At first Georgia was completely on board with our Berenstain Bear Halloween Family Costume…we were reading the books, my mom bought the DVD with accompanying stuffed animals, and I was telling anyone who asked. Then one day after watching YouTube on Chad’s phone she said, “You know what, Mom? I think I want to be Mary Mary Quite Contrary from The Mother Goose Club.” I shot Chad a look of “Are you kidding me!?!” I’m not a huge fan of watching YouTube on the phone in the first place and now it was ruining my Halloween plans! Then I took a breath and remembered Halloween is really for her, so I wasn’t going to be the mom who forces her to be something she didn’t want to be. A couple days went by and she still wanted to be Mary Mary Quite Contrary so I asked her if we could compromise…she would dress as Mary for Halloween – go to school, a party with friends, and trick-or-treating. Then on Saturday we could all dress up as The Berenstain Bears for our building’s party! She happily said yes! I was beyond thrilled and up for the challenge!!
Now if Georgia was Mary Mary Quite Contrary, what would Conroy be? For those of you unfamiliar with the singing rhyming crew of costumed characters…there is Teddy (a brown bear), Eep (a blue mouse), Baa Baa Sheep (a pink sheep), Mary (yellow haired girl), Jack (blue haired boy), and Little Bo Peep (pink haired girl). We asked Georgia who Conroy should be and she quickly pointed to Baa Baa Sheep! After a couple of attempts of suggesting he dress up as someone else, say Jack or Eep…she stood firm that Conroy would be Baa Baa! So we decided – why not? Conroy would make the most handsome pink sheep around. And can I tell you - he did. Yes, everyone we passed on the street said how cute “she” was, but Georgia happily told them that her brother was a boy and said thank you. That boy wore his costume like a champ. He even let me draw pink circles on his cheeks. We tell Georgia often how lucky she is to have such an amazing brother and this is just another reason to add to the list. The costume truly worked to our advantage because Halloween turned out to be a quite chilly day and Conroy was snug and cozy all day long!
Mary Mary Quite Contrary
This costume in theory wasn’t that difficult to make; however, it did have many elements: yellow wig, light pink undershirt, bright pink jumper with pocket, blue shorts, light and bright pink striped tights, and blue high tops. I made a list, printed out a photo, and got to work. It was actually very fun scouring through several stores in search of all the pieces.
I picked up the shorts on sale at Sears, I made the jumper from a pink GapKids short-sleeved dress, and got a pair of light pink tights from Wal-mart. I used bright yellow yarn and an old winter hat to make the wig. I definitely winged this, but I was very happy how it turned out and Georgia loved it.
I experimented with several different techniques to apply stripes to the tights – highlighter, fabric pen, fabric paint.
I cut the sleeves off the GapKids dress and shortened it a little so you could see her shorts. I’ve said it before – I am by no means a seamstress, but there are two tips I wanted to pass along to my fellow novice sewers.
- PRESSER FOOT IN DOWN POSITION. Before pressing the power pedal be sure to double-check that the presser foot is in the down position. You don’t know how many times I would forget this…especially when my fabric was thick. I’d finish - thinking I was done, then turn over the garment to find an extreme excess amount of thread bunched up. Seriously, Jaclyn – stop making this mistake!
- THE SEAM RIPPER IS YOUR FRIEND. When testing out the placement of a stitch – do it once and then check it before going back and forth on the ends. If it’s off – use the seam ripper, take it out, and start over. It’s so much easier to fix at this point.
The morning of Halloween, I decided I should cover Georgia’s sneakers with blue felt to complete the look. I used a couple pea-sized dabs of hot glue around the sole to secure it. This will make it easy to remove…simply pull it off. Full disclosure…Georgia loves them so much, we still haven’t taken the felt off. A girl never knows when she might want to dress up like Mary again and dance to Rig-A-Jig-Jig!
Baa Baa Sheep
Conroy’s costume had a lot less pieces and it must had been fate because my mom already had a sheep costume that she had bought as an option for Georgia’s first Halloween.
We simply dyed the costume pink and removed the sheep patch on the front. (Love that seam ripper) We also bought some pink felt to mimic the shape of Baa Baa’s wool.
I cut four-inch strips the length of the felt and cut them into a scallop pattern. I then hand-stitched the felt strips onto the costume. As a final touch, I painted the ears purple so they were the same as Baa Baa’s.
Our Halloween day was completely full and we had so much fun…school to see our friends, a small festival in town, back home for Conroy to nap, a party with old friends, trick-or-treating and watching a performance on Clinton Avenue, and back home to trick-or-treat in our apartment building. Then dinner, bath, and everyone was in bed by 8:30 p.m. The fun Georgia and Conroy had was totally worth making two sets of costumes and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Looking forward to next year already!