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Oct 10, 2012

Over-the-topness, Halloween Sew-Along Day 1 + POLL!



Cher.  Dame Edna.  Divine.  Lady Gaga.

Some celebrities are famous for being outrageous.  They may be shy in their private lives, but when they're out and about and strutting their stuff, they're totally over-the-top.  And we love them for it.







Now that we're officially beginning our Halloween Sew-Along, the question we must ask ourselves is, Just how over-the-top am I willing to go?  Because a lot of what makes a costume a costume is the creativity (and chutzpah) behind it, and a lot of what makes Halloween fun is exaggeration, even if we're sewing for kids.

Confession: I don't consider myself and Cathy over-the-top types of people.  It isn't so much about playing it safe as it is about the impact of not being outrageous.  There can be power in restraint too, and more surprise.



Let's take Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, a very popular Halloween character for some reason.

You can be normal Dorothy -- we'll call this Level 1.



Or you can crank it up a bit and go for Sexy Dorothy  --  Level 2.



A bit further, and you're Dorothy displays Kansas -- Level 3.



Having a penis automatically puts your Dorothy at Level 4.  I hope we're in agreement on this one.



To most people, adding a Nellie Oleson wig and not shaving your beard raises you to Level 5.  However, I actually consider this a slide back to Level 3.  To me it reads as much less committed.  Thoughts?



So since I'm about to start my Scheherazade project, I am having to decide: How over-the-top can I do this?  It doesn't come naturally, even with all the beads and chiffon.  But I'm going to try my best.

Please answer the following poll:



Friends, if you haven't joined our Flickr group, please do so.  You can post your projects there, ask questions, or just hang out and smoke. 

Before I forget, I'd love to have some sew-alongers post about your Halloween projects here on MPB.  If you're interested, please shoot me an email (peterlappinnyc at gmail dot com) and I'll send you some questions about your project.  Of course, I'll want photos too!

Get those creative juice flowing and have a great day, everybody!

How outrageous are YOU willing to be?



31 comments:

  1. I haven't worn a Halloween costume since I was about 10, so a very long time ago. I am actually playing a gig on Halloween this year so was thinking of trying to make something, but don't know what. My aversion to looking ridiculous is awfully strong.

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  2. I don't know if I will be making anything for myself, but I will be constructing a Cheshire Cat for my daughter. I find Halloween a little odd and don't really like the vibe I get at alot of parties I have been to.
    I like the dog Dorothy the best. Who can resist a dog with ruby slippers.

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    1. Wow! I hope you post a lot of pictures! I can't wait to see that. I'm making an Alice, a White Rabbit and a Red Queen for my kids.

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  3. As a bellydancer (some might say even a "professional" one at that)--there really is no such thing as over the top. Drag queens and bellydancers certainly on a lot of things: that there can never be "too much color" or "too many sparkles" are just a couple. :-) Granted, there are such things as tacky bellydance costumes...but they have to be awfully tacky and generally extremely revealing...
    So I guess what I'm saying is: go over the top! :-)

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  4. I once saw a very fat bald guy dressed as Betty Boop. He was squeezed (think sausage casing) into a very short strapless white dress made of a shiny fabric that looked like patent leather. He had bright red platform thigh high boots and the classic Betty Boop hairstyle was painted onto his bald head. I just happened to turn in his direction when he bent over to retrieve something and learned the hard way he also wore a white patent leather g-string. I've yet to see a Halloween costume that beats that. I will be attending the Taspride Halloween Deathly Masquerade Ball in Hobart this year, so I may see something that gets close!

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  5. Dog Dorothy wins my vote hands down, oops, paws down.

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  6. I wanted to be something absolutely ridiculous in protest to the sexy costumes that are all the rage (yeah, cuz I guess I can't be sexy the rest of the year? What?) SO I'm going to be Baberham Lincoln. Full beard, top hat, mini skirt and too much cleavage. Try to get turned on by that one, boys hahahaha

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    1. ROFL - Please post pictures!

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    2. That is a riot, and terribly witty. Please post photos. I can't wait to see it.

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  7. Cathy smoked during pregnancy??

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    Replies
    1. Is that bad? They were filter tips.

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    2. She was wearing gloves, so the nicotine didn't absorb int he skin, it's fine...

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  8. Two years ago I went as "Little Miss Finger Licking Good" a Toddlers & Tiaras homage. Last year my friend and I were Ethel & Lucy at the candy factory and won the couples costume award. Three years ago I was planning on going as Miley Cyrus at the awards show where she did the pole dance, (My husband had a mullet wig and was going to be Billy Ray) but I came down with Swine Flu the week before and was unable to go to the party.

    I'm part of a local theater group so we tend to take our costumes pretty seriously. So I guess you can say that I tend to go over-board with costumes. For some reason I can't seem to come up with any good ideas this year and I'm running out of time.

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  9. I wish I had time right now to join in the fun. I had plans to before mom fell...but now it will have to wait unless I get some huge manic boost of all night energy.

    Scott and I went to a steampunk wedding last weekend and dressed up. Lots of fun.

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  10. Over the top/ ridiculously outrageous is definitely best for costumes, IMO. I'm making a gypsy bride costume for myself specifically for the fact that gypsy wedding dresses are soooo over the top. Think sequins, feathers, tulle, and fairy lights. I'm not going so far as the mechanical butterflies though...

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  11. My challenge is always combining "over the top" with "work appropriate". I nailed it last year with the Paper Doll costume http://appliqueaddict.blogspot.com/2011/10/my-halloween-costume.html

    This year I need to find a way to wear the Naughty Pirate Boots to work.

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  12. I had made a near authentic man's renaissance era costume for myself earlier this year in a theater costuming class I had. Which consists of a jerkin, paned trunk hose, a floppy hat, and a man's under shirt. The materials were sage and gold brocade, gold-ish brown satin, and inner construction materials.

    I was supposed to wear the costume for the Ren-Fare in May this year in California but I couldn't finish it in time to show it off. Oh well, maybe I'll wear it this Halloween! :)

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  13. My favorite-ever costume was for a Hollywood on the Moon-themed party (it made sense at the time), to which I went as The Intergalactic Norma Shearer (red bias cut a la Adrian, with a silver lamé turban and matching ray gun). Best paired costume was going as Dueling Nancy Reagan and Raisa Gorbachev (which tells you just about how long ago that was). These days I mostly spectate, and from a distance, as Halloween isn't much of a holiday in Arabia.

    [Hmmm...Holiday in Arabia - maybe that could be my theme this year!]

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    1. Sounds like "The Women meet Queen of Outer Space!"

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  14. My daughter wanted me to make her a blinged out costume after watching some show about a lady who designs and makes clothes that are full of bling.
    She said a man who liked wearing ladies clothes (drag queen) had a beautiful peacock dress designed and made by her group of workers. She loved his shoes as well. I am just going to order my kids costumes like I do every year. I never dress up. I am too lazy and really can't be bothered.

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  15. I sew fairly demure costumes for my daughter, then she vamps them up.
    Fine with me, I was young once, too. I don't wear cotumes now, even though it would be most appreciated by my co-workers. What can I say, I am lazy.

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  16. I'm so over the top at Halloween, I'm over the moon. I don't mess around with costumes; go big or stay home. Needless to say, this year may be my most outrageous/ridiculous yet (years past include a John Waters/Divine costume with my bf, a human tornado, trophy wife in head to toe gold body paint, and last year's award winning PRINCE). I'm hosting a giveaway to whoever manages to guess my costume this month so I can't participate in your sew along officially, but I can't wait to see your final product. WHich I hope is as crazy and over the top as humanly possible.

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  17. Divine! I love Divine! But alas, I am a costumer, not a performer. My kids always had hand-made wonderful costumes-- one year I made a Scarlett O'Hara ball gown for my oldest and my youngest got a lace overdress with a georgette underdress and tiara and was the princess from the Never-ending Story. One year we had I Dream of Jeannie (oldest) and Jem from Jem and the Holograms (youngest.) The last year my youngest went out she went in the most beautiful regency princess gown. But the most I do for me is put on a Halloween t-shirt.

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  18. I think the blonds are Alice in Wonderland rather than Dorothy.

    I love over the top, but I tend to agree with you that subtle can be more provocative if done in a smart/knowing way. That said, I don't really equate "sexy" - which really means slutty/trampy these days - as necessarily over the top. Cross dressing usually does up the ante. ;-)

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  19. I once saw a man dressed in full 1950's housewife regalia - peter pan collar full skirt dress, miles of petticoats, pearls, heels, and a cocktail apron. He had a silver tray with an assortment of dildos on it. He was "Betty Cocker." :-P (New Orleans at Halloween is MUCH more fun than Mardi Gras!)
    ~Kelly

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  20. Dear Dame Edna once made her husband Norman a denim dressing gown when he was in the twilight home.
    Is that a cigarette in Cathy s hand - I hope you slapped her, pregnant or not.
    I made an elizabethan gown for a friends madrigal dinner; all boned and underskirted - gorgeous - took me six weeks but I learned SO much during that time.

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  21. Call me "old fashioned" but I think one should dress as something scary for Halloween. That's way more fun, I think. So I vote for the ghost outfit!

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  22. I so wish I had the time to participate in the sew along, even though I have no idea what I would have sewn. It’s going to be fun to see what you and the participants are doing.

    I think if you can’t be over the top at Halloween, then when can you?

    In recent years I’ve been pretty lazy and was The Grim Reaper for more than one year – a hood with theatre fabric over the face so that I can see out, but others can’t see my face.

    I’ve been a cat and I’ve done the French Maid thing -- but in private. I love all the ideas that the readers have been mentioning.

    Doggy Dorothy definitely gets my vote. I attended a Dog Costume Parade fundraiser last weekend and it was just too cute for words.

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  23. My idea of a 'successful' halloween costume is one in which a person can sit down, eat, drink, is a bit scary, and they aren't recognizable at first.

    I have always wanted to be a red dragon in a long slinky sequined gown with a Worf sort of facial adjustment and working wings. I would work harder to figure this out, but I know absolutely no one who would throw a party that I could go to. I'd just throw one myself, but don't know of anyone who would dress up and come. DH does not like to stand out thus no dressing up for him. Though I'd imagine that he could possibly be induced to be Sir George as long as his get-up wasn't "too weird".

    Le sigh.

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