Saturday, September 28, 2013

Costuming the Kids

Halloween is coming up.  In this house that means one thing: costumes for the niece and nephews.  I don't costume myself on Halloween.  In fact, this is the first year where we live even remotely near a neighborhood where kids might come trick-or-treat.  Bars never appealed to me either, most of my costumes are too unwieldy and complicated to just go out drinking in only to lose a contest to a girl in a bikini.  Kids, though, they need costumes.

Thing 1 in last year's costume: Rapunzel
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when costuming kids that I don't generally think of for adults.  First off is comfort.  While I'll sacrifice a lot of comfort in my own costumes you really can't ask kids to do that.  They want to look great, but they've still got to feel ok.  I try not to put a lot of boning or foundation in kids' costumes because it can ride up and poke them in places.  Usually careful choice and placement of interlining or interfacing is enough. You've also got to think environment.  I made Thing 1's Rapunzel  costume for dress up as well as Halloween which is why she's wearing a turtleneck under it.  Halloween is usually cold, and kids need coverage.  If I had made the costume just for Halloween I probably would have done something so she didn't have to wear a turtleneck.

Thing 2 as a Ninja
The third thing you need to think about is sizing.  I like the Things to get as much play as possible out of their costumes because they love dress-up time and make-believe.  Thus their costumes are always a little too big so they last longer.  Coincidentally it also makes it easier to make costumes for kids that are halfway across the country.

Monkey as Bob the Builder
Finally, remember that it may be impossible to get kids to wear some things.  I've made costume accessories for Thing 1 that she straight out refused to wear.  Thing 2 is great at not wanting his picture taken, so I make him things and am happy with what few pictures I can get out of him.  Kids can be finicky, so just be happy with them and share their joy.  That's what it takes to instill the next generation of costumers!