Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"I'll bet living in a nudist colony..."

"...takes all the fun out of Halloween." ~Anon.

Of course it's the day before Thanksgiving and I am writing a little blurb about Halloween. You could either consider me behind (as usual) OR that I love Halloween so much I can't stop thinking about it no matter the time of year. Either works. :)

I really enjoyed my costume this year even though we really didn't do much for the holiday. This fall has been even crazier than usual (I didn't think that was possible!) and so we just watched our local parade and handed out candy to trick-or-treaters. I took a sudden liking to the Mad Hatter costume a la Johnny Depp and decided to make my own.

The hat was the first part, naturally! I found some very easy instructions online and used scrap pieces of paperboard from here in the lab. Using hot glue, staples, and muscles, I wrapped the middle section based on my head measurements, secured it, and attached it to a dinner-plate size piece at the top of the hat. I picked up some fabrics from Joann's, which included the lovely textured purple fabric on the hat. I hot glued that as well and then added decorations. I needed to include the wide ribbon, the sign with the price, and a hat pin. I had been eyeing these feathers at Joann's for quite a while and finally found the perfect use for them! The little bird on top just added to the cute style. The only trouble I had was in locating a hat pin. I eventually realized I could just make one. I have various thickness of jewelry wire and all kinds of beads. It just took a little bit of wire wrapping and voila! A nice yellow hatpin that offsets the purple fabric nicely.

I was lucky enough to find this black Anna Sui coat (with matching skirt!) at Goodwill with a great tailored look that fit me well. I didn't really want a black coat, but it looked so good that it made the color worth it. I added lace cuffs that are white with black polka dots. It's hard to see in the picture but I also found a wonderful paisley silk vest filled with golds and purples. It was a perfect detail! I still needed fingerless gloves, which I fashioned out of purple lace with black polka dots on them. I finished off the body of the costume with a scarf I owned and created the sash of spools. I couldn't find a smaller version to purchase for an inexpensive amount so I used my own. I cut a plain brown leather belt in half (also from Goodwill!), strung the spools using a thick bookbinding waxed thread, and then sewed the ends to the belt. I need to take it apart to use my spools again, and because I have no need to wear a sash of spools, but it looks so lovely that I wish I didn't have to.

I added the green and black fake eyelashes instead of orange bushy eyebrows and didn't spray my hair either. I figured the bleach blonde I have it is bright enough. I don't need orange hair! I had that last year as a redhead. :)

This costume was great fun to wear because people really enjoyed it, kids and adults alike. Most people enjoyed either the hat or the sash the most, but a few told me I had "butterflies" on my eyes. The hat was heavy but luckily I made it perfect for my head measurement and with the addition of the fabric, it was a little tight. I just had to take it off every now and then or suffer a headache. And it was very easy to poke people (accidentally!) with the feathers so I had to be careful I didn't tip my head back too far.

I have an idea for next year's costume, so maybe I'll get started very early this year! I also have a few craft ideas for the holiday that maybe you'll see next year. I usually have no time for the bare minimum at Halloween, despite it being my favorite holiday. I might start early this year and show some creativity!

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