Yes, I seem to have taken another mini-vacation from the Internet. Or at least from this blog. I apologize, again.
Since getting home a week ago Monday, I had been procrastinating making Amelia’s Halloween costume. She decided almost two months ago what she wanted to be and I’ve had most of the materials for almost a month (ok, so maybe I’ve been procrastinating for longer than a week). I finally started it this Monday (two days ago), and of course I almost immediately realized I had taken on a larger project than I expected. Most of you who know me know that while I have a crafty side, I don’t know a lot about sewing. Artie and Amelia bought me a nice sewing machine a year ago for Mother’s Day and I love it, although it’s neglected most of the time. Some traditions sneak up on you and it’s years before you realize that you’ve created one and that’s how it is with Amelia’s Halloween costumes. Since her very first Halloween, I’ve made her costume. Admittedly, the first couple required very little sewing…the turtle costume was paper mache and gluing.
Her second, the Ewok costume, required a little hand-sewing, but more deconstructing than anything.
Last year’s Little Red Riding Hood cape would’ve been easy on the sewing machine, but alas, I was away from home and also procrastinating, so I ended up hand sewing that too.
This year she decided to be a character she admires on t.v. She doesn’t get to watch a lot and admittedly, when she told me who she wanted to be, I had to look it up. I was impressed with her choice. In her age range, it seems as though almost all her female role-models are princesses. Her current favorite role-model is a boy…Go Diego Go, but she likes his sister Alecia too. Amelia is disappointed though, that Alecia rarely goes on adventures and usually stays in the office at the computer. And there is Dora, Diego’s cousin, who seems to be a better role-model, but for some reason, Amelia just hasn’t gotten excited about her.
Anyway, she chose to be Super Why, a little boy (named Whyatt) who, with his friends, turn into super heroes who have the power to read, spell, etc. in order to change the outcome of a story. He’s in the PBS show with the same name, which until she had mentioned it, I had never seen and I don’t think she had seen it more than a handful of times.
While this costume isn’t particularly complicated, it had lots of elements – pants, shorts, shirt and small cape. As I mentioned I started on Monday. Artie wanted to go to the Elk’s Club Children’s Halloween Party last night, so that was my deadline and I finished yesterday afternoon. I made everything – my first pair of pants, shorts and shirt, and I’m proud of myself.
By the way, for the pants and shorts, I used a pattern I found in Dana Made It‘s tutorials for kid pants (she has a shorts version too). The instructions were super easy to follow and I can’t wait to try another pair. I made my own pattern for her shirt, based off a t-shirt and the cape was just a small rectangle, hemmed and velcroed to the back of her shirt. I used a inkjet iron-on printout for the logo on the front of the shirt. And since I wasn’t sure how many people would recognize her character (if you don’t have a kid under 4, you probably haven’t heard of Super Why), I made the extra design on her cape to further describe who she is. I would also like to mention that I got the general idea from Just Treadmilling Around, a blog I found when I was researching costume ideas.
Working with that slick, blue satiny material was a huge pain. I vowed with last year’s cape that I would avoid it at all costs, and then I used it again this year (how soon we forget). I told Artie to remind me that I re-vowed not to ever use it again next year, when she’ll undoubtedly want some flowy, sparkle-y princess dress.
I did have a problem with the shirt, as the head hole was originally too small. I modeled it off a stretchy t-shirt and didn’t take into consideration that I was working with unyielding flannel. A quick cut down the back (too quickly, as I ended up with a wildly uneven opening) and a button fixed that.
As I was nearing completion, I held her costume up for inspection and Amelia asked where her wand was. I hadn’t noticed that Super Why’s symbol is the question mark, with a pencil at the end (I’m not sure what they call it on the show, but Amelia sometimes refers to it as the Why Writer). Artie was quickly sent to the garage, where he came up with the most authentic wand for our Super Why (see above pictures). Ironically, I spend 12+ hours sewing her costume and then Artie spends an hour making her wand and it’s her favorite thing in the world. But, what 3 year old doesn’t like a stick-like object with a pointy end to swing around the house?
We had a trial run last night at the Elks Club party which surprisingly Amelia loved, even with the scary decorations and huge men dressed up as who-knows-what kind of scary creatures. Once she learned that they gave her candy for completing one of the several games they had, she got over any remaining fright. We took many pictures, but they just didn’t capture the sense of wonder we could see in her posture and expressions (even with her huge green mask on).
So, we are ready to go trick-or-treating tonight. I like the visiting part, sort of hate the candy part. Ok, I really hate the candy part. We just have a few stops planned…close neighbors, family and friends. If you see us coming, feel free to get out the stickers and raisins!
We’ll have more pictures tonight, but until then, here’s a preview of little miss Super Why (trying her luck at the bean bag pumpkin toss):