If I could dub anyone as the original “Martha Stewart” or “Pinterester,” I would nominate my grandmother (my dad’s mom) and my mommy. Since I could remember (and even before that, through photos), I witnessed their craftiness and ideas come to life. My mom, bless her heart, can’t sew a thing because she was never taught how. Yet, she was the one who inspired my love for crafting and creating. When my sister Vanessa and I were little, our mom would walk to the local library and scrounge for all sorts of DIY inspired books and we would come home with a kid activity, craft, origami, and cook books. I love my mom for these wonderful hands-on memories because these books took us on adventures right in our very own living room.
Now, although my grandmother and I had a language barrier, it didn’t stop her from teaching nor did it keep me from learning. I began to take interest in sewing in junior high as I would very robotically gaze at the needle bob up and down while listing to the monotone hum of the motor as she pressed against the foot. I was astonished each time she so proudly held up a new outfit for me to approve of with my smile and broken-up spanish compliments. As the years passed, I learned to sew by observing and I tried my best to translate the name of each item she would hold up. These garments would later get shipped off to the local department stores. Funny thing is that when I started high school and took Spanish, the only challenging words I knew were those that were related to sewing. Ha! I may not know how to use a pattern or sew the proper way, but I get the job done. And I’m lucky enough that if I need any extra sewing support or a full-on outfit, my grandma is still here to help.
So how does Halloween fit into all of this? Well, as soon as I met my husband, which was a little over twelve years ago, I decided I needed to start making my own Halloween costumes. You see my grandmother made mine… and my sisters’ Halloween costumes (year-after-year) since we were born. I thought it was time to give her a break. LOL! No but really, it was! My mother was always the mastermind behind each costume of course, so she needed some time off too. I also wanted to continue both my grandmother’s and mom’s tradition of making Halloween costumes from scratch for my family. It hasn’t been easy but so worth it!
However, this year I ran into a road block….my son wanted to BE SPIDERMAN!!! Ahhh! My Halloween dream world almost crumbled and I nearly slapped myself silly until I realized there were several options for me to survive my craft itch and keep our tradition going. First, I was going to give in to his little boy dreams and mine by creating two sets of costumes. One for him and one costume for the family theme…still a secret. Secondly, I would STILL make the costumes by hand. Call me crazy, but there weren’t any options in my Joanne’s fabric side of the brain. I did both!!! I just couldn’t bear not to see my son in exactly the costume him and probably all his little school friends wanted to be. So, I created his costume the best way I knew how, with some store bought items, fabric, felt, and puffy paint. Oh and I couldn’t forget about Ms. Ellie-Dear. She was the Itsy Bitsy Spider (girl version). It was a perfect match. They wore these costume for our friends’ annual pumpkin carving party and they were a hit! As soon as my son jumped into his bright blue tights and pulled the red mask over his eyes, he was in heaven. Bad guys didn’t stand a chance! I couldn’t imagine not letting him choose, but at the same time I couldn’t imagine not creating something that was made by me, with extra sweat and love. I’m not saying store bought costumes don’t come with love either, I’m just trying to keep the tradition my mommy created going on. Also, although I can buy my childrens’ costumes, I want them to know that a little fabric and creativity can go a long way. And you guys…it was the cutest thing when he would see me work on the costumes and he’d ask a million and one questions with the biggest cheese smile on his face. Then, when he finally put it on, he sang, “Spider Man, Spider Man! Spins the web. Spins the web…Here comes Spider Man” This has definitely got to be one of the best parts about being a mommy-their happiness. My heart is melting over here! Oh and I know it doesn’t look exactly like Spider Man, with the muscles and all, but I tried so please don’t be too hard on these hand-made costumes.
Although these aren’t their “real” Halloween costumes because we are wearing the family ones on Friday, don’t be surprised if half-way through trick-or-treating you see spider man pop out of a Disney character! Hey…they should make a Marvel-Disney Movie….you heard it hear first! Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!