire. (Every year, I edge closer to the time when he’s not going to let me help choose his costume. I view this time with dread and loathing.)

The vampire was actually fairly straightforward: It was cobbled together using pieces from several different patterns, but the only pattern modification I had to make involved attaching ruffled sleeves from one shirt to the body of another one.

The bat was somewhat more complicated, and may have involved swearing. It started with this pattern, and I added long sleeves to the overdress. I spent a long time looking at various permutations of bat wings, and finally settled on this general method, with a few modifications:

  • Instead of felt, I used the same fabric that I used for the overdress. I measured the side seam length from the edge of the wrist to the bottom of the skirt, then cut four squares of fabric one inch larger (i.e., the seam was 26″ so the squares were 27″ on a side).
  • For each wing, I sewed two squares (right sides together) with 1/2″ seams on three sides, then turned the resulting bag right-side out.
  • The seam opposite the open edge was sewn along the side seam of the dress.
  • I cut a piece of paper (I used some old gift-wrapping paper, because that was the only stuff I had handy which was wide enough) the size of the square, then used a dinner plate as a pattern to draw various scallops until I liked the look of the wing. The resulting paper pattern was used to cut the edges of the fabric wings (which were then basted).
  • Single-fold bias tape was sewn on the front to make the channels for the struts, and wire from cut-and-straightened coat hangers were slipped down inside (I padded the ends with a bit of electrical tape to keep them from poking through the fabric).
  • Finally, double-fold bias tape in the same color was sewn along the wing edges to cover the open ends of the strut channels and to give the wings a more finished look.

The costume was topped off with a headband covered with black fabric, with two folded fabric triangles attached for ears.

It was a lot of work, but she loved the flappy wings. And although I may be somewhat prejudiced, I have to say that I think they make a very cute duo.

So this year’s costumes are in the bag, and I’m already happily anticipating next year. Halloween never really ends at our house.

What about you? Any exciting Halloween plans?

*I mean, really, entirely too elaborate. Sometimes velvet or brocade is involved. Not to mention that I insist on enclosing all the seams and finishing all the raw edges of a costume that’s going to be worn for a total of about two hours. I must be stopped.

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