I should have gone whole hog this Halloween and put up quarantine signs all around my house. Except I was too sick to paint them up. I was even too sick to think them up.
GeekBaby and I have been sick since a week ago Sunday. He got an ear infection, so in addition to feeling like death warmed over myself, I get to pin a struggling toddler yelling “No, No, NO!” down and syringe 5mL of amoxicillin in his mouth. Twice daily.
I think we’re on the mend, but it’s slow going. On Saturday, GeekBaby started eating vaster quantities of food in the morning (his food consumption had dropped off while he was sick). And yesterday evening I cooked dinner and only had to rest once!
With all this being sick, I’d forgotten to buy any Halloween candy. It didn’t worry me, we didn’t have any trick or treaters last year, and I didn’t expect any this year. But they came by the score! We resorted to handing out Target-brand fruit snacks which I luckily had bought a huge box of on Friday.
We even did a short round the block of trick or treating. GeekBaby does not like strangers in general. He coped with the first two houses reasonably well, but broke down at the third house and when other little kids in costumes started swarming past us said he was scared so we walked around the block and up the greenway in the pitch dark back to our house.
Go figure. My kid will walk around unlandscaped terrain in the pitch dark without anxiety, but absolutely would not approach the overweight and heavily tattooed couple sitting in their driveway handing out candy. He’s smarter than even I give him credit for! (The tattooed lady of the last house was extremely nice and walked down to put a piece of candy in his pumpkin though.)
But that’s where I’ve been for the last week. This year’s costume post and some other Halloween-y things have been delayed by this cold but should be up tonight.
We’re all sick, so I’m going to be brief. GeekBaby was a wee highlander this year.
Total cost ended up being under $10. We got a yard or so of plaid, a spool of thread, and some hook and eyes. The drape is attached to his tee shirt with a safety pin. He already had the white undershirt and wooden sword.
I have the McCall’s men’s highlander pattern, and used that to start. But instead I ended up relying a lot on Wikipedia for maybe a more traditional kilt. I don’t really know. I measured GeekBaby from hip bone to hip bone around the back and front to see how much pleated distance I needed, and from hip to opposing shoulder to see how much I needed to drape over the shoulder. Then I made one pleat and measured the finished pleat size. Dividing the back hip to hip measurement by the pleat size gave the number of pleats I needed. Then I unfolded the pleat, and measured how much fabric went into it. Multiply this by the number of pleats to get the total length of fabric needed for the pleated section. To that measurement, I added the front hip to hip measurement on either side of the pleated section for the flat front panels, and on top of that a good yard on one end for the shoulder drape. I had to join two panels to get a long enough piece, but if you do this carefully, you can bury the seams inside a pleat. The pleated part and front panels had the top folded down to make a crude waistband. All other rough edges were trimmed neatly, stitched at 1/8 inch and then fringed. Took me an afternoon and evening to make the whole thing, so it was relatively short.
If you want to do a kilt costume or a plaid skirt for young kids, I highly recommend using shirting flannel. The plaid is smaller in the shirting and looks better than the larger plaids did.
I have rules for Halloween costumes in my house. They may be a little muddled, some are broad, some are quite specific. But they are designed to both combat the things I think are really wrong with Halloween these days, and promote the parts of Halloween that are healthy parts of childhood.
They are also carte blanche to dress my babies up in whatever tickles my sense of humor at the moment. How long I can keep it up before they start expressing preferences for cartoon characters is anyone’s guess.
- A good costume is the unity of good idea and good implementation, but starts with a good idea. You must have a good idea. Preferably an awesome idea, but I admit that’s asking a bit much.
- Absolutely no prefabricated costumes.
- A modest budget is to be observed, to be applied towards specific requirements, such as overalls or masks or stripy socks.
- Basic supplies, such as paints, cardboard, and makeup, will be provided for by the privy purse.
- You are expected to participate as you are able in the costume making process. The older you get, the more effort will be required from you.
- Historical accuracy is encouraged.
- Costume assembly should use materials already available whenever possible, and especially use the scraps and leftovers from our numerous other projects.
- Theming costumes with the rest of the family provides a budget boost proportionate to the awesomeness of the theme.
- Mom & Dad have final say over a costume’s appropriateness.
- No trollopy costumes (or its male equivalent).
- No costumes that glorify sin.
- The costume must in all other respects be tasteful.
So, there they are. I think they’re quite reasonable, but I welcome the input of others.
GeekBaby was Link (Ocarina of Time young version) for Halloween.
I had a lot of fun planning and making this costume, although it was a last minute job. Originally I wanted to dress him as the Companion Cube and I would dress as Chell from the Orange Box. Mike would have gotten a crowbar and gone as Gordon Freeman. But my costume ended up being too much work, so I changed my mind at the last minute and had to think of something else.
I made this costume in the week leading up to Halloween, and reused as much material as I could find. Excepting the paint, his wee sword and shield are all scavenged from things around the house. I made the tunic and hat the afternoon of Halloween. The tunic was almost too small, but worked much better than I anticipated. I didn’t hem anything, so it’s just the 4 seams and a slit cut in the front for the collar. I’m especially proud of the hat. Total cost was about $20, for fabric, thread, cotton belting, buckle, and painting supplies, but it’s much more awesome than what you’d get for that price in a store!
He loves charging with his toy Master Sword. I took this picture, and he charged me. We took him to his grandparent’s house, and he charged Big Daddy down like a pro!
Close up of the Shield of Hyrule. It’s made of black foam core, spray painted silver, and the colors are done with model enamels. I free handed all the drawing, and it turned out really well! I attached it to the tunic with a big safety pin stuck to the back of the shield with some packing tape.
Close up of the Master Sword. It’s cut out of black foam core and painted. The hilt was wrapped with some shelf liner scraps and then wrapped in blue duct tape.
Oooh, he found a rupee cookie!
Today I finished GeekBaby’s Halloween costume. Best First Halloween EVER.