Thursday, October 23, 2008

Handmade Halloween

(Things are delightfully hectic, so this is a BeanPaste RePaste from October of last year when only five nice people were reading. Sorry! But also! Enjoy!)

Stinker
When Ellie wanted to be Tinkerbell (and then Peter Pan and then Captain Hook and then The Crocodile That Ate Captain Hook's Hand and then back to Tinkerbell), I decided to make her costume. I love homemade costumes; my mother (a far more talented seamstress than I will ever be) always obligingly made whatever costume our crazy hearts desired, including (but not limited to) an Egyptian princess, a robot, Little Bo Peep, and, most spectacularly, a California Raisin from scratch. (It was amazing and she still has it and I will be sure to post pictures some day.)

So, inspired by my own mother's top-drawer mothering, I purchased some sparkly chiffon-y green fabric, cut it into raggedy strips, and stitched each strip, by hand, to a ballet leotard. And as I sat up in the late, cold hours of Friday night, hunched over the tiny garment, stitching stitching stitching in crooked little rows, I felt like a mother. Yes, I carried that girl in my body and brought her into the world and nursed her and rocked her and managed to keep the two of us alive that first lean year of her life, and I am proud of those things, but something about this ratty, tatty, little fairy costume felt like a graduation to a different kind of parenthood, a culmination of all the love and pain and helplessness I felt during her infancy. This I could do.

Hexing the cat
For the first time, I sewed my girl a Halloween costume, one that she asked for with real human words, with my own two hands.

And she doesn't care one bit that the stitches are uneven, that the edges aren't finished, that the whole affair is kind of lopsided. She loves that imperfect costume, just as she loves her painfully imperfect mother, because, for now, she simply doesn't know any better.

Checking herself out
And this, people, is the picture of ignorant bliss. In, you know, a green fairy costume.

17 comments:

Jenn said...

I think it looks great, I don't sew at all.

Irene said...

You did a great job on that costume, she looks wonderful in it. What imagination you have.

smalltownmom said...

Tinkerbell is beautiful. But I am just dying to see the California Raisin costume!

justhay said...

Oh beautiful. You are so so clever at all things motherly. And quite possibly, all things not.

togetherforgood said...

That's awesome. I love making my kids' costumes.

The Girl Next Door said...

I have never, ever made my kids a costume. I have 2 seamstress-talented sisters who sewed their (older than my kids) kids' costumes, so I had a ready-made box of homemade costumes: dalmation dog; mickey; clown; bugs bunny; cheerleader, etc...

Your tinkerbell totally rocks my world. Your photos are an art form. Add to that your loving attempts at sewing. And I am. in. awe.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

You are so right--for some of us those are the mileposts of motherhood.

iloveupstate.com said...

It's not nice to make me cry before I've had my tea.

Such a sweet post!!

Lisa Milton said...

Nothing better than a sweet handmade gift.

You're the best.

(Let me guess: You are working on the 2008 version...)

knitalot3 said...

Gorgeous Tinkerbell!!! I can't wait to see this year's.

Scary Mommy said...

She looks adorable! Homemade costumes are the only way to go-- my mother used to slave over ours and they were gorgeous! This year, ours are from Old Navy. I suck.

~m said...

who WOULDN'T love a hand-made fairy costume?! I know I would :)
Beautiful post...

Bipolarlawyercook said...

I think she's lucky to have you. Imperfect is way more interesting.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

How beautifully said.

I get to feel that Queen Momness when I rock the face paint; sewing is just not my game.

Lovely Tink :D

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I'm pretty sure that blissful ignorance remains until at least 11. Then it's replaced by know-it-all hormones. And then the blissful respect comes back around the time she gives birth to her first baby.

Stu said...

Awesome.

Theresa said...

Great job..! That Halloween costume looks great.