When C was about 3 years old I noticed that the stores no longer sold “warm” costumes for his size. (The biggest ones were for up to 24 months old) Living in Canada where it gets darn cold by Halloween night I was appalled by the paper thin costumes children were expected to trick-or-treat in. While one could argue that the child simply needed to wear warm clothes underneath, the thin ones weren’t created baggy enough to accommodate a jacket or even a thick sweater under them. Coupled with his sensory issues, finding a costume that didn’t feel too restrictive on him or too scratchy was hard. I was at a loss as to what to buy him to wear trick-or-treating. That is when I started to sew my own Halloween costumes for him.
Since then, I’ve sewn several Halloween costumes for him. Now with N’s sensory issues I’ve started to sew them for him as well. While I was at Fabricland buying the fabrics and trims I needed for this year’s costumes the sales associate commented on the amount of fabric I was buying. I smiled and said I had 5 costumes to make this year. (We have my 2 step-daughter’s for Halloween this year and I don’t like to do for some and not others, it’s just not fair) When I asked them all did they know why I made everyone’s costumes, my youngest step-daughter told me it’s because it’s cheaper than buying one from the store. I laughed and told her no, not at all. In fact I pay almost double the price to make one out of warm and soft fabrics that will last several years and countless washes in our costume bin for random dress-up days as I would to buy a thin, easily destroyed costume already made at the store.
It saddened me that she thought I spent all the time that I do designing, cutting, and sewing to save a few dollars. I know why she thought that, but that’s another matter.
It started out as just a way to keep my eldest warm, while helping him to be able to enjoy his Halloween and not have sensory overload due to scratchy fabrics or feel too restricted to move by the tightness of a thin one once warm clothes were put on underneath.
It’s morphed into something special; something C looks forward to every year. Every once in awhile he’ll go through our costume bin and pull out a piece of one and smile and ask me “Do you remember when you made this one for me? I loved it!” Of course I remember, I remember each late night spent sewing while he slept, and his face once each one was done. I cherish those memories, and as he gets older I can see that he does too. Slowly as N and G get bigger I like to think that they too will be just as excited as their brother for “made with love” costumes, instead of just store bought.