When I first started sewing (which was around my 32nd birthday, about a month before Halloween), one of the first things on my mind was making a Halloween Costume for my twins. I was unemployed, at the time, and deep in the throes of “mommy-boredom”. I assumed that making my kids an adorable halloween costume would not only give me something productive to do during nap time besides digging goldfish crumbs out of the high pile carpet, but would also give me a little external validation for the endless merry-go-round of work that characterizes young twins.
You can see where this is going right? I went out, spent way too much on supplies to make a big bird costume, and nearly made myself blind stitching a bizillion little multicolored chiffon feathers onto a repurposed old hoodie. And then, despite having professed their undying love for Sesame Street only the day before, my twins flatly refused to wear the costumes. Of course, since I’d spent so much time on them, I forced them to put them on anyway, convinced that once they saw how amazing they looked, and understood that this was for CANDY, I’d earn my grateful smiles.
Here’s a photo that shows how that worked out:
We paraded around the neighborhood for about 10 minutes anyway. In the rain. With intermittent crying.
Fortunately, like so many other mistakes I’ve made in my parenting journey, they have completely forgiven me, and don’t seem to harbor any negative feelings toward Halloween.
I don’t like letting things go to waste, though, so here’s a rather embarrassing photo of me, wearing the costume, for one of those races where they throw colored chalk at you (which was also my last attempt at doing THAT kind of run- I hate it when people throw things at me)
In fact, my ban on making costumes has turned out to be a really good way to encourage their creativity, as they spend time on creating the costume of their dreams out of whatever supplies they can find laying around the house, while I work on my fall sewing list, and take the time I’ve saved on costumes to stitch up impromptu projects of the non-costumed variety, like the Manhattan Dress for Sophia.
In fact, I was in the process of reorganizing my stash, when her eagle eyes landed on this rose gold and crushed velvet from the JoAnns spring collection. I had intended a fancy pair of leggings for myself, but she begged for a dress from it, and I knew that the Manhattan pattern, which I’d been eyeing anyway for her holiday dress (I DO sew those), would be perfect for the elegant fabric.
Sometimes the most eye catching designs are the simplest (unlike that darn big bird costume), and this dress came together really quickly- in about an hour and a half, from print to hem. I initially wanted to make the sleeveless V back view, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to do that mashup from the instructions, so I went with the front and back boat neck instead.
I followed the instructions for adding clear elastic to the neckline, but left off the interfacing at the shoulders- it wasn’t needed with this stable knit, and I didn’t want it to get too bulky.
I did add some clear elastic into the waist seam, since the half circle skirt was so heavy, and I’m glad I did- it will increase the longevity of the dress, which I hope will continue to fit her through her birthday, in January, barring an unforeseen growth spurt (which now that I’ve said it, is sure to happen).
I only had a yard to work with, so my hi/low hem isn’t as dramatic as the pattern features, but it still give it a bit of visual oopmh, and will help us tell the front from the back (note to self, order more labels!)
Her eyes lit up with joy when she saw the finished project, and I’ve never had to do less convincing to get her to pose and twirl for photos. We accessorized it with a little hair clip, and my great grandmothers pearls, to make the outfit extra special.
Of course, she had to test out how it felt to run like the wind in all that elegance:
Yup, works perfectly. Further proof that you can dress like a princess and run like a champion.
On a completely unrelated note (I’m allowed to go off on tangents in my own blog posts, right?!), I was gifted an Instant Pot by my very sneaky husband for my birthday (surefire way to get your wife to cook more? Give her a really cool cooking appliance), and have been enjoying trying out some new recipes.
Since we need to be 100% gluten free (celiac kids), and try to be as low dairy as possible, I adapted and mashed together some recipes I found online, to come up with a perfect substitute for our old favorite Panera broccoli cheese soup, and a great way to use the broccoli that’s starting to come into season with our CSA (the recipe works with both frozen and fresh broccoli).
In the process of tweaking the recipe to fit our dietary needs, I also tried to make it a bit healthier, by using nonfat or cashew milk instead of heavy cream, and substituting reduced fat cheddar for the regular variety. Yes, it still has some fat, and no, its not keto. We don’t strive for either, but I’m sure you could make some adjustments to it if needed.
I’m not sure if recipe sharing is going to become a regular thing around here, but since this blog is a reflection of my creative endeavors, I didn’t feel like sharing it was entirely out of place.
If you decide to make it, I’d love to know what you think! In full disclosure, Hubby and I gave it a 10, Noah gave it a 9, Oliver gave it a 7, and Sophia spit it out. At least I scored with her on the dress (#youwinsomeyoulosesome). She ended up eating avocado, bread and Caesar salad for dinner. Go easy on me though- it’s my first shared recipe!
Note: This post contains affiliate links. Any money I make will go back into sewing, cooking, or supplies for those kid created DIY costumes (check out what Noah did last year!).
Thanks for reading, and Happy Halloween!