Grandma Duty

This morning my daughter-in-law married to Number One Son came over with the boys and we made Halloween costumes.  Daddy is a plumber, so this year they are the Mario Brothers.

I should have taken “before” pictures, but these started out as 4 t-shirts.  The small shirts (red and green) were each $2 at the thrift store.  The overalls are made from mens XL t-shirts (turned inside out to hide the print) at $1 each.  The logos and buttons are felt from my big pile of junk. Not to bad for $6 and about 2 hours of work time.

It was so much fun!  Too bad thanksgiving isn’t a costume holiday, too.  Then I would have an excuse to do this again soon!

Black and White

You may remember that Daughter has been in ballet for many years. Young Son (yes, the tall one) joined her a few years ago as a “lift partner.”  (SIDE NOTE:  He recruits other young men to help by asking them what they do on Thursday night and would they like to “work out and pick up girls?”  Gets them every time.)

Sometimes I help with costuming.  Usually it is just for my own children, but this year other help was needed.  I did serious renovations on the costumes for the two lead dancers.  I don’t have any pictures of that process (I am terrible about taking pictures in the flow of creativity) but I do have pictures of another part of the effort:  Headpieces.

It is traditional for the Black and White Swan Princesses to have headpieces that usually involve crowns, feathers and a “beak” that goes over their foreheads.  These items are very expensive, at least $200, but easily $400, each.  Yikes!

With only a little shopping and a lot of help from the big pile of junk, these headpieces were created for about $25 total.  Not bad for materials.

Hopefully the dancers will be pleased.



Christmas For The Grands: Twin V.

We are the happy grandparents of 5 (Second Son just announced that #6 is on the way).  I may not always be able to give them a grandma-made-it-Christmas, but at least this year that is the plan.  Here is the first finished item:  A fairy dress with matching baby doll skirt for Twin V, who is 3-1/2 years old.


The bodice is made of a 6″ stretch crochet tube purchased at Joanns.  Other than that it is all hand-me-down fabric and leftovers.

The results are so fun and happy!  I just wish she were here to model it. Ah, Christmas comes slowly for children and eager grandmothers.

Why Quilters Can Make Costumes

It has been said of quilters that they take perfectly good fabric, cut it into hundreds of little pieces, and sew it back together again, and think that is perfectly normal.

Well, sometimes costumes are a lot like that.

I hesitate to even show these pictures as they are not very good and the work is still in progress, but I was struck this afternoon by how much I love my children and how many small pieces there are in these costumes.


Young Son is the wizard.


Daughter is the cowardly lion.

The wizard hat is a lot of little pieces  of assorted green satin and velvet sort of foundation pieced onto heavy interfacing.  The lion costume has nearly 400 separate pieces of tulle in 8 different colors.

They both look terrific, but, then, I am probably biased.

There are many things about being a parent I am probably terrible at, but I hope my children will always remember that I chose to spend time on them and the things they cared about.  It isn’t always perfect.  There are sometimes harsh words and hurt feelings and stress, but I still hope that somehow out of all the little moments we make a life of worthwhile memories.

Little pieces into bigger pieces and patterns–quilters can make many things, including costumes.

The Head Munchkin

The costume craze continues-this time it is a Head Munchkin costume for Daughter.


We started with a thrift store find–it was $10.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It was probably a dress for a fancy dance of some kind (shudder).  We can’t imagine wearing it for that purpose.

But, it had potential!  The basic fit was right, the zipper worked, the corset was already installed and it was the desired color scheme.


First we picked off all that lacy trim and beading.  As bad as it was to take out, I can’t imagine how hard it much be to sew it on.  By hand.

We were looking for hot pink, lime green and polka dots.  Most of this came from my Big Pile of Junk (all the handy bits and pieces none of us can bear to throw away).  We bought the narrow ribbon and the buttons.   The polka dots were created with fusible web on a cotton/poly solid scrap.  Don’t look too close but the buttons are attached with hot glue.  Plus she has on black leggings.  Those will NOT be part of the costume at performance time.  🙂


Total cost:  $14.


She will be waving Dorothy down the yellow brick road surrounded by all of her little munchkins (3-year old dancers) in June.  I can’t wait!