Archive for the 'The Costume Trunk' Category

Handmade Halloween

We spent the weekend and a few nights assembling our Halloween costumes. Nettie has been going to school in a different costume every day for Spirit Week. For Halloween day she sewed her own Alice in Wonderland dress and apron. For night, Nettie wore a vintage costume she picked up in Temescal Alley. Peabody created the Candy-bot 3000 using cardboard boxes, Styrofoam, dryer vents and LEDs. Slots in the front of the torso allowed for various sizes of candy samples to fall into an internal storage box. Unfortunately no “King size” samples were obtained. Annabelle and my attempts at creating crepe paper giant heads failed in pools of paper mush. Next time we’ll make use of metal armatures and Dap! We ended the night at the Off The Grid food trucks. Just as we got back to the car with our falafel, the night’s drizzle turned into a shower. We sat and ate, having another great Halloween behind us!


After Pippin by Emu Pics
After Pippin, a photo by Emu Pics on Flickr.

Last weekend I was in a production of Pippin, put on by the Berkeley Playhouse Youth/Teen company. For the past two and a half months we’ve had rehearsals three times a week, so it’s been a big part of my life lately. Pippin is a very ensemble-based show, so the whole cast was in most of the songs, which was really fun! I was also a Newscaster and I did hula hoop tricks in our first number. The costumes and makeup were really fun too! Glitter, green mascara and orange eyeshadow was liberally applied to everyone’s face. Our set and cast actually came on stage on a moving “cart” which was set on a part of the stage that can move back and forth. I had so much fun doing this musical, and I’ll miss everything about it: the amazing cast, the fun singing and dancing, hanging out backstage, and finally performing!

Nettie in Pippin this weekend

The Berkeley Playhouse Conservatory for Teens is presenting the 70’s rock musical Pippin May 14 and 15 at the Julia Morgan Center for the Arts in Berkeley. Tickets are on sale at Nettie has been coming home from the theatre late, exhausted, but enthusiastic!  Look for her as the Newscaster, Kind of Woman Woman, and a hoolahooping Circus Performer. We can’t wait to see the results of the their hard work!

Bastet and Robot v2

Once again, Nettie and Peabody created their Halloween costumes. Peabody added jets, a tinfoil skirt and longer air-vent legs to last year’s robot costume. Check out this awesome nuclear powered jet pack! Nettie sewed an Egyptian tunic and added cat ears and face to become the feline goddess, Bastet. The turquoise painted rigatoni looked like authentic ancient jewelry. Only the family that decorated their house in a Ninja vs. Pirates theme figured out who she was. That’s just fine with us.

Mildred Hubble and The Robot

Nettie and Peabody constructed their own costumes for Halloween. Nettie was Mildred Hubble from the Worst Witch series. She sewed a jumper and tie. Peabody built most of his robot from old boxes painted chrome aluminum. He used straws for antennas and flexible dryer vent pipes for the arms. On his back was a battery pack made from a cup holder with little radioactive symbols drawn on. I attached everything with duct tape. Navigating with the shoebox head was difficult, so Peabody used it as his candy collector for most of his Trick or Treating.

Mario and Laura Ingalls

Continuing her tradition of choosing characters from literature, for Halloween 2008, Nettie was Laura Ingalls Wilder. She sewed the entire costume, including the bonnet, to match the description in the Little House books. She’s a whiz on her Hello Kitty sewing machine. Peabody’s Mario costume was just a little easier to put together. A felt “M” glued to an old St. Louis Cardinals baseball hat, fake mustache and overalls assembled with blue duct tape and old jeans (even Oshkosh doesn’t sell overalls for boys anymore). A cardboard Shooting Star Mariokart completed the ensemble. It was a gorgeous night for a walk and the kids brought home a record amount of candy (now counted and sorted). We’re already thinking about our next costumes for next year.

Merriweather Gets His Own Helmet

Merriweather’s pith helmet and goggles.

When I was 10 and saw Sean Connery in The Man Who Would be King, I wanted a Pith Helmet. I got this one online at The Village Hat Shop. It’s a little snug, but well constructed. The goggles, for driving through desert sandstorms, were found on eBay. It’s a good start to a steampunk explorer costume.

Ready for Adventure

Nettie and Peabody ready for adventure.

This picture pretty much sums up our Halloween and the spirit of The Derringdos. While I enjoyed carving our R2 pumpkin, seeing Nettie and Peabody throw themselves into making their costumes was the highlight. Annabel’s caramel apples were really good too.

Egyptologist Costume

Nettie as Emily Sands

I am interested in Egyptology, so for Halloween, I am going to be a Victorian Egyptologist. We found the Pith Helmet at an estate sale. I sewed the linen skirt from some fabric that was originally intended for a chair.

Jet Costume Coming Together

Peabody’s jet comes together.

Peabody finally decided on a jet for his Halloween costume. Good thing we kept the stash of cardboard handy. Yesterday we assembled the basic shape based on a wooden model he got for his birthday. Then Peabody painted it with gray acrylic and added some markings: a sun, moon, star and a flag. We still have to add a pie pan engine and straps to hold it onto his shoulders. Swim goggles and a scarf will finish off his outfit.