Thursday, October 27, 2011

Olivia (from the show on NickJr) and her little friend Quack Quack the duck

Every year I keep the costumes a secret until they are complete.  So if you ask me in September or October what my kids will be for Halloween, I will never give you a straight answer until I am ready for the reveal.  It is fun playing this little game I started years ago and it makes the reveal day much more exciting.  Today a few days prior to Halloween was the reveal the secret costume day.  Sophia will be Olivia from the show on NickJr and Kaylee will be cute little ducky.

 I am sure by the expression I see here Kaylee is thinking, "Mommy, what kind of crazy feet are you putting on me?  These are huge puffy duck feet.

"Look mommy, I am Olivia!  I love Olivia!"

Mommy, you even made hands and feet that look a little like hooves."

"See, her ears swing around like this!  You even made her favorite ear ribbons like she wears on NickJr on the show!"

Sophia is so excited she is jumping around the living room and singing the theme song to "Olivia."  "Olivia, Olivia, Olivia.  Olivia!"

Olivia is dancing.

She is dancing around with exploding energy.  Where do children get so much crazy energy?

"What is this strap doing under my chin?"

Kaylee is probably thinking, "What is on my head?"

"Hat!" Kaylee exclaims.

Sophia says, "Kaylee you are a cute little duck."

"Show the camera your costume."

Kaylee was trying to say Olivia.  She exclaims"YA YA!"  That is what she calls the Olivia character and was overjoyed to see her dancing around in her house.

"I love you little ducky Kaylee!" says Sophia.

"Here, I will help you fix your hat."

Look at the sweet little Trick or Treaters getting ready for their dress rehearsal for Trick or Treating day at my mom's work.

"Dog says Woof Woof!" says Kaylee.

Where is Sophia?"  Olivia is yawning.

Oh, there she is.

My favorite thing to make each year is Halloween costumes.  Every year I go crazy trying to figure out what to make the girls for costumes and this year was no exception.  I literally hibernate away from everyone for about a month figuring out how to make whatever their little hearts desire. I love sewing for my little girls and feel someday they will understand all the love and thought and time put into making costumes for them like my loving parents used to make for me as a small child.

I can now fully appreciate as a mom how stressful having a "fun" costume for my kids can be. I just think that Sophia is a princess everyday so we had to come up with something a little more original.  When I asked her what she wanted to be she said, "Well actually, I was a butterfly last year so I want to be a caterpillar!"

"A caterpillar, really?  That is really what you want to be?  Isn't there anything else you would rather dress up as?" I questioned.

"No mommy.  You can make a caterpillar."

"Well of course I can sweet pea.  Let's see what mommy can do."

  Obviously, Sophia has no faith in me or idea of what I can make was what was going through my head.  I could CERTAINLY make a Caterpillar costume, but why not something a little more well loved, why not make Olivia?  Oh no!  What am I thinking?  Maybe that is too ambitious!  Maybe I better see if I can make a mock up sample before I open my mouth, tell her, and fail. (By the way, there are no store bought Olivia costumes that look like this, they just sell a package with some ears on a headband and, well, a dress so even if I failed, I couldn't go buy one somewhere to make her happy.  They didn't even have a pig snout with the costume.)  So, I told her she could be a caterpillar and even made a quick mock up of it to throw her off the master plan.  When she was sleeping or at preschool, I would frantically hide in my office working on the Olivia pieces and serging them together to see if I could really make this work.  At some point after making several items out of  scrap felt, I decided, "Yes!  I could make this work and set to it with some furry pink fleece, and a bit of red stretchy knit fabric. The above pictures show almost the final product with just a few loose threads and a few adjustments I made tonight after one wearing and some elastic that needed a bit of tightening.

  I know one can buy just about any favorite kid's character costume in the big box stores and if I didn't have a little knowledge of sewing I would have to do that too as most other moms.  There is nothing wrong with that at all, I just really enjoy the whole process of figuring out how to sew something and make it work for my little girls.

Over the years I have graduated from using a pattern with a few modifications to create the darling little ducky costume Kaylee is wearing in the photos above to completely designing the Olivia costume in my head and drawing up designs to make a pig's head fit onto a preschoolers head.  Yes, there is a lot of geometry in making a pig's head shape.  I will admit making a pig head was the biggest challenge so far.  I spent lots of time just trying to figure out the dimensions without any fancy computer-aided design programs they have now to make the head of Olivia in the triangular sort of shape and still fit onto my daughter's pretty little head.  The worse part was she wouldn't try it on at all. I had to make it on my own head and then tweak it to fit her.   My husband just laughed hysterically as I would emerge out of my office with a pig head on my head to look in the mirror and see if the shape was coming together.  Afterall, my sewing dress form I have, does not have a head feature to make hats and, well in this case, Olivia head pieces.

I am very excited about this Olivia costume because it makes Sophia so happy.  She was bouncing off the walls and absolutely insisted on wearing it everywhere we went today to show her friends.  It was all I could do to get her to take it off to go to dance class tonight.  She loves Olivia and watches her every single day and now she can be Olivia too.

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1 comment:

Tracy said...

Great Job! They both look so cute!

I finished Amelia's bat costume the other night, it is fun to sew for the kids! I love halloween!