The biggest thing I learned in working with costume designers? If you can buy it then you don't need to make it! But if you can't buy it, you can't find it, or you know you can make one that's better than what you can buy--then you should totally make it yourself. That's definitely been my approach to working as a designer with any performance--make it if you must but assemble it if you can manage. And, of course, thrift stores and Craigslist are your very best friends.
So I stayed true to my own rules on this Halloween costume. I fell in love with the idea of a toddler's garden gnome costume and started scouring the internet for images of gnome statues. I decided on the essential costume elements and then went through my little one's existing wardrobe. I found the pants, the shirt, and then decided we needed the new boots. I sketched the basics of the hat, beard, and suspenders and then made the pattern up as I went along. I purchased 1/2 yard of red wool felt, 1/3 yard of red cotton for the hat lining, and 1/2 yard of white cotton flannel.
If I had several spare hours on my hands I might just make toddler bags in the shapes of various vegetation--a carrot might be next or maybe a bonsai tree. But for now, I'm pretty happy I finished just one toddler bag and I'll leave it at that.
I'm so excited to take the little one Trick-or-Treating in his new garb. He had to be convinced to say "Trick or Treat" at the neighborhood Halloween parade on Sunday, so I'm curious to see how he'll react when we gather with a few other kids to go door-to-door on Halloween. Although, of course, this year I think his place is truly in the garden.