Sunday, October 30, 2011

Tomorrow is Halloween, and things are not going so well.

As hinted, this year, I decided to make Joe a Halloween costume from scratch. (In past years, I did not. Did I mention that my firm has a Nov. 1 to Oct. 31 billable year? I am usually too busy to make it to the pumpkin patch.)

Joe loves sharks. His shark PJs are his favorite. So I figured I'd make Joe a shark costume.

Steve suggested that I attach some remora fish to the belly of the shark. You know, those fish that use their sucker-heads to grab onto a shark and travel around with them, eating their leftovers? They're awesome.

Good idea, Steve!

I procrastinated a little, partly because I don't have a pattern, and I was trying to work out how to cut this out in my head ...

So yeah, I started last night, making the tunic first, because that was easy and didn't require much brain power. I traced the general shape of one of Joe's hoodies to get the armhole and neckline right. The back of the tunic has a simple little slit to get the tunic over his big head (also, I sewed a cute stuffed dorsal fin onto the back).

Then I slept on it. The hardest part was working out how to cut out the hood and its curved pieces. Initially, I found this pretty intimidating.

But this morning I realized I could just cut some generously sized pieces in something grossly approximating the right shape, and I got to work on the hood. There were some adjustments, but basically, my guesses were pretty darn close! *Pats self on back.* Anyway, it turns out that in this case, pure trial and error can work instead of careful pattern drafting.

It turned out awesome, people. I mean, I'm just super stoked with how it looks. At this point, I was thinking to myself, "Why didn't I make a hammerhead shark costume! That would have been even cooler!"

Shark costume.
This shark has blue eyes just like my little boy.

There is an inner hood (traced from Joe's hoodie) and then I stuffed the space between the inner hood and the outer hood to give the shark some poof.

Check out those gray corduroy remora fish! Steve, you are so clever! (You too, Inder. More back patting. I cannot even stand how clever I am!)

Remora fish.
Parasites. Yum.
Joe! Let's try it on!!

He was okay with just the tunic component. He immediately started ripping fish off his belly - always fun.

Shark costume fiasco.
At this point, he was distracted by fish.
But after I tried to introduce the hood, things went downhill. I should have known.

Shark costume fiasco.
Uh, no thank you, Mama. (Mama says, ahem, see that dorsal fin in the back?)

Shark costume fiasco.
Uh, did I say no? Heck no. Take it off, please!

Shark costume fiasco.
Off! Off! (I don't care if my uncle kisses me and tells me I look great!)

Shark costume fiasco.
I am reassessing my belief that my parents really love me.
It kind of reminds me of trying to put a "Gentle Leader" harness on my pit bull. Except I feel more of an obligation to respect my child's comfort levels than my dog's (and, for that matter, I'm pretty respectful of my dog's comfort levels).


Excuse me: I'm just going to go lie down and cry now. Won't take a minute.

So. Not sure how we're going to manage to trick-or-treat tomorrow. Wish me luck.


  1. Totally, absolutely priceless. Yes, the costume is awesome, I can't believe you just made that up, even the shark's horrible gums which I reckon is one of the most menacing-looking parts of a shark. And the remoras! Genius! Actually, I think the 'get this off me' photos are possibly cuter than if he looked happy. But I do hope this gets to make it out of the house. Good luck!

  2. Looks like he doesn't like the part under his chin. Is there any way you could make it like a real hoodie that could be pushed back off his head, but is still attached (and still awesomely fearsome)?

  3. aww... the costume IS awesome. and he couldn't really be any cuter :) maybe he'll change his mind?

  4. You are so talented. A wonderful costume. Has Joe seen himself in a mirror wearing it?

  5. It's super cute! Hey, he might be in a totally different mood tomorrow. Sometimes toddler mood swings come in handy, right? Hey, WE all love it, even if Joe is momentarily ambivalent. I have a feeling this costume is going to get heavy use, even if that use doesn't come tomorrow. Big hugs.

  6. Dude, that costume is freaking awesome. I say that as a mom, a biologist, and someone whose own mom made awesome Halloween costumes for me. You put that together in one weekend? I am in awe. Two year olds - they just don't know how lucky they are sometimes.

  7. Ignore it and he may come around.
    That would have crapped me off too but what can you do?

  8. Amazing costume! You deserve many pats on the back for it.....have to say, I love that last photo!

    Hope he wears it tomorrow....

  9. stunning! congratulations!!! and yes, that's often how the pro's do it, we just play around with fabric till we get it right, then make a pattern from that.

    you could always let someone else's kid wear it, then he'll probably want to wear it...

  10. Love the costume! We aren't doing a costume this year because my little guy's reaction would be the same as Joe's. He refuses to wear any type of "extra" like a hat or vest. Maybe next year.

  11. You are so much braver than I am! This year, Rosie is a black ghost. As in, black shirt and leggings, black tutu and black bow in her hair. I used white glitter paint to paint a simple ghost face on the shirt. I knew I stood little chance of her keeping anything on her head. She wore it to the party on Friday and kept it all on the entire time - I was amazed. Though, after peeing in her shoes this afternoon, not sure if those will be dry in time to hit the streets tonight. Sigh. Oh, and many pictures to come on the ol blog...

  12. Awww! Poor little guy! But man oh man, that costume is AWESOME! The fish on front? Brilliant!

  13. That costume is so awesome! It's too bad your little guy doesn't realize that. Good thing you took lots of pictures. Seriously awesome costume :)

  14. awesome costume! the remora fish totally make it. hope he came around today... :)

  15. Ahh, little kids and their refusal to put things on their heads! Damn them all!
    The costume looks absolutely amazing by the way. I am beyond impressed!

  16. Thanks everyone!!! SO GLAD there was a happy ending to this story, and that I didn't have to cry myself to sleep last night!!! :-)

  17. Is there any way you can show me how you made the head????


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