As far as I can remember, I never had a store-bought Halloween costume as a kid.
The closest thing was a bat hood/cape that my mom sewed out of a printed fabric designed for that purpose. I think it glowed in the dark. (Our photo was printed in a local paper. I cropped out my brother and a couple friends.)
One of my favorites was Ms. Pac-Man in 1982. I won a trophy at a costume contest with this one. I tried to create it a few years ago but it wasn’t the same. I’m no longer smaller than a piece of poster board!
My love of creating my own costumes started senior year in college. I decided I would be Supergirl. All I had at the start was a pair of blue tights.
I found a long-sleeve shirt that matched the tights at a thrift shop. I also found a cheap pair of boots there, which I spray painted red. A cut-off pair of red leggings, some fabric for a cape, and the lucky find of printed Superman fabric at Wal-Mart was all it took.
Supergirl returned for a post-college Halloween party, and ran a 5K years later — with the boots traded for red fabric assembled around my running shoes.
Another great costume — that I can’t find any photos of! — was a Gypsy fortune-teller booth. I wore a painted box that I lined with white battery-powered Christmas lights. I wore a scarves, a flowing skirt and Gypsy-inspired top. I had a crystal ball and handed out fortunes.
For Halloween of 2003, I became Space Ghost.
White pajama pants and a white turtleneck were the base. The cape had been one of the scarves from the Gypsy outfit. Felt, Velcro and old black T-shirts finished off the costume.
I wore Space Ghost to a couple of parties that year. A few years later, it also returned for the Halloween race.
Last year I wound up wearing a box again. This costume was created for the Halloween 5K, but surely will come back again another time.
This year for that 5K, I knew I needed a good idea to follow up the refrigerator.
This is what I came up with:
I don’t really know how to sew, yet this came out pretty good. The potato is some micro-fiber fabric I found in the sale section of the fabric shop — $5.00 for two yards. It was pretty thin, though. At first I was thinking of backing it with cardboard, until I realized I had enough fabric to double up on both sides.
I cut it in half and made a potato shape. I used spray adhesive to hold batting in place on one side of the fabric, then folded the top half over and sewed it shut.
I figured out where my arm and head holes would be, and attached the two halves. Felt and Velcro made up the rest. Of course I needed interchangeable parts!
The race was on Sunday. I had a good pace, and I won the costume contest. I also wore it to work on Wednesday for our Halloween lunch and costume contest. They said we’d know by Halloween morning, but I’m still waiting for the voting results!
So now that Halloween is over, I think I need to start preparing to defend my title next year.