8 years of Halloween Costumes

Am I allowed to say the word Halloween before October 1st?
Eek. Hope so!….because that’s all that Lucy keeps talking about at our house.
Mom have you started the costumes???

She and her girlfriends want to dress like Lalaloopsies, which I think is adorable…..and guess which pattern might be fantastic for that?….The First Day Dress! (assuming she doesn’t want to be one of the crazy lalaloopsies, like the mermaid.  But I think she’s hoping for Peanut).

So to get me in the mood for making costumes—rather than complaining and procrastinating—I gathered photos from the last 8 years of costumes.


Most are homemade, some are semi-homemade, and some are storebought—which I gotta be honest, can feel just as awesome as slaving away making something.  There are upsides to both.

So, here’s 8 years of sewing in a costume time capsule….

Last year I loved doing a semi-homemade/storebought routine.
Owen wanted to be Luke Skywalker.  And when I asked what we needed he said,
“we have everything!  I’ll get it together!”
FANTASTIC.


My favorite part of the costume was the reversible hooded cape, which I made for the kids years ago.  I had made one for each of them.  And seriously….they are THE MOST USED item in our costume bin, constantly.  My kids love them, friends love them.  I should make more.  Read the details here.



With Owen being Luke, Lucy wanted to be Padme….which made this store-bought costume so fantastic.  Done!

Of course I thought they looked a little more like Wesley and Buttercup….



The year before that, Owen also wanted to be, yep….a JEDI. Specifically—Mace Windu.  This time around I made a few items and threw them together with things we already had.  It was also the first year the kids did not dress as an ensemble, which gave me mixed emotion.  They were growing up and also learning to have their own opinion.



Clara was a very simple Little Red Riding Hood.   (And I’m suddenly realizing….did I not even dress her up last year??   Guess I’ll have to make up for it this year.  Sorry 3rd child).

Lucy’s costume was one of my all-time favorites.  She wanted to be Sleeping Beauty….but we gave it a twist.  Just like the fairies in the movie, we couldn’t decide if she should be pink, or blue.  So we did both!  Just pick which side you want to stand on.



It was especially fun because her friends dressed up like the fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather.

The same year (not on Halloween) Owen dressed up like Marty McFly from Back to the Future for the Film Petit series.  I had a blast putting this together, since this is a classic favorite at our house.  And this year is the 30 year anniversary!  That’s heavy.



And Clara was as a 50s diner girl.

Going back another year to when Lucy was 5 and Owen was 3….the kids wanted to be bats.  And if you live in Austin, TX—the city of bats—-you can only say YES to that request.


These were pretty simple costumes—I made wings and hats from felt and satin, then combined it with black clothes.   The kids were so cute together.  And spectators really loved watching them “fly” down the Congress Bridge in downtown Austin.


This year, my niece in California wants to be a bat so we mailed the costumes to her and the fun will continue!  I love when costumes get good use over the year.  And these ones definitely have with my own kids.  They’re pulled out of the costume bin at least once a month….even though they’re much too small now.

In 2010, the kids were a Costume Wonderland, as Alice and the Mad Hatter.


This photo shoot was really fun; the kids loved having a pretend tea party.
Has anyone noticed that I’ve taken photos in the exact same grassy field for the last 4 years?  It just always seems to work!


The year before, Lucy was obsessed with the book Green Eggs and Ham.  So we went with Dr. Seuss characters—Sam I am and the Cat in the Hat.


And back before there was a nice camera, or even a blog….the kids dressed as Halloween Traffic, since Lucy was really into STOP signs.  She pointed them out wherever we were and would say “S-T-O-P…STOP!”

Owen’s traffic light was a simple romper made of felt.  Oh he’s so tiny!

And another all-time favorite was Lucy’s 2nd halloween costume…. Little Strawberry Girl!

And finally, the very first year of making kid costumes, we went as Back to School Night.  Wow.  I got Casey to wear a “dress”.  What a man!

And there you have it!….8 years of ideas.

This makes me excited to get sewing for this year.
I hope you’re motivated too!  And if not, just head to the store and don’t think twice about it.

QUESTION for you guys:  I’ve been thinking about making a pattern for the Bat Costumes and wonder how many of you would be interested? I wouldn’t have it done in time for this year…..but could do it over the summer for next year.
Anyone interested in bat costumes?  They’re really fun as dress-ups all year long.

  1. Your costumes are very inspiring. In fact, I ended up making a bat costume for my son, based on your kids’ costumes, the year after you did. We still have it and it should fit my youngest this year, so there is talk that I need to make another for the big brother. It’s a great costume for school parties because it isn’t too hot. Here in Nova Scotia, it’s pretty cold on Halloween night and the bat costume still works well over top of fleece one-piece suits. Versatile bats costumes for the win!

  2. I am trying to get my act together for halloween in a flash this year because we have a baby coming right before the big day! I’m thinking either bob the builder or handy manny (my son is super into both)…or we’ll just do a contruction builder guy with a hard hat and clothes he has. Maybe I’ll make a tool belt to have something new. 🙂 We’ll see what I get around too. And for the new baby…well, we’ll see what I come up with. 🙂

  3. 3) Chelsea

    You have such talent. I am still working on sewing in a straight line. LOL. I especially love the Aurora and the Alice in Wonderland looks. they are too cute.

  4. My kids were asking about bat costumes the other day. My son said he wanted to be Batman when he was a baby bat. Ha! That’s not how that happened. Your bat costumes came to mind. Though, I do LOVE the Mad Hatter coat!

  5. 5) Lelania

    I would love a bat costume, really struggling to find kids costumes from age 11- 13 I would say there is a huge gap in the market. Love all your costumes, Alice and the Madhatter is my favorite! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • 6) Dana

      You’re right….there is a big gap for Tweens. Good suggestion. Thanks Lelania!

    • 7) Jen

      Alice and the Mad hatter would be cute for your teens, a friends daughter did a very tasteful version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with her teens girls last year, they made tu-tus (I think they used a dance wear company for green leggings), wore the Turtle tummy shirt, Bought Shells at Target, and instead of making the mask around their eyes they did it around their foreheads and braided the tail into their braids.

  6. What a fun post. I love all the pictures of costumes over the years. My favorite is still Owen’s Mace Windu costume. The force is definitely with him. 🙂 I can’t wait to see what you come up with this year.
    Melissa

  7. 9) Kelly

    I’m in the same boat as Lynette. We have our second little one (another girl!) due on October 18th, so I had to get my act together and get my daughter’s costume done. She loves Halloween and I didn’t want her to miss it this year. She has been a parrot, Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Katara’s Painted Lady. This year she decided she wanted to be a witch, one that was “orange, black, and spidery.” 😉 I used the Geranium dress pattern from Made by Rae and whipped up a quick costume. So glad to have it done and out of the way. 😉

    Love your costumes! So cute and creative! And yes, a bat costume pattern would be awesome. My daughter loves pretending she is a bat and flying around the house. 😉

  8. 10) Jean

    Ahhh!!! They’re all so awesome!!!!

  9. 11) Mindy

    what a trip down memory lane! I’m a Mimi (grandmother for those who are not familiar with the Southern version) and would really love a bat cape pattern. I’m going to Pin this page for future inspiration! Bless you for coming to terms with the kitchen clean up thing. Soon they will all be helping, for now enjoy the boats and umbrellas moments!

  10. 12) Charity

    Adorable costumes. And YES I would love the bat costume pattern!!

  11. I followed the bat costume tutorial last year, too, and my kids still use the costumes for dress-up often!

  12. How funny your question for us is about the bat costume! Prior to reading your question I had made up my mind I was going to use your tutorial (currently made tutorial) as inspiration for my 4 year old daughter’s costume. She has been asking to be a bat for months! I had no idea how I was going to make it, that is until now. So. Long answer- yes, I think a pattern would be a great idea!

    (Oh, and we’ve been talking halloween for weeks. Totally ok in our books to mention the holiday prior to Oct 1st!)

  13. omg the bat is amazing, unfortunately in Italy we don’t have Halloween. But i’ll take some inspiration for mardì gras

  14. 17) mel

    I would be interested in the bat costume pattern if it included variations with it. Maybe owl, other birds, butterfly and flying squirrel?

  15. 18) Al

    I’m relatively new to sewing so I still haven’t made anything that didn’t come from a pattern. I would love a bat costume pattern! I found your blog recently and have loved peeking around and then was really excited when I realized you live right here in Austin too. I just want to say thanks for what you do. You’ve given me several great ideas and you make something I might never try otherwise seem possible.

    • 19) Dana

      That’s so great to hear! And I’m happy to meet another Austinite too 🙂 We love Texas! (though we’re really from California. We’ve been here for 5 years now)

  16. 20) Kristi

    My four-year-old has been telling me for months that he wants to be a bat this year and I’ve been planning to follow your post. Too bad there’s no chance of a pattern for this year. Your patterns and tutorials are always so nice to follow. You do an awesome job!

  17. 21) bdaiss

    So much fun to look back. I whipped up a Halloween scrapbook last year and I’m so glad I did. Think I might have to pull it out tonight and give it a look through.

    • 22) Dana

      oooo. a scrapbook! That’s a very fun idea! I might need to do that 🙂

  18. I will be making a jedi this year… it seems to be a little boy thing.

  19. 24) Hillarey

    I would love to have a pattern for the bat!

  20. 25) Jen

    I remember all of them LOL! This year I am using the First Day Dress pattern to make a Cinderella and Rapunzel Costume, for both my girls. My oldest wants to be a Baseball player so I’ll just pull out his Baseball uniform and my youngest is between Raphael (Ninja Turtle) Flynn Ryder and a baseball player. I think Raphael might win it though 😉

  21. 26) Jennie

    Yes, bring on the bats! My son has a bat hoodie that he loves. He’d love a whole costume!

  22. 27) Carrie

    We LOVE bats!!

  23. 28) Paola

    we would love to have the bat pattern too!

  24. Oh these are all so creative and cute. Especially love the Indecisive princess and how you came up with a solution! We don’t do Halloween here in South Africa, but the bats sure are cute!

  25. 30) Susanna

    Oh..you are sooo creative. Love all your ideas! A bat costume pattern would be awesome. Also, where did you get the crayon fabric? I would love to make one for my 10 month old this year. Thank you!

  26. 31) Lori

    I made your bat wings two years ago for Halloween and they are still a favorite item in our dress up basket!! Love your blog!! I’m a Texan too 😉

  27. 32) lena

    I’m using the first day dress pattern for Sheriff Callie. My daughter won’t ever wear jeans (or actual pants for that matter), so we’re going with a Sheriff Callie inspired dress. She’s very excited.

  28. Yes, we would love a pattern for the bat costumes. Anything cape-like is a hit at my house!

  29. This post made me realize how long I’ve actually been reading your blog, all the way back to Alice in Wonderland. Thanks for being an inspiration as I now get to make my daughter’s 2nd halloween costume (we’re going with Godzilla because she destroys things). Can’t wait to see what you come up with this year.

    • 35) Dana

      haha. Godzilla! Fantastic!
      Thanks for stopping by all these years 🙂

  30. 37) Laura

    I love this post! I have loved every Halloween costume and I realized that the night you guys were the office supplies was the first night I met/talked to you! Alice would love the bat costume!

  31. 38) Ashley McNeill

    I love checking your wegsite/blog! So, creative. And would love to win either of those books! Such fun. Thanks for all you share!! It is a fun time of the year!

  32. I really like them all. Seeing them makes me want to step my game in my kids Halloween costumes.

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