The tutu! Who knew they were so easy to make? (Certainly not anyone who buys one from these people!) It was my most successful craft project ever, which isn’t saying much, but it really did look nice even by a more discerning standard. Flushed with success, I turned my attention to ladybug wings. And that’s when my craft karma flew the coop. (Or the Elvish pox kicked in.)
- Five minutes into project ladybug wings: I realized that recovering feather-trimmed angel wings was a terrible idea. It took a surprising amount of brute force to rip off the original covering. When I’d finished, it looked like I'd sacrificed a flock of chickens in my living room.
- Next lesson: using red tights instead of dyed-red pantyhose was also a mistake that I might have anticipated. Tights. They were indeed. I could not get them to stretch over the wire frame. I tugged, I pulled, there was inappropriate swearing. The wire frame and my Halloween can-do spirit were getting bent out of shape.
- I enlisted Greg’s help. I love him too much to divulge how he got the red tights to stretch over the frames, but suffice to say, he loves his little ladybug very, very much.
- I cut and glued itty bitty elf boots together in 15 minutes. They took one night to dry. And just five seconds to unravel when placed on itty bitty feet.
- Realized Rosie’s first Halloween costume is in serious jeopardy. Bought cute elf hat on Etsy.
- Refocused on pointy boots. I dug out my sewing machine--itself a Herculean task, as it had been buried under the boxes
- Machine appeared broken. Remembered 8th grade Home Ec. teacher talking about ‘bobbins.’ Re-learned how to make a bobbin. Sewed boots together again. Cursed choice of slippery material and despaired over itty bitty size. Finally finished boots.
- Why were there still feathers everywhere?
- Tried boots on baby. Realized that I’d cut the foot openings too small even for my little elf. I could not face the sewing machine again. I cried.
- But Halloween drew nigh. It was time to try swimming on the other side of my gene pool. My mother's family may not have passed along the sewing gene, but my father, and his father before him, believed in the power of duct tape. I busted open the too-tight seams and hemmed them with silver duct tape. Et voila. I had elf boots that fit. I rejoiced.
- Lesson learned: in the future, we will go straight to duct tape.
So, after a week where meals, laundry, cleaning and recreation fell by the wayside in the name of homemade Halloween costumes, my kids were finally outfitted. Buzzy loved her ladybug get-up. And Rosie? She kicked off her boots in minutes. Her hat fell off after the first block of trick-or-treating. But she twinkled up her little grin and said something along the lines of “mamamamadadadababab”, which I’m pretty sure is Elvish for “I love you.” (More likely, she was wondering why chicken feathers still adorned all of our clothes. Or perhaps expressing a desire for a costume purchased from Target next year.)