Halloween Fun

I was a little worried about Halloween this year. What with life being so busy, and spending all of September in Berlin, I hadn’t had time to come up with another brilliant amazing idea (if I do say so myself), much less SEW it. But it all turned out well in the end, even if I did cheat a little bit.

If you remember, I sewed a pretty amazing pickle dress for the Science of Sour event. It was such a beautiful dress, it needed to get worn again. So, I decided to be a pickle fairy!

What’s a pickle fairy, you ask? Its an excuse to wear a pickle dress with pickle themed jewelry and wave around a pickle fork as a wand, and hand out sour pickles to people at parties which are usually devoted solely to consuming as many overly sweet things as possible. With glitter. And yes, that is dill in my hair, with a tiny cocktail fork.

The pickle fork was actually the trickiest part of this costume. Who would have thought that such a specifically useless piece of flatware would be so difficult to find? Luckily there’s a place nearby called Replacements, Ltd whose purpose in life is to supply you with an exact match for that teacup you broke from your grandmother’s teaset, or the silver fork that got lost, etc etc. If you’re ever in central North Carolina you need to go find this place. It is part gigantic warehouse of old plates and forks and cups, all documented and findable, and part MUSEUM OF THINGS. Like collectable teacup sets with Elvis Presley on them, or strange porcelain people, or fantastically expensive wedgwood things. Anyways, go there.

They also had pickle forks, thank goodness. I couldn’t decide between two forks, so I got both. One from 1910, one from 1900, both silver plate, and long, and shiny, and curvy. Perfect for wands.

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My favorite part of this costume turned out to be the jewelry. The best part about working at such a creative place are the trades. Yes, I will absolutely trade you a woven scarf for a pretty hand carved hair piece. I’m looking for some pickle jewelry, of course I’ll do some sewing for you… So yes, I got to commission some hand made themed jewelry on the spot. And oh did they ever turn out PERFECT.

Yes, she printed out tiny vintage pickle labels. And yes, she molded each individual tiny pickle. And yes, the jars have real liquid in them and the pickles move around a bit when you turn them. I can not imagine more perfect and beautiful jewelry. I mean look how tiny they are, that is my THUMBNAIL in the picture, compared to the jar for this earring.

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Spoonflower Halloween – Phantom Circus

You know me, (or, maybe you don’t, but just so you know…) I like to make a big deal about halloween. I love it. Its fun. I go all out. Luckily, I work for a fabric company, and my coworkers also love to go all out. This year, we well ALL OUT. We picked a theme: Phantom Circus. We designed a whole collection of fabrics, so that our costumes would naturally match each other. We sewed, and bedazzled (my hat, my spats and my corset are all bedazzled. I’ll post closeups if I get a chance), and be-feathered, and be-corseted just about everything and everyone. It was fantastically epic. Several days in advance of halloween, our graphic designer (The lovely snake-charmer) whipped up some posters and we put them up around the building. I will probably never pull off anything this epic ever again. But it was so worth it.

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(In order of personal photos) I was The Lion Tamer, obviously the best job at the circus.

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Then we have The Bearded Lady (yes, thats a real beard), The Fortune Teller, and the Snake Charmer.

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The Jester, The Tall Man (we thought about putting him on stilts, then we realized we didn’t need to), The Tightrope Walker.

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The Sword Swallower (yes, she can swallow that) and The Ring Leader (who was totally the ring leader of the project in real life, she designed half the fabrics and kept the whole thing going and sewed half the costumes up there too!)

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And last, but probably my favorite costume, the Tattooed Lady (she designed her own tattoo fabric, in which her dog Ruby makes numerous appearances.)

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To see the fabric on Spoonflower, follow these handy links:

Photographs were taken by our lovely graphic designer and spoonflower photographer Caroline Okun. She also made adorable retro posters:

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I managed to get a few decent closeups of the halloween Lion Tamer costume. (Granted, these were taken with my cellphone in my dining room, and not by the lovely professional photographer who took the others.)

The jacket was an altered pattern from Butterick #4954. I removed the high collar, and gave it lapels and turn-backs instead of the straight buttoned front that was pictured. I lined it with bold stripes to give it that true circus look.

I reviewed the pattern I used for this jacket here: Butterick Jacket B4954 ★★★★

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The corset was from Butterick #5662. I removed the lacings from the front, for simplicity’s sake, and added some large brass brads. I wrote a review of this pattern here: Butterick Corset B5662 ★★★

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You can also see the truly ridiculous number of crystal rhinestones that I added to the corset, the hat, and the spats. I was going for a sparkly flame effect, and if I’d had more time I would have covered the whole jacket in flames as well.

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While the whole costume went off fantastically, I think my favorite part of this project was designing the fabric designs themselves (with the help from my fantastic coworker.) I enjoyed creating the metallic gold effect in the printed designs. Spoonflower cannot print with metallic inks, but you can simulate the effect with some fancy photoshop gradients, and a little bit of work. I think it turned out fantastically! You can also see in some of the pictures that we added some fake distressing, dirt smudges, dirty cracks, frayed threads. We wanted the costumes to look well worn. This is also my excuse for not ironing them well, by the way. We’re a phantom circus, a ghostly dead circus, clean unwrinkled clothing is beyond our cares.

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The Fantastic Flying Books

This was a very minor character in a short film and children’s book entitled “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.” The trickiest part will be getting floating books to look awesome. Luckily I’ll have help.

I’m meeting a friend to help finish the flying books today. I designed the fabric myself, and printed it on spoonflower’s cotton sateen. I call it “Lorem Ipsum” … because I am a dork. You can see the fabric on spoonflower here: Lorem Ipsum Fabric.

With a purchased shirt, and pretty basic shoes, it’s one of the laziest costumes I’ve done in awhile. But if I get the flying books just right, that will make aaaaaaaall the difference.

Also, evidently I’ve been raised on too many princess movies, and believe there is nothing more adorable than a bow in the back. ❤