Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Confessions of a Costume Cheater

Last year was my little girl's first Halloween. I thought briefly about making her a Halloween costume, but in the end, having a newborn was exhausting enough that I decided to just go ahead and buy the cute ladybug costume at Costco. It was warm, it was cute, it was easy, and I could re-use the shirt and the tights. I would be more ambitious next year. (Note: I also thought about making costumes for me and my husband and did not. Oh well.)

Her dad collected and ate candy on her behalf. Aw.
This year, I started thinking about it early. I had so many ideas! I could use this tutorial to make her an adorable penguin costume! I could try this one to make her a hedgehog costume! Finally, I had it narrowed down to either a chicken or a flamingo. I'd found boas, I could sew them onto a shirt, make her a hoodie with the appropriate additions, and bam!

And then I had some Kohl's cash, and I found this cute little panda hoodie with ears, and I spent all of $2 on it. My husband asked if we were going to use it for Halloween and suddenly it sounded like a great idea. It was cute, it was warm, it was already made. I put together a no-sew tutu (because I knew how to do it and already had the tulle from her birthday), made some felt panda feet (which were probably unnecessary, but only took one viewing of the Disney Sleepy Hollow and a couple of scraps of felt), pulled out some hand-me-down tights from the back of the drawer, and we had a costume.

This panda prefers cheese sticks to bamboo.

Part of me felt a little disappointed in myself for again for taking such an easy route on Halloween, especially as my friends' homemade costume pictures started rolling through my Instagram and Facebook feeds. Look how cute they are! Why didn't I do that? If might have been incredible!

But seriously, what do I have to prove? Yes, I want to improve my sewing skills, and yes, I would like to be able to make things for my daughter. I am SO impressed by the skills of some of my friends, and I hope that with a little more practice, I too can whip up some awesome, creative, brilliant costumes, mostly because I think it would be satisfying to do so. Maybe when my little girl is old enough to put in a request, we can pick things out together and create something magical. But should I feel like a failure because I didn't spend countless hours on her costume when we'll probably just walk around our neighborhood for half an hour this year?

Of course not.

Taking the easy way isn't always the best policy, but sometimes, it's okay to cut yourself some slack and take a shortcut. (I know I'm not the only one who wonders if I'm a failure as a mother for not  hand-sewing the entire costume as well, because Paige asked me the other night if she was a failure because she'd been out of town and they just moved and so she's going to have her little guy wear his skeleton pajamas instead of making him the Charlie Brown costume she'd imagined. And no. She is not a failure. She is awesome.) In a social media world where we put everything we do on display constantly, we sometimes feel unnecessary pressure to go above and beyond in circumstances when it really doesn't matter that much. Spending many frustrating hours with my sewing machine (I am a better seamstress in my mind than I am in real life) wouldn't make it a better Halloween. My daughter won't really know what's going on anyway, but she'll probably enjoy the extra candy that I don't normally keep around the house. The fact that I did not deconstruct an amazing thrift store find, dye it, and reassemble it as an incredible Pinterest-worthy costume will probably not hold my child back. Why do I feel like I should stress myself out making something by hand that won't make her any cuter, and that she's not guaranteed to wear anyway?


It does not get cuter than this, friends.

So this Halloween season, if you made a beautiful costume from scratch, I salute you. I can't wait to see it, and maybe I'll add it to my inspiration board for next year. But if you went ahead and bought one at Wal-mart and called it good, well, I'm right there with you. And our kids still look pretty cute.


P & J said...

YES! I love this! :)

Melissa said...

I love this, and I have to confess, yesterday I put Paige in a black turtle neck and leggings so that she would be warm when I dressed her up as minnie mouse for this library party we were going to... at the last minute I was too lazy to put her costume on so I drew whiskers on her and made her a black cat because why not.

cosbabyfive said...
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