halloweens past and a preview

as i finish up this year’s halloween costumes for both kids, i thought i’d share my handmade costumes of pre-blog years gone by. i started sewing in 2009, so that’s the first year i made a costume for Em. i come from a rich heritage of mom-made halloween costumes, though – my sisters and i were bumble bees, pioneers, vampires, cats, mad scientists, and overworked office women (that was mine – i actually thrifted a jumpsuit in middle school, it was incredible with a crazy wig and smudged makeup). mom also helped me sew a two headed monster one year (two thrifted plaid shirts sewn together and matching masks). that was a fantastic costume to rock with a friend.

i think kid halloween costumes are becoming my favorite thing to sew. it’s really fun to figure out what costume matches their interests/personalities at the time and make them come to life.


i had been sewing about three months at this point, but i knew what i had to do for her costume – DOROTHY. Em was born with a ridiculous amount of hair (like suri cruise hair) and never lost it like everyone said she would, so by 17 months she could easily pull off pigtails, even after multiple haircuts. she was also waaaay into doggies and shoes.

her blue gingham dress had no closures, and she grew out of it the week after halloween. it was a rectangle attached to a gathered rectangle with rectangle straps. i did sew real buttonholes, though (my very first buttonholes)!

you can kind of see it here, but i wove strips of felt to make her a treat bag that looked like dorothy’s basket. it even had a pocket inside for a mini toto that she carried around. i also gathered some fabric and attached it to a onesie for a ruffled collar look.

we went to a halloween fair at a nearby school, and i believe there were four dorothys there, including one of the teachers. Em was by far the tiniest.


last year, in preparation for O’s arrival, we finished the basement in our old house, taking our living space from about 1,300 square feet to 1,800. livin’ large! however, i sew in the basement, so for a few months i was unable to do that and it KILLED ME. i regained my sewing area about a week before halloween, so i was able to pull her costume off just in the nick of time.

she was super into dora the explorer back then, so it was kind of a no-brainer. i used dana’s tutorial to dye her socks yellow and a pair of too-short pants orange (then i hemmed them into capris, because it’s too cold here for shorts). she had on a store-bought shirt, but i made her beaded bracelet that promptly got lost.

and of COURSE i made her backpack and map. this was actually really fun – it was the first backpack i’d made, i designed it myself (after a 3 month sewing hiatus, mind you) and i feel like i nailed it. it’s made of kona cotton, fully lined, and she still uses it to carry things around, a year later. map is often played with, too. backpack’s face and map are made out of felt.

in action with her superhero cousins. she was a happy trick-or-treater.


both kids are animals this year, and it doesn’t get much cuter than animal ears, if you ask me! you’ve already seen the bottoms of each costume (her tutu and his pants), and here are the very tops. these are my most involved costumes yet, and i’m excited about how they’re turning out. hers is done and she’s thrilled, but i still have something to make for his…so i’d better get back to it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

halloween is so much more fun with kids around! i can’t wait!

14 thoughts on “halloweens past and a preview

  1. Vanessa@DesignsbySessa says:

    I bet you just want to go back in time to that little Dorothy and just hug that little thing! So cute! I love the past review! I am using a dog costume my husband had when he was little this year for my son! Should be cute, especially if I can find a picture of my husband back then!

  2. lecsmiscellany says:

    Adorable! Loved all the costumes! And I wish I were brave enough to try sewing my kids’ costumes myself. If I time myself better, maybe next year I can pull it off! May I ask you a question– was it hard to make Backpack? Both my girls are so into Dora, and this would make a lovely Christmas present.

    Love your blog! Thanks for sharing all your awesome projects, and have a fun Halloween!

    • kristin says:

      thank you! making backpack and map was surprisingly easy, actually. if you want to send me an email at skirtastop(at)gmail(dot)com i can give you a quick step-by-step (i didn’t see an email address on your blog). ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Stine says:

    Is there any chance you could mail me the pTtern and step by step on how to make the dora backpack? My 2 year old daughter LOVES dora, i want to make her a backpack, and Yours are by far the most Well made backpack i have seen

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