Monday, November 1, 2010

The Ghost’s of Halloween Past

Even if you think you are a well adjusted adult, once you have children of your own you realize that there are skeletons in your closet. Back in the dark and creepy crevices of your wrinkled brain, among the cob webs you will find issues you dind’t even now you had. You will find yourself trying to do things just like you had as a child, or going out of your way to make sure your children’s childhood is different.

For me the monster in my closet, the nemesis that makes me crazy is Halloween.

My mother worked a lot. She was not Martha Stewart spending her time decorating our house, or making fine balanced meals from scratch. She didn’t even bake, seriously my dad did all the baking, and most of the cooking. The one domestic thing that she owned was that she was a very good seamstress. She didn’t sew us our own clothes, or quilt, or fill our house with handmade treasures. Her talent and energy went into sewing Halloween costumes.


(She claims) It started every year around September (my memory remembers many late nights right before and up to the Halloween event). We would all go to the fabric store and look through the big pattern books trying to find the perfect costume for that year. She made 3 a year, and one year even made matching miniature versions for our Cabbage Patch Kids.


The only year I didn’t have a handmade costume I am sure (especially now as a parent myself) I broke her heart. It was first grade and I wanted to be like everyone else. All I wanted in the world was to be Strawberry Shortcake. This was long before all the cross promotion and marketing license that we see today so there was no Strawberry Shortcake pattern in the great big books. However my heart was set and that was what I was going to be. Plastic (garbage bag) costume, plastic mask and all (it was the 80’s). It was horrible. It was hot, sticky, gross, and I did not get the attention that year that my moms costumes always brought me.

So fast forward 30 years. As a parent who can sew, my need to make my kids costumes is deep and strong. I start thinking about it in September. However kids are finicky, they are still small, and I am busy so I don’t start sewing until October. I will (and have) gotten angry, made myself cry, threatened to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on a costume while fighting with patterns, fabric and finicky machines. Last year (the first year I was making two, and the first year with satin) I called my mom in tears and begged her to come help with my daughters costume.


This year, the monster in my closet was pride. I had a new sewing machine (my husband declared after last years debacle he would get me a new one if I stopped swearing while sewing). I had time (no babies, kids in school) I was going to make the best costumes ever. Even crazier? I designed and was going to make one up as I went. Oh yeah, I was going to bring it this year!

I’m still rocking in a corner, shaking and sobbing,  form the experience. (I’ll show you what I made tomorrow, pending computer issues, the wound is still fresh and the pictures are still on the camera).


There was satin mishaps (that stuff is slippery!), there was math involved (a lot of it!), there was very bad pattern writing, confusion, tangles and many a night spent with my seam ripper. I cried, I stomped. I pouted. I complained on twitter (a lot- sorry). Yes, I even swore. It was not pretty. I spent hours in my basement trying to get it worked out and just hours before my kids woke on the day of their first party I finished.

My kids woke up that morning with fevers and horrid coughs.

See those monsters in the closet? They’re a big fan of Irony.

I’m linking up with The SITS girls Halloween event because I could really use a new camera! You should check them out, Tiffany is gorgeous, Mama Kat will keep you in stitches and Fran is a genius (they’re also awesomely good at what they do) but please don’t enter, my odds are pretty horrid already and I never win anything (another monster in my issues closet- there are a lot in there, I could probably start a blog about issues and the issues my issues have).


Unknown said...

Oh girl, you poor thing! You probably have had the roughest Halloween season of anyone I know. (hugs). Adorable pictures!!

Hyacynth said...

Hehe. Gotta love the irony. But if you love doing it, it's worth it, right?