Elvis In The House!

Halloween 2010 just might go down in our family’s history as being the BEST ever!

It all started back in 2004 when I only had one kid and I decided to make all of my kids’ Halloween costumes instead of buying them.  I thought it would be nice and fun and a special thing that I could do for them every year.  Little did I know that someday sewing four costumes for a deadline would drive me crazy.

Okay, that’s beside the point.  This story actually began two years ago, in 2008.  My Love had the fab-u-lous idea that we should dress up all the kids as Elvis.  Different versions of Elvis.  Like White Jumpsuit and Cape Elvis.  Hawaiian Elvis.  Gold Suit Elvis.  How awesome is that?!?!?!

I was out-to-there pregnant with Dutch at the time.  We decided that it would be way funnier to have four little Elvis’ than three little Elvis’ so we must wait.  He was due in February so we thought about when he would be 9 months old.  Mmmmm, no.  As excited as we were about the idea, we thought it would be better to have them all vertical and walking so they could all stand together in photos and go trick-or-treating together, instead of one being confined to the stroller.  So we must wait.  Wait until Halloween 2010 when Dutch would be over a year and half old.

And wait we did.  And it was worth it.

We did run into a glitch though.  During the year, we had made sure to bring up the subject every once in awhile that mommy and daddy had decided what their costumes were going to be so they wouldn’t get their hearts set on something else.  We didn’t get into specifics about it because a) Elvis is a big subject to explain to little people who don’t know about him and b) we didn’t want them to tell everyone about it ahead of time.  We didn’t want to exclude people but we thought the surprise would be fun.

When it finally came time to execute our plan, we talked more about Elvis.  That he was a very famous singer that everyone loved.  That he was also famous for the different costumes he wore.  They were all on board and thought it would be fun.  Then we showed them pictures on the internet.  And then . . . Josephine.

Josephine said, “Elvis is a boy?!?!”

“Um, yes, darling.  Elvis is a boy.”  I’m cringing now, waiting to hear what she’ll say next.

“But I don’t want everyone to think I’m a booooooooooooyyyyyyyyyyyy!” and then a few tears start to roll down her cheeks.

$#!+.  Two years of planning and Josie doesn’t want to do it.  This is a delicate situation.

“Honey, Elvis was so famous that lots and lots of people still dress up like him.  Even girls.  Everyone loved Elvis.”

We had already decided that she was going to be White Jumpsuit with Cape Elvis because it had jewels all over it.  If anything could change her mind, jewels could.  And in this case, I wasn’t above a little bribery.  And begging.

We snuggled and I told her all about the cape with jewels on it.  I told her I was planning on getting her a microphone to hold so she could sing into it.  I told her that this was the very last year I would ever tell her what to be for Halloween.  She wiped her tears away and sniffled, “Next year, can I use the microphone again and be Hannah Montana?”

Of course, my dear.  Of course.  Anything you’d like, baby.

And just like that, Little Love #2 was back on board.

She was neutral for a couple days.  Until I went shopping for her pattern, fabric, and jewels.  Once she saw the jewels, she was over the moon excited and completely jazzed about the idea.  She showed everyone in our family individually the jewels that were going on her costume.  As her costume came together and she tried it on, she became more and more excited.

I, however, began to doubt.  I purposefully did her costume first because it was the one that scared me the most.  And let me tell you, the pattern for that outfit was a pain in the a$$.  I’m not going to sugar coat it because it was a freaking nightmare.  I was scared to sew it and I was scared to start gluing jewels on it.  I was pack of nerves and have never broken so many sewing machine needles.  If this costume didn’t work out, we wouldn’t be able to do the Elvis theme.  Two years of planning could be down the drain and I would be forever disappointed that it didn’t work out.

I finally finished the sewing aspect of it.  The outfit was complete.  It wasn’t my best sewing job ever but it was done.  Now for decorating it.  The part I had really been dreading.  Dun, dun, duuuuuuun.

I found a picture of a cape of his that I especially liked.

I had jewels, glue, and little tool to pick up jewels and scooch them into place.  I also had a bottle of glitter paint.  The real cape is outlined in studs that have prongs and attach individually, through the fabric, but I wasn’t about to do that.  It is still just a costume for a five year old.  So, I got glitter paint and made big round globs instead.  Here was my set up on my ironing board.  The cape is attached to the costume so, haha, that made embellishing it interesting.

And you know what?  This was fun!  I had been dreading this part but it was so. much. fun!  All my worries scattered as I spent little snatches of time placing jewels and glitter globs.  In the evenings, I spent longer stretches of time on it while My Love and I watched TV.

I started this project in September.  It took two weeks to sew the costume and I started jeweling it up on September 29th.  I worked on it off and on, right up until the night before Halloween.  The cape took the longest, of course, but there were a surprising number of other places to decorate.  And I didn’t even do as much as I would have liked.  But My Love says that I spent at least 40 hours with the glitter and jewels and you know what?  That was enough.

Are you ready to be bombarded with pictures?  You can click on them to enlarge them.  Here we go:

The bodice:

The pant leg:

The cape:

One of the things I was frustrated with while sewing the costume was the sleeves.  Sleeves are finicky anyway but these sleeves had THREE parts to them; an upper sleeve, a lower sleeve, and the cuff lining.  Ufdah!

Once I got the sleeves together, the way I needed to attach them looked wrong.  In the picture below, see the sleeve on the left?  With the pointy cuff pointing up?  Weird.  I have learned, though, that I do not know better than the pattern.  So follow the pattern directions I did.

And wouldn’t you know . . . once the costume is on and the person wearing it lifts their arm to hold a microphone to their mouth: the fancy cuff is perfectly visible to the audience, as seen on the right.

Another thing that made Josephine happy to wear the costume was the red glitter fabric.  Hee hee hee.  It was all part of the plan.

I do believe I have written enough for one day.  I shall continue with the Elvis Costumes Saga next time.

Have a wonderful day,

Rachel

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