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.

Posted in Whatever | 6 Comments »

6 Responses

  1. Holly Says:

    Please adopt me.
    I will gladly wear velvets and brocades all year round, and I am responsible for hand tailoring princess seams into garments that will only be seen in the half-light of a Halloween party by drunks in plastic masks.

  2. Linda Blowney Says:

    Just the idea that you took that cutesy pattern and turned it into a bat is fabulous! And the look on Shadowboy’s face in the pic with the two of them together might haunt me for years to come…shudder… ;-)

  3. Mim Says:

    I love the Halloween costumes you do. They can never be too elaborate!

  4. xJane Says:

    omegs, those are super cute children-in-costumes! I love the vampire’s awesome scowl. Shades of baby-vampire Kirsten Dunst: ├╝ber cute and will eat your flesh.

    I like the idea for wings/overdress. I’ve been looking for a suitable means of attaching wings to myself for steampunking and I might have to mod this idea.

    This year, I’m going as a Mad Hatter (DH is the March Hare). I made myself a miniskirt and tail coat of mismatched colors (for that mad look!) and thought about finishing the seams or lining them and then remembered that it would double the time it was going to take me and still only be seen in two parties. So they’re entirely unfinished. But the tailcoat will be made again, oh yes it will, because I love how it turned out.

  5. pdq Says:

    Lovely, lovely work (sewing and children both) :)

  6. Empress Pam Says:

    She seriously wants to wear the wings ALL THE TIME! You did brilliantly, honestly I don’t know how you could possibly top this

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