Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hallowe'en...a week later

Yikes! Two whole weeks without a post; I will need to power-blog for the next few days to make up for it! I do have a semi-excuse: I spent much of that time setting up for, hosting, and cleaning up after my annual Hallowe'en bash. I am a HUGE fan of Hallowe'en (especially spelled with an apostrophe)! I moved all of the furniture out of my living room and set up a long table for 20. Here are some pictures:

This was the next morning; it was much spookier by candlelight. The birds also look much better at night, and there are many more than can be seen in the photos. I wanted crows en masse, but they are so expensive. A few years ago, I was at Wal-Mart and I saw these plastic hunting dove decoys (our fabric section is inexplicably right next to the hunting section). They are $1.00 each, and spray-painted black and viewed in semi-darkness, they do a good imitation of a flock of crows. Bonus: they also come with a clip glued to the bottom, so I can just clip them onto branches, lamps, etc. I buy and paint a few more every year, so I have quite a flock going!

Here is a terrible picture of my costume:

I made this dress four years ago and decided that to justify the time it took to make (two months!) and the price of the fabric, I would need to wear it for at least five years! I made it using Simplicity3782 and some beautiful upholstery fabric from Hancock. I then spent about two weeks just sewing the beads and pearls on by hand. It was definitely more hand-sewing than I ever want to do again!
Here is a detail of the bodice:

And one of the sleeve showing the hand-sewn pearls. Ridiculous!

The headpiece was made from a headband, a bent wire hanger, and pantyhose. I bent the hanger over the headband to make the shape, and then stretched the pantyhose over it. I painted the hose, which gave it some color and also stiffened it. I then trimmed it and added some beads, et voila! A headpiece worthy of Queen Elizabeth (especially in the dark)!

I was really just happy that it finally fit like it was supposed to again; I was pregnant on Hallowe'en two years ago, so I had to make a cape to cover up the fact that the back wouldn't lace closed! Last year, I hadn't lost much baby weight four months after my son was born, so the cape made another appearance. This year I was able to finally retire the cape; hooray!

Tune in tomorrow for Day Two of my power-blogging: Knickers!


  1. Wow! I am so impressed with your Hallowe'en costume and decorating! Hallowe'en is my favorite holiday and we love decorating as well....some great ideas (I love the painted doves!) Looks like it was a fun party!

  2. that is an exquisite costume! awesome decorations as well!

  3. Amazing! I am totally impressed with your costume and love how you crafted the headpiece out of a headband, hanger, and pantyhose! The hand beading is absolutely stunning. There is something to be said about taking extra time to do those finishing touches and techniques.

  4. Honey, I do this every year (sometimes making two or more gowns.) I USED to handsew the entire garment, in addition to the trims, beads, and embroidery. I think that modern crafters are too hung up on the idea of "instant gratification" and therefore, do not take joy in the art of slowly and patiently making something. I currently live overseas and where I am, buying a no-frills, regular sewing machine is literally highway robbery (ex. $500 for a regular old Singer with nothing but basic stitch capabilities.)

    I plan on spending my 2-5 years living here working on one gown by hand. Life isn't about the destination, it's the journey.