Monday, October 5, 2009

Halloween 2009: Harlequin Clowns

My husband and I decided to put our Brimsteam steampunk character projects on hold temporarily in preparation for our son's second Halloween. Last year was a fairly laid back affair since our son was so young and we, as new parents, were... well... new parents. The costumes were fun, but very simple, inexpensive, and much enjoyed.

(The baby's outfit was a skeleton sweatsuit w/ hoodie on sale from Babies R Us, while my husband and I wore some of my old goth stuff, which included men's pants, and some skeleton-rib T-shirts I got for free from Old Navy.)

Well, we are fairly adjusted to being parents (which includes the constant need to be flexible, work around the baby/toddler's schedule, and being ever so worn out). This year, we are going to make our outfits.

I always adored old fashioned harlequin clowns. My mother made my a couple my older sister and my youngest brother this type of clown costume and I always think they were adorable whenever I see the pictures. I also always wanted to make myself an old fashioned, baggy harlequin outfit. So... We decided that we would do so this year! What better time than when my son is so small and running all over the place with huge giggles and smiles! :-)

We already have the materials. I bought them last year on a super After Halloween sale from Hancock Fabrics. I bought them because I knew I'd want to make something with them... either Halloween gift aprons, comedic victorian outfits, or so forth. But when I saw them sitting unused I knew that they were destined to become this year's Halloween outfits!

Below is my first concept drawing. I liked how the child outfit looked, but my costume wasn't quite right. I wanted something femme but flattering and old fashioned. Something like the swimwear from the Victorian era. This was far too fitted and not really pulling together well.

Next, I resketched my son's outfit-to-be, coloring it in to get an idea of how the striped material would look. I love how it looks. I found instructions on how to make the hat, the fabric ruffle pom-poms, and the neck ruff, all of which I can't wait to try. I'll put links to the instructions on here later, if ours turn out well. My costume, however was still not on par. I reworked the sketch a number of times, erasing and redrawing parts, but I just kept coming back to the thought that it was too complex and too shapely. I didn't like the idea of my costume being more difficult than my son's. That just seemed to defeat the purpose. I started steering away from the Victorian swimwear idea and was leaning more towards just bloomers and a baggy top with a sash, but it just didn't feel right to me.

Then, in a moment of clarity I drew the costume below. It's perfect. Baggy but femme. Old fashioned but flattering. Simple and cute. A proper French Clown but with harlequin leanings! I also have a pattern that should work pretty well for the base while I use the instructions I found for the ruffs and pom-poms.

Next time, I hope to post pictures of the cloth, but if not, at least pictures of the progress. I'm so excited by these projects and can't wait to start planning out how I'm going to cut my son's material... and my own. My husband is going to take care of his own outfit, which will be loosely based on the harlequin outfit Lord Peter Wimsey wore in "Murder Must Advertise". His progress will be able to be followed on the blog I set up for him: Sgt. Steampunk.

No comments: