By Ashley Sheffer
It's in my nature to be creative, and I love to physically design and create cool stuff that can then help to tell a story. Costume creation in particular is something I love to do both at work and whenever I have an excuse to play dress up with our entire family! This year for Halloween, we all channeled our inner superheroes. From the left is William, 3 months, Eli, 5 years, myself, and my wonderful Batman for a husband.
I should start by telling you that I have not once in my life taken a sewing class, and so far I have found the process to be surprisingly easy with a couple YouTube videos on how to thread your bobbin and some self inspiration!
Almost all of the costume pieces for each character were either purchased at a thrift shop or fabric store. I used lots of old clothing items with the desired fabrics I wanted, and then cut out and restitched them together into my desired pieces.
Eli's costume was by far the most fun to create. I used an old red prom dress I found at thrift shop for $3 and resized it, keeping the zipper in place to easily get him in and out of it. The cape was also found at a thrift shop, but I sewed the gold fabric onto the outside of it to keep it true to his Robin character. His R patch was made with felt sheets I cut out of, and then sewed directly onto his costume.
The belt was made out of foam and super glue, which was originally red, but then spray painted to black.
The trick for me when piecing together costumes, especially when on a budget and time crunch, is to be very detailed in the creation where it will be most visible, while at the same time letting go of the desire the have the perfect stitch every time when piecing it all together.
Baby Will's Superman costume was by far the easiest to make, and got the most attention! I used blue fabric from the fabric store for the body suit, and with two pieces placed on top of each other, I placed one of his pj's on top to cut around and use as my size reference. I did the same for his little red "overwear" too.
Part of the cape I actually got at target for a couple bucks and cut it down to size. I then added the gold fabric like I did for Eli's cape, and it turned out great! The Superman patch was just an iron on, and only took about 3min to attach to the fabric.
I should note that the one bummer to his costume was that I forgot to have it snap open at the bottom for diaper changing purposes. Total mommy fail! but we survived through it :)
For both mine and Ryan's costumes, we attempted to go more steampunk with them. Even though Ryan's costume required the least amount of sewing, it required the most amount of foam work. From the belt to the arm cuffs, my fingers couldn't escape getting drizzled with the super glue. These pieces were all spray painted black as well.
His Batman mask was actually Eli's old toy mask, and we used steampunk googles and a full ski mask to complete the look. He totally pulled this look off. He did however scare all the little kiddos away 😂
Steampunk Wonder Woman was by far the hardest costume to pull off. Overall her end result was sufficient, but if I could have a do-over I would take it. For her top, I used an old corset and stitched over some red fabric. I then stitched on two strips of leather to give it some more character. The skirt was hand sewn as well, and I used foam to get the geometric shapes of her skirt. It was when I started to create the Wonder Woman armor that I realized she needed a lot more metal and foam and less fabric, but at that point it was too late to start over, so I used what I had to make it all work. The headband and armband were both purchased in the toy section at target, along with the boots. Overall it was good enough to shoot with, and I know for next time how I would improve it!
Overall this creative experience was awesome, and I really enjoyed the challenge of creating each costume mostly from scratch!
If you've ever tackled creating your own costume or perhaps multiple costumes, Please share your stories, and possibly some photos!? I love to see other people's creativity, especially when it's fashion related!
As always - please sign up below and subscribe for updates!