It’s Halloweek!

As a costumer, Halloween is usually the highlight of the year – for once, you aren’t the only one dressed up!

To celebrate, it’s Halloweek on the blog – everything will be about fancy dress, and costumes, and costume parties, and that sort of delicious fun.

I love Halloween.  Or at least I used to.  It was great as a kid, when your costume was just about being fun, and clever.  It’s not so fun when you are an adult and your costume is expected to be sexy, and all the parties have more alcohol than candy.  And there isn’t much trick or treating in New Zealand.

Trick or treating was fun and safe in the little community I grew up in – you knew all the people you visited, and all the other trick or treaters.

Many years we didn’t go trick or treating – we had traditional Halloween parties with bobbing for apples and doughnuts on strings and caramel corn and skits and games.  So much fun!  Except for the one Halloween where all the guests caught scarlet fever at the party.  That was a little too much excitement.

Far more than the parties and candies, I loved costumes.  My older sister helped me to dress up, and then I made my own costumes, and then I made costumes for my little sisters.

I think I was supposed to be a gymnast. Or a circus girl.

Sadly, some of the best Halloween costumes from my childhood went unphotographed.  There don’t seem to be images of my little sister as the Paper Bag Princess in a paper bag and a crown, or the same sister, the year after, as a beheaded Marie Antoinette with a ruff covering her head, and an extra head of papier mache with paper curls piled to the sky.  But I do have some images to share.

Paper harlequin hats: the easiest costume of all! (I'm the hatless one)

Doesn't every little girl want to be a cowgirl at least once?

It was for a play, not Halloween, but who cares? I'm an evil wizard.

As a Victorian lady. I got in trouble for hand-sewing this dress on the school bus

The lace collar and sleeves crack me up

A proper Halloween picture: the naiad as a Victorian lady (with a naiad on her cheek), Mum as a 20s lady, Goldie as a jester and me in 18th century.

And finally, another non-Halloween costume.  I’m dressed as a gift-giving bird.  I love this costume.  It was made from a coat hood with feathers sewn on it, a construction paper beak attached to glasses, a tie-dyed skirt, a pink tutu, a hat with feathers sewn on it for a tail, pyjama pants, argyle socks, and shoes with construction paper bird feet.  It took about an hour to make, and was so effective!

Doin the funky chicken

The kids inspect their goodie bags

It's Dame Edna the chicken!

No more photos please!


  1. Paul Miller says

    The lace collar and sleeves crack me up, too, but not as much as the grave, dramatic facial expression. Were you pretending to be an Edith Wharton character gazing off at the object of her unrequited love?

    • Well, I was a little young for close familiarity with Edith Warton, but I was under the impression that not smiling was more flattering and romantic. My dad calls it my ‘stoic phase!’

  2. jackiead says

    Thanks for sharing your fun memories of Hall-o-ween dress up. It is one of my favorite holidays. I can see by the pictures you showed an early interest and talent for costuming.

  3. I don’t get many trick-or-treaters, because I don’t have children and don’t know many parents of young children. So at most you get people from your block, and only if you remember to leave your porch light on during the early evening on October 30-31.

    I don’t have photographs of my early Halloween costumes. If I did, I’d post them for your fun, if for no other reason. I enjoyed making costumes, but that wasn’t the entire point of the holiday for me. I got into the witches/spooks/Jack-o-Lanterns thing, at least as a kid. The candy was always very tertiary, to me.

  4. Pre-Raphelite indeed. Great pictures! I used to like Halloween, but Australia doesn’t really do the holiday. Some people do, but its kind of in a pre-packaged sort of way. When I have older children, I think I’ll have parties like the ones you describe.

    • I’m posting this on behalf of Hana-Marmota, who is getting blocked by spam-blockers:

      Dressing up is fun. We do not have Halloween here in the Czech Republic, though – or at least used not to have! We have some kind of a carneval instead, in February, but it’s nothing official and not universally kept.
      I think as a child I dressed up officially, for an event (children’s carneval), once: as a fly. Or maybe it was a mosquito? I had a “backpack” with wings my mom made. I suppose the wings are now long gone.
      Other opportunities were usually the simple church plays, and of course we kept dressing up at home with my sisters just for fun and play. As Native Americans (we’ve been so much into them!), and as fairies/naiads, and I personally also dressed up as red panda, with the help of a red blanket… Simple costumes like that are the most fun (especially when you are a child) – like that gift-giving bird of yours!

      What kind of trouble were you in for sewing? For being a danger to the other children, or on some other grounds?
      It makes me realise how lucky I was not to get in trouble for hand-sewing at school! I think I even sewed in some lessons! When the teacher was ill and the one who was to teach us instead let us do whatever we wanted, that is… I suppose that’s the sewing bug, universally demonstrated in individuals all across the globe!

  5. Natalie says

    LOVE HALLOWEEN partly because it is my birthday but also for the same reason you described. It is nice to have companions while dressing up. It seems Halloween has become prepackaged and sexed up but I always make my own costumes. Thanks for the fun pics!

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