Having spent my undergraduate years at a school that takes Halloween very seriously, I’m no stranger to pulling together clever last minute costumes. I’ve ironed on a decal hours before the party, to make myself a Captain Hammer groupie. I’ve hot-glued a chunk of bathmat on to a T-shirt to make a dinosaur costume. Other Persephoneers have also provided (better) Halloween costume guides. In recent years, Halloween has been less of a crafting project and outing for me and more of a exercise in gluttony, as I lie on my couch watching B-movie horror films and eating entire bags of Kit-Kats.
This year when presented with the opportunity to dress up for Halloween, I decided to be ambitious and try and sew myself a hat for my Louise Belcher costume.
The last time I tried to sew anything that wasn’t a button was making period-appropriate Barbie clothes when I was about 9. (Often my Barbies were nurses during WWII, because I was a strange, specific, child.) Luckily, I found this awesome pattern and guide via Hands Occupied to help me through the process.
Get your supplies together and clean off the corner of the couch you will be using. Do you have everything you need for this costume experiment?
Great! Let’s pray for a miracle!
- Get more supplies than you think you need.
Seriously, plan for failure. Plan that you will accidentally cut in the wrong place or your that hand will slip or that you will drop the scissors in the middle of cutting. I bought like 14 sheets of felt and still panicked that it wasn’t enough. I used eight.
- Follow Instructions.
If you are using a guide, FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS. Read the whole guide. Re-read it. If your eyes glaze over in front of your computer screen while you are trying read the part about the ears, your failure to properly cut a pattern and then cut a straight line is on you.
- Take your time.
After you’ve read instructions for the 15th time, you might feel overconfident in your abilities and think, I’m a superhero, I can craft and watch a German movie (a language I don’t speak) and Gchat with some friends all at the same time. You’d be wrong.
- Follow Instructions.
Oh, did I say this already? It’s because if I had done so in the first place, I wouldn’t have been resewing the ears for the third time the next day, because I thought I got it, and didn’t need to pattern anymore. DON’T GET COCKY, it leads to you angry crying on your couch at 3 a.m. because you were so determined to make a great costume and you’re failing.
- Enjoy yourself.
After you’ve cried and stabbed yourself with a needle several times, try to regain your grip on reality and remember, this is supposed to be a fun project. Yes, rethreading needles is hard, and even harder if you’ve had a drink, or two. But this is in the spirit of Halloween! Remember, no matter how lopsided your hat is, you will try your darnedest to have fun wherever you go. Even if you just make it to your living room couch.