Months ago, we weren't halfway through watching Moonrise Kingdom in the theater when Andy leans over, grabs my arm and whispers, "Halloween costumes." Which sounds like a normal enough thing for one person to say to another. But this is coming from a guy who wore the same Halloween costume for four years in a row. That just about describes his level of enthusiasm for the holiday. Just along for the ride, but surely not driving the Halloween car.
So, you better believe I grabbed these characters by the horns and went with it. If you haven't seen Moonrise Kingdom (which you should!), the story is set in the mid-sixties and follows Suzy Bishop and Sam Shukusky, two misfit twelve-year-olds on the island of New Penzance, who run away to be with each other. (The photo below is from the movie, check out more here.)
Though I kept my eye out for costumes items for a few months, I didn't find much and, being empty-handed, finally had to get pretty serious a couple of weeks before Halloween. I soon discovered that there were no pink dresses, saddle oxford shoes or coonskin hats where we live. Believe me, I looked everywhere. This meant sewing and improvising and sewing more. Yep, I sewed a coonskin hat out of furry fabric. Something I never thought I would do in my life.
I also made the dress I wore. Yes, from scratch. It was the first time I'd made something from a pattern and not from deconstructing other clothes or using existing pieces as a guide. For those of you who don't know me too well, it was kind of a miracle I read through the instructions without just jumping in and cutting all over the place, much less followed the directions all the way through. But I made it and it stayed in one piece and it looked like a real dress! That's the idea, I guess.
But talk about a learning experience. Like when the lady at the fabric store emphasized that I should go by my measurements and not size, which put me at eight sizes larger than I usually wear. So I trusted her, but when I actually put the dress on for the first time, it was like a large tent. And that, if you're new to sewing, you should read the directions 28970 times before you do anything drastic like cut fabric. No mistakes there, but there might have been if I'd only read them 28969 times.
After a week of work and a lot of pinpricks later, I couldn't be happier that I'd gone for it or more thrilled about how it turned out. Then, a few finishing touches of the binoculars (what she pretends is her magic power), bug earrings Sam fashioned for her (and pierced her ears for), bold blue eyeshadow (purposely with the finesse of a 12-year-old), lots of time with a blowdryer and hairspray to get my short bangs locked into place, and the proper socks and shoes... I was the spitting image of Suzy (apart from being 12 and lopping off my hair, that is).
When it was all said and done, besides our good friends, only a few people we saw that night recognized who we were. Andy was asked if he was Davy Crockett more than once and I was even asked if I was a pilgrim (I cannot make this stuff up, folks). But we loved them and it was worth it for the few people we didn't know who approached us and told us how, how perfect the costumes were.
On Andy: Coonskin hat: homemade with furry fabric from Hobby Lobby, Glasses: Walmart, Shirt: His grandfather's from 1951, Brooch: Homemade from vintage jewelry, Pants: The Gap, Shoes: ASC
On Molly: Dress: Made from Simplicity pattern 3833- Dress A (collar and cuffs freehanded) from JoAnn Fabric, Earrings: Homemade from plastic bugs, Socks: Walmart, Shoes: Urban Outfitters
It may take longer, but we sure do love homemade costumes. Check out some of our friends' below: Daryl from the Walking Dead, a cactus and Fifty Shades of Grey. Did you make a costume this year? It was worth it, right?