September 26, 2010

halloween on my mind

Tonight Charlie and I were discussing Halloween in between reading our bedtime books. Charlie has been giving a lot of thought to the design of his astronaut costume, the pattern for which he picked out on our visit to JoAnn Fabrics yesterday afternoon. After debating green versus black arm bands and reminding me that we definitely need RED buttons, he asked me what I am going to be for Halloween. I was stumped. Shamefully, I admitted that I was thinking of forgoing a costume for myself this year. Charlie insisted that I MUST wear a costume. Now I sit wondering What was I thinking? No Halloween costume?! I love Halloween! And since I haven't sewn anything since the lunch sack, I figured I'd take y'all on a trip down Shelly's Halloween Memory Lane (all memories since the purchase of our digital camera, anyways).

This was probably eight years ago? Chris and I dressed as Willie Wonka and an Oompa Loompa (sp?) from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A funny thing about this costume is that everyone thought Chris was Groucho Marx when he wasn't standing next to me (and we teased him about it all night!). A not-so-funny thing about these costumes was that my neck was orange from that face paint for almost three entire days.

At this party, Chris and I went for the cliche' (and PG13 rated - sorry!) costumes of "working girl and her boss" - and of course, Chris was the girl. So original, huh?! Can you pick me out? After this particular Halloween, I decided I was done with "ugly" costumes. It was annoying to be asked about 30 times that night if I was Bob Ross.

The next year, Molly, Anna, Holly, and I were The Care Bears. We took a Care Bear personality test online to determine our costumes. I was Friend Bear in the hunter orange fleece.

I dressed up a lot with those cool girls. Our best costume (and most time-consuming at about 6 weeks of preparations) was the Rainier Beer Bottles. We won the costume contest at the party we attended that year.

I made Chris a Bag of Beer Nuts costume, and our friend Scott was Mr. Peanut (I was so impressed with that costume, which Scott made himself!).

Luckily, we had the forethought to purchase t-shirts and decorate hats so that we could stay in character after we tired of wearing those heavy beer bottle costumes. Then we became the Rainier Girls!

The next year I had Charlie (and Anna was super pregnant with Henry), so we needed a very simple costume for Halloween. Molly was very understanding. We were able to whip together these Super Sea Monkey costumes in a few evening sessions, with a 2 month-old Charlie hanging out in his baby bucket nearby.

When Charlie was 1 year-old, he joined in on the Halloween costume action when Molly, Anna, and I made costumes to be Dr. Seuss's The Sneetches (with stars on our bellies, of course!).

These costumes were so soft, cuddly, and warm!

When Charlie was 2 years-old, we all dressed as a royal family along with Anna's family. It took a ridiculous amount of coercing to get Charlie to wear that doublet that I struggled with for weeks on end! Ugh. Those crooked buttonholes make me cringe! Notice that he is a prince with two Matchbox cars in his hands! :)

I actually unintentionally purchased the same blue and brown brocade fabric that Anna used for her dress, but since she is a much faster sewer and already had her dress made before I even began mine, I was the one who had to change my fabric. We were both about 5 or 6 months pregnant with our second boys (who are only 2 weeks apart!), and these dresses were super comfortable in that regard. I kept joking with Anna that she was Queen and I was Lady-in-Waiting because of the superior quality of her dress and robe.

Our husbands even dressed up in capes and crowns. That was all they got as far as homemade costumes went that year!

Last year I scrambled to transform us to a Super Family after a week-long trip to New Orleans only days before Halloween! Charlie was so excited to be Spiderman, and The Flash still is a very appropriate costume for my little trouble-maker, Marcus. This will most likely be the only time you will ever see Chris in a unitard, and he would most likely throttle me if he knew I posted this picture on my blog. Hahahaha!

So, you see... I just have to dress up this year. My thinking cap is officially ON. I've got an astronaut costume to make for Charlie and a fireman costume to fashion for Marcus. After last year, I'm not sure that I can actually convince Chris to dress up again. I'll keep you posted on my costume making progress!

:) Shelly


  1. Shelly, what a great idea to take us down memory lane, especially for those of use, namely me, who didn't know you way back when. What do you do with those fabulous costumes after Halloween?

  2. Thanks, Maya. All of those costumes are in a big trunk in our storage garage. Want to borrow one? All yours!

  3. I think the Super Sea Monkeys are my favorite!

    I'll tell you what my costume is going to be in an email (can't leak it to the public here on your blog!).

  4. So. . . would a sneetch costume be for sale?

    If so, please contact me at

  5. How did you make the sneetches costume? it's is fabulous!! please email at

  6. Would love to know how you made the Sneetches costume!

  7. Good stuff. I was thinking of Rainier Beer costume myself this year in honor of the "R" sign coming back to the old Rainier factory in Seattle. 6 weeks! Is that papier mache?

  8. Do you have a pattern or tutorial for the kid sneetch costume? My daughter keeps saying she and her little brother are going as that for Halloween. :) I don't want to let her down, but as a novice at sewing I'm not even sure where to begin. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  9. do you have instructions for a sneetch costume? or do you sell them?

  10. Those costumes are great! Do you have a pattern or directions that you could send to me for making the Sneetches?
    I need to make an adult version for our Read Across America celebration on March 2nd. (Seuss' birthday)
    Thanks so much.
    Elementary School Librarian

  11. Also am SO in need of a pattern or directions for a school function, PLEASE. Thanks.

  12. I would love to get my hands on that baby sneech costume. I don't sew, but would be willing to purchase it from you. Please contact me

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  16. I love the star bellied Sneetch costumes. Do you have the adult instructions/pattern? If so, I would love it if you're willing to share. I am teacher and hoping to use for the classroom on Halloween. Thank you.

  17. As everyone else has asked, any chance you still have the kid pattern for the star bellied sneetch? :)