October 26, 2009

Halloween Countdown

So here's the problem with being able to sew. You can sew. How's that a problem, well, it means that if you can, you feel you should, which isn't always the easiest way. In fact, it often isn't the easiest way. But you still do it because, well, you can.

Such is the way with Halloween costumes. I have made my children costumes since Briton's very first Halloween, when he was all of three months old and we dressed him up as Yoda because he naturally made a Yoda-ish face anyway, And besides, I could make the outfit out of fleece so it would be warm. Not that we went anywhere , but he looked pretty darn cute in his crib.

I'm really a lazy sewer. In high school I used to make skirts that would just barely make it though the day, then I'd wait until the next time I wanted to wear them, mend dropped hems and fraying waistbands (again, just barely) and continue on. I actually remember having to staple a waistband together on one particularly sloppy project so that it didn't fall off in class.

And it's not that I didn't know how to sew properly, my grandmother made me pre-wash fabric, iron patterns and press down seams with every project we did. but when I got home and had the sewing machine to myself I became sloppy in an "I don't have to follow the rules" teenagery kind of way.

The first time I remember feeling like I was sewing like a grown up was when I made Briton a Curious George costume when he was two. And the only reason I followed the rules that time was that I couldn't figure out how to fudge the steps without getting totally lost. So I ironed and pressed and cut the little triangle markers out in the right spots and low and behold, the costume came out beautifully. I was actually surprised at how well I'd done. Not that it stopped my lazy sewing habits, but I did realize that if I really wanted to make something right, I had to make it RIGHT!

So now it's costume season again. I spent an hour at the fabric store on Saturday, battling for a spot in line amongst the other harried mothers who had put off the costume making for their children. I flipped through the books, (which, by the way, are FULL of slutty adult costumes. Somehow I cant imagine anyone young enough to wear them to be patient enough to make them, but what do I know) Found a bat-ish cape pattern (Briton, in the same vein as asking for a Duncan Heinz cake wants to be a bat, which is kind of boring, I mean, if I'm going to sew, at least challenge me kid!) and did not find a Minnie Mouse pattern that I could add the crazy polka dot tutu I have hidden in my mudroom to. But I did find a puffy sleeved dress that will work. And today, instead of starting dinner or finishing the massive basement organizing project that I started last night, I cut out black vinyl and red and white polka dots.

And that's what my week will be, stealing minutes from the day not to write or cook or make a start on that TV remote tray whose parts are stacked on my makeshift desk. I always dread lugging the machine out and getting started on a project, I forget that once I get going I do love to sew (as long as it's going well, if I'm ripping seams I DO NOT love to sew) And in the end, when I watch them twirl around (or in Briton's case, flap around) I'll be glad to have made it through yet another Halloween making the costumes myself. At least I hope I will. I guess we'll know by Friday.