We love Halloween

I made all or part of each of these costumes. Bear with me; I’m indulging myself by giving the full story behind each costume. But you can skip all that and just look at the pictures. (You do have to look at the pictures, unless you have no soul.)



I had told Ike he was on his own for a costume this year, but took pity when he didn’t find anything he liked at a Halloween store. I made his ninja hood out of an old t-shirt I’d saved for the fabric, tracing the hood of one of his hoodies for a pattern and then modifying it.  After I got the hood cut out, I wished I’d used a sturdier, less drapey knit, but the differential feed on my serger saved me and kept the seams from stretching out too much.  (And the hood is very soft and comfy.)  The face scarf is a segment of a leg of one of Mabel’s old pairs of knit pants.



Although I love the results, I don’t really enjoy Halloween sewing, so it’s nice that by now we have lots of things to recycle from previous years. At first Mabel wasn’t excited to be Red Riding Hood again, but when she found a new outfit to wear under the cape, she was more enthusiastic. (I also made her top, and blogged about it here.) This is a beautiful cape–red corduroy in a half-circle, with a grosgrain ribbon tie and a bound hem. Part of the reason I don’t like Halloween sewing is that I tend to do too nice a job, and spend longer than I think I ought to for a costume. But it’s starting to feel like it’s been worth it, as the costumes have been worn multiple years, and by more than one kid.

Yes, Mabel has a black eye. A kid at school accidentally knocked her down and there must have been a shoulder or an elbow involved. This happened about a week and a half before Halloween. (I told her she should wear a “P” on her shirt and be a black-eyed pea.)




Yes, Rose also has a black eye. She got it yesterday afternoon (Halloween) when she walked hard into our computer desk. I guess she wanted to be like Mabel. My joke last night was that my girls dressed up as abused children for Halloween.

Rose’s lovely dress was made by my sister Susanna and loaned to us. I mended a tear in the front of the dress.  I had bought Rose a plastic tiara, but it was small and slippery and wouldn’t stay on her head. I also found pretty rhinestone-and-metal tiaras but thought they were too expensive for a costume. Finally, I remembered we had one leftover from her birthday party this Spring–and it was perfect. For the birthday party, we had cut crowns from gold poster board, printed and cut out images of gems, and run them through my Xyron machine to make them into stickers for the girls to decorate their own crowns. (The boys stuck gems onto silver posterboard shields.) Rose’s wand was a Cub Scout carpentry project from a few Christmases ago–I asked Dean to let the boys watch him cut the stars and dowels, and had the boys screw the stars onto the dowels, then we spray-painted them gold. The idea was that they could use the stars as a prop to help act out the Nativity. It turns out that eight-year-old boys can get excited about making star wands if you give them a sufficiently masculine excuse for it. (We also made a Christmas tree star from the same pattern, and I get excited when we get it out each year.)




I made this costume when Ike was three, with Dean doing a lot of the designing.  Isaac hated it. We only got it on him after a huge power struggle that we finally won when we said he couldn’t trick-or-treat unless he wore it. He did forget about hating it once he had a bucket of candy, but the costume never got worn much–unlike Ike’s “Ash” (Pokemon trainer) costume the next year, which he wore daily for about a year.

Henry, on the other hand, LOVED being an “ephant.” It was nice for the costume to finally get some love.


Speaking of love, if this little bunny doesn’t melt your heart, you might want to check that you still have one.  (You should have seen my ward members queuing for turns to hold her at the Primary Halloween party.)  (Wow, I just got the spelling of “queuing” right on the first try.)

I made this costume when Ike was a baby and every one of my kids has been able to wear it.  When I was making it, I wanted Dean’s help designing it (he’s better at picturing things in three dimensions than I am,) but I thought if I asked him to design a bunny hat he’d say no, so instead I asked him to draw one bunny ear, suspecting that he’d catch the spirit of the project and take over.  Sure enough, the next thing I knew, he had balled up newspaper to make a model of Isaac’s head to design the contours of the hat.  (The next year my strategy backfired, though–I asked him to help design beetle wings, and his pattern had me sewing about 20 long curved darts in slippery polyester satin.)



I did get a little weary of all the Halloween events this year, especially since I had a lot of other non-Halloween things to keep up with and very little down time.  (I rebelled by staying up nearly all night finishing a book Wednesday night when I had about three commitments the next day–so sane of me.)  I did really enjoy Halloween night and had a great time taking Rose and Henry trick-or-treating, (with Hazel in the stroller, along for the ride,) and visiting with neighbors.  It was a mild night, everyone was out, and it was a classic traditional Halloween night.

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12 Responses to We love Halloween

  1. Kristina P. says:

    Seriously, your kids are the cutest kids ever. I can’t believe they both have black eyes! Maybe they could be Octamom’s kids.

  2. Mrs. Organic says:

    They’re all cute but the bunny and ephant steal the show! Thankfully my mom pitches in on the Halloween sewing since I don’t have a pinch of sewing ability when it comes to clothes (as demonstrated by the great nursing tee disaster of ’99). I love Mabel’s top, it’s so pretty.

    My second son used to get black eyes all the time and my visiting teacher confessed to me that she thought we were harming him until she watched him run right into the wall because he was looking back over his shoulder.

  3. Jessie W. says:

    Your kids are so precious! I absolutely love the costumes – they are so cute! Sorry to hear about the Mabel and Rose’s black eyes. They still make a lovely Little Red Riding Hood and Princess anyway 😀

    Henry is so utterly adorable as the “ephant”. Our brother Mike used to have a costume around that age – a dragon I believe (and he wore it every day, haha!) Wonder if Henry will do the same? Also, Hazel makes the most lovable and cute bunny ever! She has the most precious smile!

    Glad you all had a great Halloween Zina 🙂

  4. Stephen says:

    I love seeing all the adorable photos of your lovely kids, but I gotta draw attention to the one with you in the photo. Wow, Zina, whatta doll!

  5. Lili says:

    Thank you for sharing!

  6. Virginia Wood says:

    Wonderful costumes, Zina. I do miss having little kids around who are excited to dress up for Halloween. We had one little three year old trick-or-treater who was absolutely insistent that she needed to come in and see our house. She didn’t want treats, she wanted to COME IN! Her Dad declined and she left very reluctantly. I told Barry she was destined to be a realtor or interior decorator.

  7. Megan says:

    My favorites were the elephant and bunny, also. My attempt to make Henry’s costume didn’t quite translate from the picture in my head (except the sword turned out awesome, because I enlisted my husband’s help to finish it!)

    My mom always complained about costumes not being reused, so one year I was a dragon-clown-princess, or something like that! It still makes me laugh how ridiculous I looked!

    I am in awe at your sewing abilities!

  8. Lis says:

    I love the costumes! I find myself making my kids costumes every year too. And every year I tell myself I’m just going to buy them next year but I never do. Its just so hard to justify spending money on a costume when I know I could make it for less.

  9. Jennette says:

    I about spilled my lunch all over my lap from laughing when I saw that Rose TOO had a black eye–and even before I started reading the commentary about going as abused kids. It shouldn’t be so funny, but it was.

    And, yes, all of the costumes are fabulous (you’re always more than amazing), but that Bunny definitely takes the cake! I couldn’t stop staring at her, she looks so adorable. You’d think that I didn’t have my own 7mo. old to snuggle.

    p.s. Maybe you should send me “that” little bonnet pattern and I’ll switch from devil to bunny for next year. Mabye I can get started now!

    p.p.s. This post changed my life!

    • zstitches says:

      Oh, man, now I feel bad because that hat probably would have worked for a devil (if you could have figured out the horns) but I forgot I had that pattern. Actually I’m not sure where it is but I’ll see if I can find it.

      • Jennette says:

        Oh, no, no, no….I certainly wasn’t trying to make you feel bad about it! I’m only saying that I think that I’d better sew my own bunny ears costume for a baby. Or else, I’d better have another baby seeing as how I probably won’t finish them even for Saul to wear next year. Really, Hazel was so adorable she looked edible!

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