The kids wardrobe – trick or treat! – October 2015

Yes I know another month of dressing up fun and not serious business sewing!

I just can’t resist and the kids love it. Last year we went out trick or treating for the first time. Its not something I am particularly passionate about neither is Halloween on the whole. However last year we were invited to one of Ella’s friends houses to join in with the trick or treat fun round Sileby. Lots of people had gone to huge efforts to decorate their houses and there were lots of people out and about all dressed up. It was a great vibe like a big street party and we all had fun.

We hadn’t made a lot of effort with our costumes and I didn’t dress up at all. On the way home we chatted about the experience and some how came up with a plan to dress up this year in the theme of Wizard of Oz.


The theme stuck and the plan never changed. It ticked all the boxes for everyone. Ever since Ella’s 4th birthday when I created a Cinderella shoe covered in clear rhinestones I had wanted to make a pair of ruby slippers in the same way.  I found eBay sell new but very cheap high heel shoes in lots of colours and so began the creating. I knew the process of covering shoes in what turned out to 4000 rhinestones would take a while so I began early!


After the first time of watching The Wizard of Oz Ella fell massively in love with Glinda the good witch. She was just so happy that she could be a witch and be pretty. So based on this we came up with the costume plan as follows…. Me – wicked witch of the East, Ella – Glinda the good witch, Joseph – Tin man and Barry if we could persuade him join in could be the scarecrow!

Ella’s dress was based on my classic Dolly doodle dress pattern, but lengthened. I added sleeves and an over skirt of pale pink tulle. The sequin fabric was really difficult to sew, it went through the machine reasonably well but the needle kept getting clogged with adhesive. I did find that it stitched much more easily on the overlocker.

I used leftover pieces of metallic gold fabric from the wonder woman and batman costumes I had made earlier in the year for gold stars. I stitched these on the back of the net to create a more diffused gold colour.

To make the crown I cut a rectangle of heavyweight fusible Decovil interfacing and a matching piece of sequin fabric. I measured and cut points around the top edge. This type of interfacing has just the right quality to stand well but still be soft for comfort. I added a tulle covered gold star and some diamonte buttons for jewels. I closed the back of the crown with a piece of wide elastic.


For Tin man I used my PJ patterns to make a silver satin onesie, I shortened the top, added an elastic channel at the waist and velcro down the back. I found some silver faux leather on eBay perfect for making the hat. I also added a panel to the front.

I made myself a black dress that can be worn again and added stripy tights, a wig, hat and green face paint to complete the wicked witch look!


And finally we added a last minute scarecrow! A costume that look less than 30 minutes. A roughly chopped pieces of calico tied with a piece of raffia. A felt hat made from a cone of felt and a circle for a brim. I stitched random pieces of raffia into the joining seam and snipped to different random length. I also stitched some random lengths of raffia around two circles of elastic for his wrists.


We were lucky with the weather again and the kids had loads of fun. I was very happy not to be crushed by a falling house.

On the way home we talked about the evening and started the excitement about what to be next year…………….a family of vampires!! This time thought up by Ella. ….Oh I can’t wait!

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Julia Claridge

I was about 6 or 7 years old when I had my first go on a sewing machine, it was an old hand crank machine that my mum used with her patients, she was an occupational therapist. I still vividly remember watching with amazement as the tiny perfectly formed stitches were created as I turned the handle. I Grew up in the 70’s and 80’s when buying clothes was less affordable and dressmaking was an answer to updating your wardrobe more regularly. My own mother was a talented dressmaker who made most of my clothes and my sisters clothes as well as a many for herself. I soon got involved with making my clothes, I loved the whole experience of picking out fabrics, trims and a pattern to create a new outfit, then going home to make a new garment or outfit. When it came to leaving school I visited a careers advisor who asked what I wanted to do next. My answer was ..Sew! Read more...

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