How To Pick A Costume Sewing Pattern For Halloween
Halloween is a time when people of all ages get to dress up and become someone else for a day.
It’s also an opportunity for us to get creative and come up with all sorts of costumes, from the scary to the funny to the downright bizarre; we can customize our look to our tastes and vision.
But how does anyone have time to make a unique costume?
Well, I offer one sage piece of advice – start early.
Yes, I realize it is April, and Halloween is still six months away; however, I haven’t made a complete costume from scratch for myself in years, and I’ve got the urge to sew up something new.
So, to begin the process, I dove into my costume pattern collection for inspiration.
Costume Sewing Patterns Galore
Have I mentioned my costume sewing pattern collection?
I used to sell vintage and costume patterns, so I’ve amassed quite a stash. Though I have yet to do an official count, there are likely a couple hundred, so I have a good base from which to choose.
Before settling on what costume to make, I want to look through the patterns for inspiration.
If you’re considering making your Halloween costume this year and you want it to be truly unique to you, one of the best ways to do that is to create one from scratch using a sewing pattern.
You can choose your character, the fabric, and what pieces you want to include. You can even mix handmade pieces with store-bought or thrifted items. Either way, you are certain to have a genuinely original costume.
But before you start sewing, you need to pick out a character on which to base your costume. So today, we’ll talk about how to pick out a character for your DIY Halloween costume, how to select a pattern, and why starting early is essential.
How To Pick A Costume Sewing Pattern For Halloween
Who Shall I Be?
Picking out a character for your Halloween costume is an important part of the process. It’s the first step in creating a costume that you’ll be happy with and that will be recognizable to others.
When choosing a character, you want to pick something you’re interested in, something that you can have fun with, and something that you can easily translate into a costume.
The first step in choosing a character is to think about what you like. What are your interests? What movies, TV shows, or books do you enjoy? What characters do you find fascinating?
When you choose a character you’re interested in, the costume-making process will be more enjoyable, and you will be more likely to put in the effort to make it look great.
Now that you have a character in mind consider your sewing skills.
If you’re an experienced sewist, you can tackle a more complicated costume. If you’re new to sewing, you may want a simpler costume.
Before you make a final selection, look at several sewing patterns for the character you have in mind.
The easiest way to do this is to visit a fabric or craft store that offers patterns.
In the pattern area, you’ll find catalogs that showcase the current year’s collection.
Flip to the costume section in the catalog and note the pattern number of any costume that interests you.
The catalog will give you specifics about the pattern, including the number, price, available sizes, description, designer, costume photos, and illustrations.
The catalog may also denote if the pattern is no-sew, easy, or quick.
Pull any patterns you want to consider from the pattern cabinet for a closer look.
The back of the envelope will give you an idea of what’s possible and what you will need regarding the skills and materials required to pull it together.
Fortunately, there are often variations of costumes for the same character – some easier and some more elaborate.
Be honest with yourself about your abilities so you don’t choose a costume that’s too difficult to make.
One More Thing
In addition to skill level, consider your comfort and in what environment you’ll wear your costume.
For example, a full mascot-style costume is a fun choice, but you might change your tune if you have to wear it for several hours in warmer weather.
Likewise, a costume jumpsuit worn during a Halloween pub crawl may make visiting the bathroom a bit of a nightmare.
Picking Of The Pattern
Once you’ve chosen your character and know what level of construction you’re comfortable with, it’s time to select your perfect pattern.
Note that not every store will carry every pattern in every size. Nor will there be patterns with varying skill levels for each character.
In that case, consider expanding your search toward vintage and discontinued patterns.
Remember when I said to select a character and pattern according to your skill level? Yeah, well, I’m not a very good example of that.
While I have made dozens of costumes over the years, I don’t consider my sewing skills above average. However, that often doesn’t stop me from taking on more than I can handle.
Instead, I like to start early to allow myself time to fix errors and learn any additional skills needed to complete the project.
Even if you are comfortable with the project, an early start has a few other benefits.
Starting early means you’ll have more time to shop for materials and compare prices to get the best deals on the supplies you need.
An early start gives you the first pick of materials, trims, notions, and other accessories instead of choosing from leftovers.
When starting early, you’ll have more time to perfect your costume. You won’t need to rush, and you can take the time to make adjustments if something doesn’t look right.
And finally, the best reason to start early is to keep it stress-free.
It’s much better to have your costume ready early than to stay up late the night before Halloween, frantically trying to pull it all together. (Ask me how I know.)
Creating is supposed to be fun, not a frenzy.
One Last Tip
So, now that you’re ready to sew, what character will you choose?
I haven’t made my final decision yet though the lady pirate looks promising. I’ll keep you posted, so watch for future updates as I show my costume progress.
Until next time, stay in character.