Sewing Kids Halloween Costumes - Advice from a former Pro Costumer

Working as a professional costumer, designing childrens sewing patterns and being a mom has taught me a lot about sewing. One of my favorite things to work on are costumes. You get to make big choices on color and exaggerate features that would be too much for everyday life. 

father and daughter walking at night in rain

So here are five things I’ve learned along the way to make your Halloween costume sewing dreams come to life:  

1. Add lights. Light up elements like light glow sticks or sewn in LED lights are awesome because they are fun. And because trick or treating happens at night, it makes it easy to see your kid and for cars to see them. A rare safety and fun combo! 
2. Be patient. Your child might just be your most difficult client. Can they make a decision on what they want to be in advance? And then stick to it? Who knows? Use your judgment on when they are actually ready to commit and you can trust that they mean it. 
3. It's ok just to buy something. If they just won’t commit or you are running out of time you can buy something ready made and modify it or leave it as is. If the latest superhero costume doesn’t get you excited to make it, just don’t. If that’s what makes everyone happy it's ok to let go of your sewing ambitions and focus on fun and eating candy. 
4. Customize a basic. You can always buy a basic clothing item and customize it with whatever you like. Think about details like applique for instance some stars to a store bought sweatshirt to make a wizard top or a red long sleeve with fuzzy arm warmers to make a fox.
5. Add ears. They are adorable. Always. Check out my kids hat pattern here for some ear inspo. Consider cats, bears and bunnies. They are pretty easy to add on and can use up any fuzzy materials you have in your stash. 


Depending on your time commitment or availability you can look for specific costume patterns or hack what you have from your childrens sewing pattern collection. Take a close look at the pattern pieces and think about a hood to add ears or a hat if you are in colder climates. You can split a back piece into two pieces by tracing the back piece and cutting it in half along the center back and adding a seam allowance. Then you can add in dinosaur scales down the back or a small opening for a tail. 


Whatever you decide, consider the weather to keep your little one comfortable. Maybe a cape can go over a warmer jacket to keep your little one warm. Or a light weight look will be more breathable in a warm climate than a full fur playsuit. When everyone is comfortable it's an easier night. 


So that is a few tips I’ve learned along the way from sewing and life experience. What are you going to do for Halloween this year? 


And if it's all too much as one of my favorite game shows of all time said “It's cheaper and easier just to buy stuff”. Thanks Craft Corner Death Match! Definitely worth checking out if you can find it, it was hilarious. 

Happy crafting and trick of treating!

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