Sunday, November 1, 2015

Why grandparents love Halloween

Two months ago I started making a princess dress for ViMae. She wanted to wear it to the Renaissance Festival first, which gave me about three weeks, and then for Halloween. No problem, I thought.

She chose a pattern and then picked out fabric and trims for the dress and its lacy cape. The girl has a wonderful sense of color, and while she might mix jarring tones in an art project, everything about the dress had to harmonize. The big surprise: instead of pink, she wanted blue. It occurred to her that people would think she was dressing as Elsa, from Disney's magahit Frozen, and she didn't want to be just one of many. So she decided to be Assassin Elsa, stashing a dagger in her boot and threatening to stab anyone who doubted her evil intentions. (You may recall that last year she was Bellatrix Lestrange, the most evil female villain in the Harry Potter series.)

Everything was coming along fine until my sewing machine acted up. It was skipping stitches and breaking needles, and eventually I learned it couldn't be repaired. So work came to a halt while I did some research and bought a new machine. (I switched brands in the process--the trauma was roughly equivalent to renouncing my birth family and going over to the Dark Side.) Anyway, I finished the dress one day before Halloween, and ViMae loves it. Now she is excited that the waiting is over; she can wear it any time, for any occasion. 

Augie dressed as a Berserker, a medieval Viking warrior named for the bear pelts they often wore. Now celebrated in video games and comic book art, the Berserkers worked themselves into trancelike states in which they felt no pain until the battle was over. Berserkers were undisciplined enough that Augie's collection of warrior gear--none made specifically for that period--made up a great costume.

Augie's outfit involved lots of teamwork. He made his shield and axe at Cardboard Camp some weeks ago. Grandma Anita had made him a warrior jumpsuit with flying gold epaulets, designed to his specifications. And Peter had just recently made a helmet called a morion, which in fact is Spanish in origin. We found a fur vest at Once Upon a Child, which suggested the bear pelt, and boots completed the look. Voila--a Berserker. 

13 comments:

Stephen Hayes said...

He looks like a friendly enough berserker.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Fun costumes! Love ViMae's mask too! They are growing up! :)

Pauline Persing said...

Wonderful costumes. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays.

J said...

I admire the imaginations those children have! Most that age just settle for zombie costumes! You did a lovely job sewing too!

Ms Sparrow said...

Those are some very imaginative grandkids! How nice that they have your sewing skills to help them realize their ideas.

Pamela S said...

Loved reading your blog. You have some very creative ideas and are so talented. I could have not done those costumes. I am reading your other posts now too.

DJan said...

I saw these pictures on Facebook, or some similar ones, but it was fun to learn about the back story. I bought a new sewing machine a few years back and hate it. I have to relearn how to use it each time I pull it out. I miss my old straight stitch Singer. :-)

Jeanie said...

Seriously adorable! They are SO lucky to have you and your sewing skills!~

Retired English Teacher said...

These costumes are magnificent. You get the best grandma ever award. How fortunate you are to have this level of involvement with your two wonderful grandchildren. I love how creative they have become.

What kind of a machine did you get? I bought a new one over a year ago. It was an inexpensive Singer. My old machine also died on me and could not be repaired without costing a fortune. I've not been happy with my purchase and have never even used it. The trial runs on it were too traumatic. (Well, that is an exaggeration, but I think you understand.) I need to take a day and devote it to learning the new machine. I have a simple pillow project. I should be able to accomplish that.

Kc W said...

Your costumes are so cute -- even if a disaster was involved! Like others I am curious what kind of machine you had and what you now have? The costumes certainly gave you a reason to get a new one!

Linda Myers said...

Creative costumes! I lent my unused sewing machine to a friend 15 years ago and never looked back. Every now and then, though, I reconsider.

Anita said...

I double-clicked to see the enlarged photo. You're good!
The children look great. More memories for them!

troutbirder said...

Very nice. I'm envious as our live far away in Arizona.....

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