Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!

Oct 31, 2012

Awesome Halloween Sew-Alongers, Vol. 4 - Jessie & Amy!

Happy Halloween, readers!

As I announced late yesterday, my Halloween Costume Ball has been rescheduled for this coming Saturday, November 3rd.  Therefore I've decided to extend our Halloween Sew-Along.  This means three extra days of Halloween costume-making fun: beads, chiffon, and glitter eye shadow -- and that's just the dogs!

Today I'd like to highlight two more awesome MPB Halloween Sew-Alongers, Jessica M. & Amy Z.

Friends, my relationship to current pop culture is very tenuous. I can give you the scoop on Lana & Ty, Debbie & Eddie, even Farrah & Lee, but anything past 1980 or so is lost on me.  Many of you are more deeply grounded in the present, however, so I know you'll appreciate what Jessie and Amy have been working on. 

Let's start with Jessie:

Q: Jessie, how did you decide on your costume idea -- what inspired you?

A: I love old video games, grew up on them, and love the game Chrono Trigger very much. My character is Ayla, helpful because she can double as a generic cavewoman if you don't know the game.

Meet Ayla.

I chose my character in particular because I'm kind of contrary. Every year around Halloween, there's the whole "slutty costume" trash talking thing. And for the most part, I actually agree; I think it's
weird and unfair that there's such a disparity between men and women's versions of the same costumes, and I think that awkwardly shoehorning innocent objects like watermelons into a "slutty" format is just kind of... well... awkward.

But I also think people have a really bad relationship with their bodies, for the most part. I know I do a lot of the time. But we shouldn't -- humans are beautiful creatures! So I decided to be Ayla
the prehistoric chieftan queen. She's physically the strongest character in the game, and her character is very joyful and powerful, all about equality and respect and love of life.

I wanted to see what would happen if I made a costume that was revealing without being provocative. No cleavage, no makeup, no high heels, just... not a lot of cloth. All natural me, on a very unnatural holiday. It's been interesting so far, observing various reactions. Many people do seem to get what I'm trying to say, which makes me really happy, and I'm expanding my boundaries by accepting the
negative feedback. Leave it to a pretentious college student to turn a costume into social commentary, huh? But mostly, it's just fun, I swear.

Just don't call it a "fur-kini".

Q: What challenges (if any) are you experiencing?  What's the hardest part of making it?

A: I've not done a lot of costuming before, and spent all my money on fabric instead of patterns. A self-drafted swimsuit bottom is kind of hard, but it's hidden by the skirt thing anyway. The hardest part, though, is keeping the costume true to character while making sure it stays put, strapless anything being difficult for me to not jump out of. I've not made complicated shoes before (I'm not done with those, so they're not pictured, along with her bracers). And the color was hard. I ended up custom dyeing the fake fur with sidewalk chalk and just kind of winging it. Never worked with fake fur before, either; it's been an experience!

Q: Where are you going to go in your costume?

A: I've worn it a few places already, in various stages of completion. A dinner party, a house party, an outdoor concert...  my friend even borrowed it for her ultimate Frisbee competition! She pinned the scarf in place to make a strap and wore tights underneath. There are actually four other costumes that go with mine, but I couldn't get everyone together for photos/they're not as close to done yet.

And here's Amy!

Q: Amy, how did you decide on your costume?  What inspired you?

A: I love The Hunger Games trilogy, and I read all the books, and I saw the movie the day it came out.  I walked out of the movie and declared “I’m dressing as Effie Trinket for Halloween this year!”  This was in March.  The idea sat on the back burner for a bit and then in August, I saw the movie again at the budget theater and that sealed it.  Her outfits are incredible.  I bought fabric and started working on it immediately.

Q: What challenges, if any, are you experiencing?

A: Well, the fabric, for one!  It’s basically plastic.  It’s slippery and frays like crazy.  I figured out that I could melt the raw edges with a lighter, and that seems to have solved that problem.  The outfit is two pieces, a jacket and a skirt, and the slippery fabric makes it keep coming untucked.  Also the belt slides around like crazy.  I solved that by putting a few pieces of Velcro on the waistband.

Q: Where are you going to go in your costume?

A: Tonight I’m going to a friend’s annual costume party.  My friends are all super into Halloween too, so there are always really imaginative and creative costumes.  Everyone goes all out and it’s really exciting to see what they come up with!  I’ll probably go out again on Saturday too, and we were thinking of having cocktails at a friend’s house and then walking to a bar.  Really, I would dress up on Halloween day, the weekend before, and the weekend after if I could.  I love dressing up!

 You can read more about Amy's costume on her lovely blog, Sewing Through the Motions.


I'd like to thank Jessie and Amy for sharing their Halloween sewing adventures with us.  The last video game I played was Pac-Man and The Hunger Games is what I call my daily squabble with Michael over who makes dinner, but I know this has had meaning for many of you.

I wish all of you who celebrate it a very happy Halloween.  For those who, like me, have been forced by Mother Nature to postpone Halloween a bit, onward and upward!

Have a great day, everybody!  Any special plans for the holiday?


  1. Peter,
    I think my connection to current popular culture is similar to yours, but I have a 12 year old daughter who updates me! I love the Effie Trinket costume. My daughter went as Katness last year, but I had not read the books at the time and the costume was a not spectacular. (It is hard to make a dress that is on fire that one can trick-or-treat in.)
    Sorry your party was postponed, but at least it was not cancelled.

  2. I am playing the cello at an English country dance tonight and decided to wear some kind of appropriate costume. I actually finished it last night! It's a chemise-type garment with a lace-up bodice to wear on top. I haven't dressed up for Halloween since I was about 10, so this will be fun (unless I decide it looks too weird to wear out of the house). I'll try to get a picture.

    (My pop culture references are also similar to yours, except what I glean from reading Entertainment Weekly, which I get for free because I'm a member of AFI.)

  3. I'm vaguely acquainted with pop culture these days, but I'm mostly wrapped up in the kids... and they're my plan for Halloween. This morning, I fixed Grace's hair and pinned in the Rapunzel hairpiece for her to go to school in. After that, we went to the store after bat and spider rings to give out tonight. See, my church is doing a Trunk or Treat/Halloween carnival this year. So I'm decorating the car in a haunted bayou graveyard/aftermath of zombie attack theme, and then we're running a clothespin drop. We've divided skill levels by ages and the older the kid, the harder we're making it! This way, I get to see Grace in the costume she's been talking about non-stop--a purple light-up bat with purple hair, and Nikki in her homemade owl costume. Living as I do on a gravel road, there won't be any trick-or-treaters, but I'll be leaving a bit of candy for those staying behind just in case.

  4. I had never heard of Chrono Trigger before this post, but Ayla is the quintessential cavewoman in the Clan of the CaveBear series of books. There was a HORRIBLE movie of the first book starring Daryl Hannah many years ago. Oh, and I didn't do anything for Halloween. I save my costuming efforts for Comics conventions and Purim.

  5. At the Rousseau school to-day, when we went for lunch in their culinary division, there was a huge costume contest going on, with awards, and loud cheering. We didn't see too much, but I saw a terrific zebra. This evening we didn't open our door to children, but walked our dog. Once home, I went to feed my strays (an illegal activitiy). Sometimes cats with homes (or a somewhat negligent home) come. I opened the back door, and saw one of the most adorable of the neighbourhood cats, wearing a black tulle ruff, with gold coins on it. She was totally at ease in her outfit.... Cathie, in Quebec.

  6. very nice costume, both. I particularly liked the shot of the back of Amy's great lines.

  7. Great costumes. Thanks for Charlie Brown.. I love Charlie Brown and get the DVD's from the library for my 8 year old. He cracks up - a clear change from the creatures and fight and attack stuff that is made now. Reality... no one wins all the time and problems happen but they get through them and I love there is never an adult around!

  8. Peter, I hope that we readers will have the opportunity of seeing the finished costumes of your Sew-Alongers. Will you be able to liberate your shoes by Saturday? Have fun!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails