Friday, September 23, 2016

A Tale of Two Costumes and a Bonus Pattern for a Quick Costume!

Halloween draws near - it will be here before you know it, so time to start getting ready! I have been adding more costumes in my shop, and this costume pattern for children, McCall's 5238, caught my eye. It is memorable not so much for the costumes (though they are among the most popular you will find in patterns, year after year), but rather for the notations by the sewist. The size of this pattern is "small", meaning children size 2 to 4.

Check out the notation in the lower right corner: "Betsy, Halloween 77, 13 months".  Now it is not clear here whether Betsy is dressed in an angel or devil costume, but when I look at what pieces are cut, it is clear. Betsy, at age one, is a little devil for Halloween! ;)

And then, to the left, is the notation: "Betsy 4 Yrs 1980". Again, checking the cut pieces, Betsy got to be a witch for Halloween in 1980. 

I think it is wonderful that the mother was able to use this pattern over again. And it is fun to imagine a toddler Betsy as a devil (rather than an angel), and preschooler Betsy as a witch (rather than a princess)!

A Bonus: Vintage Pattern for a Last Minute Costume

Tucked into the McCall's 5238 pattern was a hand-written pattern for a simple "ball" costume (think snowball with white fabric...) that I am happy to share. I love the illustrations for the pattern, they are simply charming. 

If you need a costume that you can put together quickly and easily, this pattern will fit the need!

Costume requirements: fabric, ribbon or string, and newspapers or other filler.


For those who are not handy in reading cursive writing, here are the details:
  • Measure a length of cloth as wide as the distance from elbow to elbow with arms extended, and twice as long as the distance from neck to knees.
  • Fold the material in half, with the wrong side out. Stitch the side together, leaving holes for the arms as shown. Cut 2 holes out of bottom fold for legs to go through.
  • Turn the sack rightside out. Make slits at intervals near the top, and thread a ribbon or string through the slits.
  • To put on costume: Have the child step into sack. Stuff the sack with shredded or crumpled newspaper until it is round and full. Pull ribbon to gather the sack at neck, and tie.

And that's it! I can imagine a black fuzzy material would make a perfect spider (cardboard tubes for legs?). Or a ribbed orange fabric would make a pumpkin, with green ribbon. Purple fabric for a grape? Brown fabric for a nut (make a brown cap to make it an acorn?). You get the idea - have fun!

1 comment:

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