The Art of Darkness

This Year’s Costumes

October 16th, 2013 by Cobwebs

FezMaking costumes is one of my favorite activities, so every year I go all-out on Shadowboy’s Halloween duds. For the past few Halloweens I have predicted that he would eventually break my heart, costume-wise, and this is the year he finally went and did it. Doctor Who is his new passion, and he insisted on dressing as the Eleventh Doctor. I’m perfectly happy with his Whovian fandom, but the Doctor essentially wears street clothes. Street clothes!

To make it even worse, I also make costumes for a friend’s niece, and this year she wanted to be a cat. A shapeless overall with a tail and ears swam across my vision.* Sob.

So I did my best. Shadowboy’s outfit is, sadly, mostly purchased; the boots are from Morenza, and everything else except the coat came from local clothing stores. I did make the coat; a simple blazer pattern done in tweed. My only change was to add elbow patches. (Incidentally, if you’re looking for an exhaustive guide to the Doctor’s clothing, check out Steve Ricks’ blog.)

I had a little more leeway with the cat since she didn’t have to hew to a particular style, and I parlayed that into a lot of leeway. I just couldn’t countenance a plain-overall-with-ears-and-tail sort of costume, so I decided that if the fabric was leopard- or tiger-print, I could do anything I wanted.

I normally provide pattern numbers for reference, but the resulting kitty princess is such a bastardized melding of patterns that pinpointing its parentage is difficult. A lot of its DNA comes from (discontinued) Butterick 4320, but I added a stretchy velvet panel to the bodice and shortened the skirt dramatically. I added an underskirt which was just a simple circle skirt with a whole bunch of black tulle ruched on top,** a long tail (just a plain tube stuffed with fiberfill), and a fabric-covered headband with ears. She also requested a matching costume for her favorite dolly, and I was happy to oblige. That was Simplicity 1711.

My reward for doing this sewing every year is professional photos, which I add to my big gallery o’ costumes. The photos above, plus these of Shadaughter and Shadowboy and Shadowboy and friend make me awfully happy.

*Thank goodness for Shadaughter. Not only did she request a gender-bent Tenth Doctor costume (covered here), she recently informed me that she wants to go to next year’s Comic-Con as Daenerys Targaryen. I can always count on her for a challenge.

**A friend recently mentioned that she liked a particular costume made largely from pink tulle. I said, “If you don’t mind using black instead, I’ve got 100 yards of black tulle in the basement.” She replied, “Why would anyone have 100 yards of black tulle…never mind, I forgot who I was talking to.” Clearly.

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