One of the ways I love escaping, creatively during this lovely time of year is by dressing up for Halloween. Especially now that I have a sewing machine to take my costume creations to the next level. My mom gave me a sewing machine a few years ago for Christmas and my way of learning to sew has been making my own Halloween costumes. That way there’s not as much frustration if I mess up, since it’s not something I use or wear all the time.

The best advice my mom gave me to get started on sewing clothes was actually the simplest and most logical – just buy a pattern and follow the directions. This is definitely not as frustrating if you’re making a Halloween costume that doesn’t have to be perfect; less pressure and more room to improvise with mistakes. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’ve picked up a lot just from these few patterns that I’ve used for past years.

It’s a small world…Geisha Costume
I used:

  • Butterick Kimono Pattern #B6698
  • Polyester (not too pricey) fake silk fabric
  • Geisha Wig from
  • A few added extras such as a paper parasol and fan from the Oriental Trading Company

  • Letting my hair down…

    Fiona CostumeI was “Fiona” for our office Halloween (it’s a big thing at work and departments compete) so I reused the dress I made (from Butterick Pattern BP193) and added shoulder and skirt enhancments to turn the dress into Rapunzel.

    My “hair” was made from 2 bundles of chenille yarn that I braided together and clipped a fake hairpiece from the drugstore to the end of it.  Rapunzel Costume

    Dirndl Pattern ImageThe most complicated piece I’ve made yet was the bodice to a dirndl costume (think “beer wench”). I haven’t used the costume yet, but I used this pattern to make the bodice, undershirt and knee-length skirt. I added a little apron and made the the bodice reversible by using a patterned cotton broadcloth for the lining so that I could use either side.

    As I said, I still have a long way to go, but this fall I’m moving on from Halloween costumes to actual (fingers crossed) clothes that I can wear more frequently than on Halloween. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes!

    I’ll add a few pictures of this year’s costume next week…although it involves less sewing, but still a lot of crafty d.i.y. power!

    What was your favorite Halloween costume that you’ve made?