Friday, October 31, 2014

Our Halloween Gnome

We have our very own woodland gnome. Here she is: 


Inspired by her role in her school's Michaelmas pageant (here is a short introduction to Michaelmas), HG decided to be a gnome for Halloween. She and her classmates all sewed their own wool felt hats for the pageant, so she already had that part of her costume complete. Since she wanted the tunic to look the same as the one she wore at Michaelmas, I borrowed the one from school and made a (very rough) pattern from it. How did I do that? Well, I took a lot of pictures, traced the basic shape of the tunic, and then read through a similar store-bought pattern I already had to make sure I sewed  the pieces together in a sensible order. When it came to drawing out the actual pattern, I made one pattern piece. For the front sections I cut out one piece of fabric using one side of the pattern and then the other piece using the reverse side. For the back, I folded the fabric in half before cutting along the same lines, so I had one piece that extended from one shoulder to the other. Make sense? You'll see there is also a collar of sorts with buttons attached. This I did completely free hand, no pattern, no measuring. It worked well enough, though the two sides are a little bit different. I am not one to go to extremes in Halloween costume making, so if it's not perfect I am not bothered.

We searched high and low for the perfect fabric, and in the end we had to go with polyester velour from Joann Fabrics which wasn't ideal but it looks great. I don't like working with synthetics because they feel pretty yucky and they are always causing some problem or other for the sewing machine. Plus you really can't iron them, which makes sewing just that much harder, though the rocketship was able to overcome all the issues it was presented with. We also did a thorough search for just the right wooden buttons. The sisal rope was easy to come by at our local hardware store. 

HG did not have school today (the teachers always schedule fall conferences around Halloween so the children are not bonkers in school), so together we made her loot sack out of some of the leftover velour. Keeping with the rustic gnome look, we used twine for drawstring. I know it looks kind of small, but I assure you it held plenty of candy for one six-year-old. 

Here she is above singing the gnome song from the pageant, which is all about using our wills to work hard and overcome obstacles. HG also remembered that gnomes often carry lanterns, so she scurried off and brought outside the one she made a year ago for Martinmas (yes, another Waldorf school ceremony).

I like how we are able to incorporate HG's school life into our home and how all these celebrations are wonderful opportunities for creativity. What about you? Did you have a special Halloween this year? Have you ever tried to make your children's Halloween costumes? 

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