Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Project 12: Halloween Costumes

You've got to be kidding. I didn't sew a single garment between Halloween 2009 and Halloween 2010? My goodness it was a crazy year. Even if I didn't sew anything during most of the year, I certainly made up for it at the end.

I sent out an invitation volunteering to make a Jedi knight costume for the first six people who responded and wanted to come party with us in Vancouver. Four full-time Vancouverites, me and LCD Seattle wound up being the six. A very nice mix, I have to say. I had to be pretty creative, since there is not a licensed pattern, but by studying the movies and reading a lot of Star Wars costuming forum posts I got a fairly solid muslin together in August.

I made two really important fabric sourcing discoveries that month also. First, that there is a very inexpensive kind of fabric called Osnaburg which is made from rejected cotton fibres. It's thick, fluffy, textured and sturdy and dirt cheap. I bought a 15 yard bolt online for about $2 per yard. Second, I found that the retail mark-up on wool is criminal. I bought a three 12 yard bolts of absolutely exquisite dark brown 100% wool online for about $7 a yard. It would have been at least $25 a yard in a fabric store.

I spent just about every free moment in September and October sewing frantically, but I was having a great time doing it anyway. I think my sewing skill level jumped significantly and I know that I got a lot faster at cutting, pinning and pressing! The thing that really made the costumes work, though, were the Hasbro Force FX lightsabers. The have very high quality sound and light effects and were movie-ready replicas of the props used in the movie, as you can see here:

We got a hotel suite in downtown Vancouver so that no one would have to do any driving during the evening and also so that we would have a nice, central costuming location! I've never packed up my sewing equipment for international travel before, so that was an adventure in planning ahead as well.

I also booked us a limo so that we could first attend the Parade of Lost Souls put on by Public Dreams Society in the Commercial Drive area of Vancouver. It's a wonderful performance-art parade and community celebration which is alone well worth the trip to the city. We stopped at Vancouver City Hall on the way to the parade and took a few photos. Here's one of the better group shots:

When we arrived in the area and stepped out onto the sidewalks of Commercial Drive people went nuts. We had dozens and dozens of people take their photos with us, shout "May the Force be with you!" at us across the street, or just exclaim "COOL!" as we came into view. It was absolutely like being a rock star. When the rain started to fall we were glad our costumes had lovely big hoods as we made a beeline for a nearby Italian restaurant. After dinner it was back downtown to visit bars and clubs in the gay village where we were received with great enthusiasm.

Exhausting? yes. Expensive? yes. Worth it? beyond super-yes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The costumes were so amazing and all of your efforts in making them and coordinating the events of the weekend made for the most memorable Halloween this old queen has ever experienced.