Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Party

Well now, our Halloween party is over and finished. I had a great time. Everyone bar a couple of pikers (one person’s costume was stolen off the wash line, so some leniency is allowed) dressed up. I was actually really impressed with some of the costumes too. My cousin looked amazing in her purple 1940s starlet dress, and her husband as Austin Powers (the just missed each other by about 20 years). And my parents both re-used their costumes, though there were a few changes. Mum has sewn her cape up the centre front so that it does not gape open and is more like a robe, and added an elastic waistband to bunch over (makes it the correct length for her short form and looks more like the character should). Dad, dressed as the Grim Reaper unfortunately forgot that his was not a robe and instead and open cape. So the Grim Reaper was showing a bit of leg wearing shorts underneath. (Not the sharpest tool in the shed, my father). And I will go into more detail about my brothers and my costume in another post.
The decorations were also amazing. (I was not allowed to divulge what we were doing before the party as it was a surprise). We had people enter down the side through tomb stones. My favourites “I told you I was sick” and “Here Lies Jonothan Blake, He hit the gas instead of the brake.” And when everyone entered, we had dressed up the room with cobwebs, candles, the witches table (will get it’s own post) and my cake which I will go into more detail later (including pictures).

We also went all out and played games. Which is interesting (to put it nicely) with a room full of drunk people. We started off with teams (The Vampires, The Zombies, The Frankensteins, and The Bimbos) and a mummy wrap game. Surprisingly the single roll of toilet paper went far. Then we had quiz questions followed up by Charades. Hilarious watching people act out Interview with a Vampire. But I am pretty sure that we all had a great time anyway. Thank-you party planners. I look forward to what we do next year. Although, air conditioning seems like a good idea.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Halloween Spanish Inquisition

Now this costume is for my brother this Halloween. The Spanish inquisition (yet more from Monty Python Flying Circus). After doing a bit of photographic research online, and watching the DVDs (such a hardship), I finally worked out the individual pieces: Basic Red Long Sleeve Robe, Red Cummerbund, Red Capette, and the headwear. Jason decided to go with the wide brim hat costume – which is really the leader of the inquisition.

Anyway, I found a pattern which has the bulk of the pieces that I need – the robe and the capette. I decided to use a nice red polycotton to create the bulk of the outfit. When I was picking the fabric I took into account that fact that I would need just on 7 metres. Therefore, I went with the cotton. At $2.99 / metre you just can’t go wrong. Plus the added bonus is that it is nice and cool to wear. I am making a red cummerbund out of some of the leftover polycotton. I am thinking that if I gather it up and use some elastic at the back, I should get the correct look. I was lucky with the hat that I already had a pattern which would work beautifully. It is the one that I made my puss in boots hat from. I just need to make the brim a bit stiffer with some interfacing and an extra layer, cut down the height of the hat a smidge and add the 4 strings to tie under his chin. At least I am not stepping into hat making blindly not knowing what I am doing at all. The hat is just made from wool felt. Which in itself is about $17.99 / metre. Thankfully, I only needed ½ a metre.

Now that I have everything and it is all ready to cut out, I just have to get around to making it. It should not be too hard though. All I really need to do is sew a few seams and make the hat. Thankfully, as I am running out of time to get this finished. I kinda took my own costumes as priority. I teased my brother that he could wrap him in aluminium foil and he could be a leftover. Needless to say, he did not take that too well. I will get some photos of this up once I have him in the whole outfit at Halloween.


I was actually really pleased with how my brothers’ Spanish inquisition costume turned out. And so was he, which has made me all the more happy. It’s not completely correct to the tv show (Monty Python’s Flying Circus), but I already had it made when I realised that it was slightly different. And before that I was going by crappy screen shots. But it still looked really nifty.

Everyone complements me on the hat – which I must say drove me up the wall when I was making it. The pattern is wrong. The crown’s circumference is too big for the stand and once you make that part the hole where you sew the brim onto is too small. So it took endless amounts of trimming to get it fitting correctly. And I have determined to never make this hat again. My brother has a red one and I have a black one (from my puss in boots costume). I just thought that back then it was my inexperience and that this time it would work. I was wrong. The pattern hates me.

But I still intend to make more hats for my costumes. I mean I have already cut out an Edwardian hat and a pirate hat. I think I am just a glutton for punishment. But anyway, I am considering fixing the costume to make it more realistic to the show. It really simple changes. Basically change the front of the cape to button up, and eliminate the cummerbund, as it is really just a long scarf or sash tied at the waist. I also need to add a hood to the back of the robe. Thankfully the pattern allows for this. So at least it is all just minor changes. I may get time to do them over Christmas when I take leave. Will have to think about it as I will have a lot on my plate around then. Small mercy though – No family will be with us the week before Christmas and my parents are going away. My boss will be away from work and I am taking some time off to sew. YAY Holidays!  

Halloween American McGee Alice

My 1st Halloween costume for 2007. (Full costume photos will have to await October and the Party) I have long wanted to dress as American McGee’s Alice. After playing the game there really was no other choice but to one day become Alice. I used just a basic Alice in Wonderland dress pattern but changed the colours to match. Namely, a darker blue as the base colour for the dress. It’s all just polycotton, so it is nice and comfortable and cool for our lovely hot Australian October. There is nothing worse than sweating to death in a full-on elaborate outfit. (Though next year will be something completely different). The apron is just white polycotton as well, though I used some fake blood and fabric markers to get the designs and blood.

For underneath the skirt I made a set of cotton bloomers. Basically so that when I sit down my skirt won’t fly up for a flash of knickers. I had originally bought white polycotton, but decided that I wanted it to be blue (I had a blue dye) unfortunately the colour did not take to the fabric. NOTE TO SELF polycotton does not dye well. So they turned a very slight tinge of blue. I also made a petticoat for underneath so that the skirt has enough fullness to stand out. I did this by using an elastic waist skirt and sewing on some ruffles so that it would have enough poof – the ruffles are blue to match the dress. Add some fishnet tights and a pair of black boots and of course the kitchen knife and my outfit is complete.

Funnily enough, it did not take any where near as long as some of my other costumes to pull together. When I was making it I kept trying it on to make sure that I would end up with the correct fit. I have been through the whole ill-fitting costume before and believe me it was not a pleasant experience. Now I just have to make the rest of the costumes that we will need.


Photos of me in my costume. (Though not too attractive) Unfortunately I did not get many of my costume. A maximum of 2 to pick from. But the next time I wear this costume (I am thinking for Supanova 2008) I know what changes I need to make.

1. Bib part of apron sags unattractively – tighten.
2. Bow of apron comes undone – double knot.
3. Wig the wrong colour – Ebay. (I did not have enough time to get one this time.)
4. Need weapon to complete outfit. – Try to find or make replica.
5. Boots – get my own. (I ended up borrowing my cousins).
6. Blood – smear some on the front of the apron.
7. Necklace – make one.
8. Petticoats – make several. (The skirt just didn’t have enough poof – so I am thinking layers)

That about sums up my additions and changes for next time. And I intend to get them done. As I have said before, at least I have the base to work with. It will just require a few minor changes to perfect the complete costume.