Friday, November 06, 2009

This is why I don't make costumes

For the past three years, Ella has been Hermione Granger from "Harry Potter." She has an authentic Hogwarts cloak, a real Hermione Wand, and a Griffindor House tie. But this year Ella has short hair, which meant she couldn't be Hermione "because Hermione doesn't have short hair."

For weeks Ella has agonized over what to be for Halloween, and all of my suggestions were met with eye rolls that make me fear Ella's teen-aged years. Finally, Ella decided to be Pippi Longstocking, provided we could find some way to make red braids. I offered to find Ella a wig that we could transform, but she didn't want to wear a real wig "because they are itchy."

So I spent hours trolling the interwebs looking for instructions on making a wig out of yarn. Pretty much all of the sites I found were worthless - they recommended using a hat and attaching yarn to the inside of the hat. Everyone knows Pippi doesn't wear a hat.

Eventually I cobbled together a plan based on several different sets of instructions and set to work. First, I had to go buy a pair of pantyhose because I haven't owned any in years. Then I cut the legs off and sewed the hole closed. After that, I trapped Ella on the kitchen floor, put the sewed-up pantyhose on her head, and started gluing strand after strand after strand of red yarn to the pantyhose. Ella did not like this process one bit, especially after the glue started seeping through the pantyhose onto her hair.

The front of the wig went well enough, although it did occur to me that Ella was going to have one heck of a comb-over.

Things got harder in the back. I couldn't get the yarn on fast enough, and the glue dried up a bit, which meant the yarn didn't stick well. Plus, Ella got extra wiggly, which just made things worse. It was at this point that Ella asked if we could just buy a wig, paint it red and add braids. I almost strangled her with the red yarn. Instead, I reminded her that she had said she didn't want a real wig because they are itchy. She said that if she had known making a wig from scratch would involve sitting on the floor for an hour with glue seeping into her hair, she would have asked for the real wig from the beginning.

We finished the wig finally, and on Halloween, B added the braids and wire to hold the braids up. It all looked pretty pitiful. So Ella and I made a last-minute run to Walmart to see if we could find another Dorothy wig like Lily's to alter. We couldn't find one, but we did have an entertaining trip, which is a post for another day.

Here's the finished product. Ella wasn't thrilled with her costume at this point, but she soon forgot her woes thanks to the fun of our pre-trick-or-treating party and the actual trick-or-treating. I pulled the wires out half-way through the night because I was afraid she was going to poke someone in the eye with them, and Ella didn't seem to care at all.

Even though her braids were wonky, Ella was still a pretty cute Pippi. And next year - I'm buying the girl a wig.


Unknown said...

homemade costumes are the best and the worst huh?

Cookie said...

Wow! That is a lot of work. Now I feel better about just buying my kid's costumes. I'm just not that creative.
She is a very cute Pippi indeed!

Dee at Pedestrian Palate said...

The first picture (in progress) looked like Sister Mary Longstocking. The braids ended up coming out great. She looked adorable.

calicobebop said...

Wow - what a great mom. I mean, how many of us would even TRY that? And she was happy in the end! Yay!!

Cathy said...

that's so impressive! i would have had a nervous breakdown before i finished. love her socks!