Friday, October 31, 2008

Costume Trouble

For years our girls have asked to be flapper girls for Halloween. Because of the very cold California nights in October, we always told them this was an impractical costume as they would spend the evening freezing AND no one would end up seeing their costume due to the coat they would be forced to wear! Well, Guam is the PERFECT place for a flapper costume; and so this year, when the girls made this costume request again, the answer was an exuberant, "Yes!" But, how to get the costume . . . . Buying this costume was out of the question based on our budget, and so Karyn bit the bullet and declared she'd simply have to sew the costumes. Karyn and the girls excitedly entered the fabric store but, to their dismay, discovered that buying yards of fringe (as traditionally found on flapper dresses) exceeded the budget as well. Not to be discouraged, Karyn suggested some sequined fabric and the trim would be limited to the bottom of the dress. That decided, they then asked to see the patterns. To Karyn's horror, she was told there were no patterns and patterns were sold no where on the entire island! Yikes! Karyn can sew, but sewing without a pattern is an entirely different story! With the girls' soulful eyes asking what would happen now, Karyn gulped and declared they would just have to create a costume without a pattern. The first feat was trying to calculate how much fabric would be needed. Then, feeling like a pioneer or a missionary "really out in the bush," Karyn proceeded to timorously cut the needed pieces. And then, to her chagrin, she discovered that her sewing machine wouldn't sew the fine, sequined, fabric. And so, feeling like a true bush-missionary, Karyn plunged in, hand-sewing the flapper costumes. Whew! With dresses completed, she realized she would have to figure out how to find feathers for the flapper headbands. This would be an inconsequential concern in the States, with craft stores loaded with stock in nearly every town. But, finding colored-feathers on Guam probably wasn't going to happen. And so, with her pioneer spirit in gear, Karyn scavenged the toy box. To her delight, she found an Indian feather headband (from a home school unit study on American Indians), and a pink boa. She pulled out one long white Indian feather and cut it to the appropriate size and hot-glued it to a headband. She took a pink drinking straw and hot-glued a few plucked pink boa feathers to the straw to make it look like one long, full, feather. Voila! Two feathered flapper headbands, two flapper dresses, and a sigh of relief from Mom!

P.S. A fun and safe night trick-or-treating was spent with friends on Guam's navy base. EACH girl returned with nearly seven pounds of candy! Interestingly, everyone immediately knew the girls' had dressed as flapper girls except the military families in their twenties. Many of them asked, "What are you supposed to be?" And, even when told, they clearly had never heard of flapper girls!!!


Anonymous said...

How ingenious, Karyn! The girls are growing up and really look cute in their flapper costumes! 7 pounds of candy, each, is more than they probably would have gotten in the states! I think you'd better stash some problem would be getting into it myself!


Katherine said...

Wow, sewing without a pattern. Very creative! Great job!