…book week 2018 – Blinky Bill Costume…

One would think, when one no longer has children at mainstream school, one would be free of bookweek costume madness. One would be wrong.

It seemed like a good idea when we RSVPed to our homeschool group’s bookweek event. The three big kids were reasonably easy to kit out – one went as Willy Wonka in a recycled costume, one wanted a Deltora Quest style costume, one wanted to be Meg The Wedding Fairy. Beetle, however, changed his ideas every hour about what he wanted to be. In the way of all things having a silver lining, he could vacillate as much as he wanted until the day before, as we were all unwell and couldn’t get to the shops anyway.

I had planned to go down town the afternoon before to grab the supplies for his final choice, but a lot of life happened, and at 9am the day of, I drew a line in the sand, told him his choice was final, and off down the hill to the fabric shop we wandered. The plan was for the children to head off for morning tea with my dad before our homeschool meet up, and I’d mentally blocked out that time as my sewing time, and that would be acheiveable – in my mind. Then dad invited me to morning tea and I’m not one to give up the chance of a coffee and cake in the sun, so off we went and had a lovely morning downtown.

By the time we got home, we had exactly 20 minutes to get the costumes made and our the door, so we got our ninja craft on and got busy. Once again, I was very thankful for the skills I’d learnt as a teenager in sewing class, enabling me to simply measure, sketch direct onto the fabric – no time to be fancy when you are on a timeline – and cut and sew. The Deltora Quest for Mr10 took me about 5 minutes to whizz up, and then on to Mr5’s costume.

For my super simple Blinky Bill costume, I got him to change into a grey tshirt he had, and a pair of grey tights leftover from the big kids school. While he did that, I sketched out a basic shorts leg shape on the red homespun fabric, allowing extra width to create a long, baggy silhouette. To create the overalls effect, I was super technical, and cut two, two inch wide strips with my rotary cutter, and stitched them to the back of the shorts, before trying them on him, and bringing them to the front and pinning to the appropriate length, and sewing them in place. See? Super fancy and technical.

While I was doing this crazy fast sewing, I pulled Mr 12 into service. I had cut felt to create the ears headband, and Mr12 then helped out by glueing into place with my hot glue gun. I did hope to add a patchwork feature to one leg as shown in traditional Blinky artwork, but at some point, we had to call it close enough.

With all the rush, we managed to be back out the door only 2 minutes late…which blew out to 10 when we had to go back to the house thanks to certain little people who had packed their lunchboxes – and promptly left them on the counter as we rushed out the door. Of course.For all the rush, in the end, it ended up being quite an effective costume, and Mr5 loved it, so we’ll call it a win. I do want to come back to it and hem it properly so to ensure it’s longevity.

The only downside? We were in such a rush to get to our meet up, that I didn’t get a chance to change into my own costume. But we made it out the door with all kids in a vague approximation of what they had requested, which makes it a successful project in my eyes.

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