October 24, 2023

A Last-Minute Costume

When my kids were little, I loved making their Halloween costumes. I remember my mom used to sew really cool costumes for me when I was a kid and I wanted to do the same for my kids. Once they were grade-school age, they wanted to buy costumes, so it was a little disappointing. In middle school, I got to help out with a few of them.

This Batman costume I made for Noah was one of my favorites.

And now, I've spent the last two days working non-stop on a costume for Eli, hahaha.

Eli's girlfriend, Ava, wants them to wear a couples-costume--Princess Leia and Han Solo from Star Wars. Cute idea, right? She got her costume with plenty of time to spare and, Eli being Eli, he procrastinated. He didn't want to spend the $90 on Amazon for the costume, so he just put off even thinking about the costume. Then, on Sunday, he told me that he needed a Han Solo costume for FRIDAY. Any costume ordered from Amazon wouldn't arrive until after Halloween, so he wasn't sure what to do.

Ordinarily, I would have told him good luck and I wouldn't have put it on myself to come up with a costume last minute like that. However, Ava is the sweetest girl, and I don't want her to be disappointed about the couples costumes. I told Eli I would do what I could to put something together. He gave me this picture to work with:

The pants, shirt, and vest looked simple enough--I could go to the thrift store and hopefully find those. The boots would be challenging--he wears a size 12 and men's boots like that aren't exactly common (at least around here). The belt would be the biggest challenge for sure.

I didn't have the best luck at the thrift store. I was hoping to find a black vest with pockets--didn't happen. I couldn't find a shirt that was even close to the picture. For the pants, I bought a pair of men's dress pants, which are a dime a dozen (not literally), so I hadn't worried about finding those.

I ended up buying a white button down collar shirt with cuffed sleeves, and a short-sleeve black button down collar shirt. The black one was a size 3XL (waaaay too big for Eli) but I hoped I'd be able to size it down and then use the excess fabric to add pockets like the vest in the photo.

For the belt and holster, I had to get creative. I bought this fake leather bag, which was blue on the outsize but the inside was brown. I thought I could cut the pieces out from that and perhaps stain it to look darker and more like leather. (Although, the color is at the bottom of the priority list. It may just have to be tan.)

After taking apart the bag, this is what I have now:

I haven't started with the belt and holster yet. That will be a project for tomorrow.

I'm actually not finished with the shirt or vest, either. I'm done sewing the white shirt, and this is what it looks like now:

I took off both of the edges down the front, removing the buttons and button holes. Then sewed the front together to about 3/4 of the way up. I removed the cuffs from the sleeves and sewed the side opening of the sleeves shut (the part that gets buttoned together). The only thing left that I'd like to do is stain it light brown/yellow. Noah suggested soaking it in coffee, and I thought that was a great idea! I haven't done it yet, but I'll probably try that tomorrow.

The vest was fairly easy, but I'm not done with that, either. I'd like to add more pockets. That will be a finishing detail only if I have time, though. This is what it looks like now:

I removed the collar, the sleeves, the button holes/buttons down the front,  and cut the sides down from a 3XL to about a large. I also shortened it quite a bit. 

As far as the boots, I'm probably going to make some sort of black sleeves that can go over his pants--starting from the ankle up to his knees (and he'll have to wear black shoes). I got this idea from this boot sleeve from when he was a kid, hahaha. It was part of a pirate costume, and he's actually wearing it upside down; the part by his knees would actually cover his shoe so it looked more like a boot. I miss those days! So cute.

Eli used to LOVE accessories of all sorts and he would wear random things like that. I always got a kick out of it.

Well, wish me luck with this belt... I kind of feel like it's going to be a disaster!


  1. Omg Katie your talent is insane!! Your kids are so lucky to have you!! I can't wait to see the final product, please post pictures!

  2. Holy smokes, Mom of the Year goes to Katie Foster!!!

  3. I love making costumes for my kids! Good luck, I'm sure it will turn out great. You are a talented seamstress.

  4. You are so creative! The bag turning into holster idea is amazing, I can't wait to see the results. Great job!

  5. I am SUPER impressed with how you were able to repurpose those shirts to make the costume! Well done!!

  6. Oh my gosh! You've got some real talent for seeing that come together with what you could find. I envy this talent! And sewing skills! I bet it all comes out perfectly and I hope Eli appreciates how lucky he is that you've got the skills and gumptions to make that costume happen!


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