This years Halloween costumes!

This year I decided it was going to be a bit to much to make Halloween costumes as the whole month of October was choc-a-bloc busy with sewing projects and then standing at The Big Textile show over the last two days of the month. However proposing this idea to the kids resulted in a big fat NO WAY! No way were they going to be persuaded to not dress up at Halloween and no way was I buying in costumes. So it was some how going to be shoe horned into the months sewing projects!

Luckily the chosen theme was vampires and after some quick research and discussions with these demanding customers I decided I could tick all the boxes in a fairly short space of time.


Joe’s costume was pretty easy, with the base of a school shirt and black trousers I just needed to add a waistcoat and a cape. I found this deep burgundy flocked damask taffeta fairly cheap on eBay along with some burgundy satin. I did a swap with one of my customers for some black cotton velvet. I made the waistcoat from my own pattern. I used the damask at the front and made the back from satin. Also lined in satin, I think its the quickest way to finish a garment like this, even though its only for dressing up. The satin was very wide so there was plenty left after cutting the capes.

The kids had fun rummaging through my buttons to find three matching ones to finish the waistcoat off.



I made a pattern for the capes. As the velvet fabric wasn’t very wide I made sure the pattern would fit on the width of the fabric. I shaped the shoulders to create a better fit and made a pointed Dracula style stand collar. I added a tab with velcro on at the neck edge and stitched the opposite piece of velcro to the lining. I wanted to ensure it could be easily removed or would come off easily for safety reasons.

On discussing the cape details, Ella decided she wanted a cape too! As the kids are almost the same size this made it very easy for me to work on the two costumes at the same time. A mini production line of capes!


Ella’s dress was a pattern hack of my Dolly doodle party dress style. Skirt length extended and a sleeve drafted with shaped bell cuffs.

The cuffs were the winning detail! We discussed make up and the possibility of the addition of blood dripping details but this was a step to far …they opted for a couple of fangs drawn on with eye liner pencil to complete the look.

Of course if Mummy didn’t dress up there would be big trouble.

I decided to make a pattern I had been wanting to make for a while. Vogue 1422, I love the simplicity of this style. I decided if I made it in a suitable Halloween print I would have a dress I could pull out every year. Doubled up with the advantage of having the pattern fitted and ready when I want to make the style up for an occasion.

As I often find with Vogue patterns there can be more internal work than you would imagine when first looking at the style. This pattern has an organza middle skirt, between the lining and the outer. Although this could easily be omitted I like to make the pattern the way it was intended by the pattern designer. I think you often learn something new. I love the effect of the organza skirt, initially as this internal skirt was cut as a circle I thought that it would make the skirt feel very 50’s and full but it is actually much more subtle.


I found lots of fabulous Halloween and eery prints on ebay and selected this raven print by Timeless treasures.


The kids joined five of their friends and trick or treated the evening away. And went to bed happy pretty vampires.

Please follow and like us:

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...

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.