Some people are inspired by holidays that are meaningful, or patriotic, or religious. Some people celebrate holidays that encourage charity, or fellowship, or piety. Some people get excited about giving handmade gifts, or cooking homemade meals for family and friends.
And that’s all fine, I guess.
But in my world, all those other occasions are just a way to mark the time until October 31 rolls around.
This year, I made an itty bitty costume for my wee niece Claire (who, I’m told, has recently begun to take some meals from a spoon instead of from my sister — go Claire!).
sweater pattern: improvised
yarn: Lion Brand Cotton Ease
hat pattern: Felted baby Yoda Hat, from Vera Sunshyne
yarn: Cascade 220
I mailed it off to New York last week. My sister, an accomplished craftster herself, sewed ribbons to the hat to keep it on, and pipe cleaners across the ears to keep them perky. My brother-in-law, a brilliant scientician and dyed-in-the-wool nerd, happened to have an infant-sized light saber. You know, just lying around.
For myself, I had to come up with something for a Big Lebowski-themed party, and with only $30 to spend. So what greater crafty challenge than Maude Lebowski’s golden viking valkyrie from The Dude’s drug-induced cinematic hallucination, Gutterball?
If you don’t care about how I put together this ridiculous get-up, please feel free to skip past the following text and just enjoy the grainy photos. But Megan requested a step-by-step, so here it is.
First, I made a tube dress out of stretchy gold lycra (NOTE: big box craft stores mark all their shiniest fabrics 70% off during the week before Halloween). I sewed on some wide straps, and added four tiers to the skirt. I backed the lycra with some heavyweight black interfacing before cutting out the skirt pieces, to give them more structure.
Then I found an armored breastplate meant for a child’s gladiator costume — I had to tear a bunch of plastic dragons and shit off it before spray painting it gold. I drilled 5 holes along each side of the plate, and one at the top of each shoulder, and used gold ribbon to lace it up the back.
Then I made the bowling-ball-bra, using a foam ball from the floral section of the craft store. I cut it in half, and used a broom handle to make three indentations in each half. Initially, I used spray paint, and the foam almost completely disintegrated — I was left with two shapeless blobs of fizzing gold stinkiness. So I started over with a second ball (luckily, I’d bought a two-pack), and used regular gold craft paint and a foam brush.
I made a channel through each of the “cups” with a double-pointed steel knitting needle, and threaded a ribbon through, tying the ends together through holes I’d drilled in the breastplate.
Then I bought a $5 Viking helmet and spray painted it to match everything else. I also spray painted some old shoes (and sewed gold ribbons onto the ankles). And finally, I spray painted a devil’s pitchfork from the dollar store, which made quite a handy trident.
And I think that about covers it!
[click for bigger version]
To round out the scene, the party included The Dude in his coveralls, Saddam Hussein as the bowling alley attendant, and my friend Vanessa, who grazed the ceiling in her spectacular handmade foam headdress.
Vanessa is the kind of militantly DIY Halloweener who will create a realistic samurai costume from cardboard boxes and bamboo window shades. (Seriously. I couldn’t make that up.)
Girl takes Halloween so seriously that we’ve already started discussing next year’s party.
Just 364 days to go.