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Halloween Costume Sewing Tips

Halloween Costumes that You -- Yes, You -- Can Make in a Weekend

There’s something special about making a Halloween costume for your child. Sure, you could head to the nearest big box retailer and pick up the latest superhero or cartoon character outfit, but why not get creative this year and come up with a costume that won’t get lost in a sea of look-alikes?

Making a Halloween costume doesn’t require professional sewing skills. If you can stitch a straight line with your sewing machine, you’re in business. If you are a more experienced sewer, you can get as intricate as you like. But even casual sewers can achieve great results that you’ll be proud to include in the family photo album.

“Halloween is the second largest sewing holiday, next to Christmas,” says Gayle Hillert, vice president, education and training for Bernina of America. “What could be more fun and creative than sewing a great costume for your child -- you don’t have to worry about fit, you can use all kinds of exciting fabrics, feet and machine stitches, and your kids will be the talk of the neighborhood in their creative creations lovingly sewn by Mom.”

Here are a few costume-making tips from the experts at Bernina to get you started:

* Look for fast, simple patterns -- the fewer pieces, the better, especially if you haven’t followed a pattern for a while.

* Use patterns that can multi-task -- for example, a cape pattern can be used for a superhero or a witch. A princess, a fairy and a ballerina all dress alike with a few changes (wings and magic wand for the fairy, pointy hat with netting for the princess, etc.).

* Details make the difference -- don’t forget to include props and makeup in your costume planning; they contribute to the illusion. A broomstick horse completes a cowboy outfit; a cat needs eyeliner whiskers. Costume jewelry and scarves add pizzazz to a pirate’s ensemble.

* Don’t sweat the small stuff -- costumes don’t have to be perfect. They are usually for short-term use and are only worn one or two times. No one but you will know if your hem isn’t blind-stitched or your seam allowances aren’t finished.

* Use what you have -- dig deep into your closet or visit local thrift stores for costume pieces. A velour top and pants are the beginning of a great puppy or kitten costume, for instance. One leg of an old pair of tights makes a great tail for those outfits, or use several pairs to add extra arms and legs to an octopus or a spider.

* Check your presser feet and accessory collection -- the right tools will make the job easier. Use a gathering foot for fast ruffles, a bias binder attachment or serger to finish edges, elasticator to quickly apply elastic, bulky overlock foot to attach fringe, coding and other trims.

* Use reflective fabrics and tapes -- this makes the costume safe for children to wear at night. If you live in a cold climate, make sure the costume is big enough to be worn over something warm.

* Get your kids involved in the process -- they’ll be proud to wear a costume they’ve helped make.

For more easy sewing tips, and to see the entire line of bernette for Bernina machines, visit

Courtesy of ARA Content


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