Sometime around September, Emily announced to me that she wanted to be a Dalmatian for Halloween. This sounded like something very do-able to me: Buy a white sweat suit and either sew or paint black spots on it, add a tail to the pants and ears to the hood and there you have it. And, Daniel said he wanted to be the same thing, which further simplified things. So, I bought some black furry material at Joann's and went looking for the white sweat suit.

How hard could it be, right? Well, very, it turns out. The hooded sweat shirts weren't too hard to find, but when it came to the pants I couldn't find anything for boys that didn't have stripes down the side and I couldn't find anything for girls that didn't have slightly pedophiliac words written across the butt, like "angel" or "princess."( I mean, who makes pants for a six year old that intentionally draws attention to the backside with words like that?) I looked at Wal Mart and Target, I looked online, I went to the mall. Nothing. The whole point of making the costumes myself was to keep it simple and as non-consumerish as possible. Searching high and wide for parts to said costumes rather defeated that purpose. But I already had the sweatshirts and the fabric so I felt rather committed to the process by that point, and so switching to something else wasn't really an option anymore. I did finally find a place on line that sold "those hard-to-find plain white clothes for kids crafts." They were sold out of the sweatpants, though, so I had to go with the white leggings. And they were like $10 each, plus tax and shipping. But I needed them so I bought them, and ended up spending way more than I ever wanted to on those stupid costumes.

The week before Halloween I diligently cut circles and tacked them onto the clothes. This was a process that looked easier in my head than it was in real life. It was a lot of sewing, and since it was mostly on parts like arms and pant legs, I couldn't do it on the sewing machine. Also, the fabric turned out to be VERY messy, and I had little black fuzzy things completely covering the living room by the end of the day. The day of the sewing, Tim came home and paused in shock. "What happened here?" he asked in amazement. "Halloween," I replied dully, not looking up from my needle.

Still, when it was all said and done, they did look very cute. And during the school parade there were constant comments of "Look, dalmations!" and "Oh, how cute." I think most of their appeal was simply because they were dressed alike, though. Emily noticed, and whispered to me, "Everyone like us!" I'm sure that felt good. That feeling was diminished somewhat later when we heard someone say, "Look, cows!", which prompted her later that night during trick or treating to say to people, "I'm a dalmatian. Not a cow." But she got over it.

So, despite the trauma and bother of making those costumes, it all turned out well in the end. The kids still love the costumes and they now reside in the dress up box. It's also nice to be able to do something like that for my kids, to be really hands on with things in their lives. Still, next year I think I'm going to push for hobos.

Pictures from Daniel's preschool parade and party:


Pictures from Emily's school parade and party (with Daniel too, as he can never be left out of anything, of course.)