Part of her world


We lost this year.

We lost to the galaxy sucking, light bending, gravitational singularity of Disney, of princesses, of mer-creatures and their underwater a cappella.

I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that Emmeline wanted a store-bought Ariel princess costume, considering I hauled her to every Little Mermaid sing-along at the Castro.

But she refused to let Dana or me make a mermaid costume for her. Doesn't she know her parents would joyfully spend night and day cobbling together something home made and one-of-a-kind and historically quirky and inspiring? That Halloween to a pair of seam people is like Christmas to her?

But who knows, maybe that's precisely why she rejected the idea, rejected ... us?

In the end, I wasn't about to forbid her to wear a princess costume (Did you just hear that? Every time a girl buys a princess get-up, Walt Disney's body unfreezes a little more). But I also wasn't about to let Halloween pass without breaking out the sewing machine.

So this year, she's getting two costumes, and one of them is for me.

I've always wanted to make her a Sound of Music play outfit out of curtains, and I was inspired by the idea that the original movie cast will be on Oprah later this month (Calendar? Marked!). So I headed to our local thrift store, sifted through the curtain offerings and found only one suitable selection:


The fabric was darker than I wanted, but with a splash of pink, I think it worked perfectly. I need to adjust the bib a little bit -- it rides too high on her chest -- but the skirt works and is perfect for hiking around at our favorite spots.


It's also apparently perfect for jumping.

And sidewalk renditions of Do, Re, Mi.


And for karate kicks. If only she'd aim them at that pesky little mermaid.


  1. You should hear Charlotte and I do our rendition of "Part of Your World." Pure magic. It is a wonder Disney hasn't snapped us up for their live shows.

    Adorable Sound of Music costume. I have spent about 10 hours so far on Elisabeth's "witch" costume. She thinks she is going to be a scary witch. But the costume uses tulle. Not sure you can be scary and wear tulle...

  2. Oh no! I was so looking forward to a homemade costume by you guys! Damn Disney! We are obsessed with mermaids and unicorns here, too. It was as if the day she turned four a switch went off. And oddly she still wants nothing to do with ANY Disney movie (besides Nemo or Cars). Apparently the Barbie Mermaid Whatever is way better? I am sure Emme will be an adorable Ariel! Perhaps next year she'll want something homemade again!

  3. Oh, I want to see the tulle witch -- that sounds awesome.

    She does make an adorable Ariel. It's just funny to me when that switch gets thrown, because it's not something she gets at home. The kid apparently has her own life ....

  4. Beansmama says:

    Make one for me. I mean us! For us!

  5. oy! 2 years ago, Max really, really wanted to be wolverine. He had to use part of his saved up money to buy the costume (yeah, he's a lot older than Emme and we're a lot meaner than you, I guess). He still drools over the costume catalogues, but this year, after saying he wanted to use all his saved up money to buy a headless horseman costume, changed his mind and now he's being "tube man" using all the cardboard wrapping paper, toilet paper, etc. tubes that we can find in the house, stuck on to his clothes. He made it up. So, it all comes around like everyone says....

  6. Oh my, you ARE meaner! That's actually kind of cute, and great news for the future -- thanks! (Send pics of tube man.)

  7. My daughter has the same pajamss! When we put them on I tell her she's getting an arm full of elephants. I, too, was rejected this year. We're doing Halloween with her for the first time and I made a Ladybug outfit - no hat, just the body - and she refuses to try it on. I'll be the cool mom, trick or treating with my 21 month old daughter in street clothes.

  8. Super cool. Ladybug sounds cute, worn or not.

  9. I'll take Disney over the Sound of Music any day.

  10. Blaspheme.

  11. Christine says:

    if you want to make Naomi a mermaid costume I think she will accept :)

  12. Dude, she rocks the leiderhosenish style. well done.

  13. I love that you called Disney a black hole. Because money never returns from it.

  14. I love, love, LOVE her liederhosen style Sound of Music dress!!! You totally have to make her a dirndl now!!!

  15. Hmm, you know, I think I could actually make one of those. The bodice is simpler than I imagined it would be ... seriously, thanks!

  16. When Blue Eyes was two, her preschool went to the Disney-run El Capitan theater in Hollywood to see "Sleeping Beauty." Add that to the fact her godmother worked for Disney Consumer Products at the time, and we were doomed. She's been Tinkerbell (Disney version) and the Little Mermaid (Disney Version). She was also Wendy, but my mom made that costume. This year, she will go as Jessie from Toy Story. At least it's not quite so girly. *sigh* And I will take MY old Jessie costume and make it 4 year old sized.

    But next year, we are hitting the Hollywood Bowl's Sound of Music Singalong. I just need to find some curtains before we go.

  17. I suppose they get over it ... although whether they get over their parents overreacting, you can never tell. For the longest time this summer, Emme wanted to be Buzz Lightyear, which I think I'd be cool with. The sing-along sounds great! Have fun!

  18. That is unbelievably adorable. And timely for me--I bought a sewing machine specifically to make a costume for Eliza, who's only 15 months old and is therefore incapable of asking for a costume (yay!). So she's going to be a hobbit... only I'm not so good with the sewing machine yet, and I had to mask some stitching issues with some rickrack, so her cape is army green edged in white rickrack. It's very cute from a distance, and makes her into kind of a girly hobbit. And I totally have plans to reuse it for a Gretel costume next year (both of Hansel and von Trapp fame).


  19. Isn't rickrack awesome? Sounds like a cute getup -- hope you share it at the poop this year!

  20. My son hasn't let me make him a costume for years. I'm just praying he doesn't become a Republican in rebellion as well.

  21. Well... I'm working on a "European Tufted Green Crested Dragon" costume for Connor. Apparently, this is a very specific kind of dragon and of course, you can't google it for images. (I just took the sewing machine out of the box & am teaching myself to sew at the same time. Sailors blush at the words streaming from my mouth.)

  22. Also, I'm really sorry about Disney. They've truly dialed in the marketing to girls and it's a thousand times worse than it was in the 70"s. Even Connor succumbed at Disney on Ice and came home completely bejeweled and pink all over.

  23. pretty funny stuff!
    i blogged about the mermaid problem as well!
    she's really a shark!!
    nice reading your stories.

  24. When my child comes along, you can bet the first thing I'm making is a sound of music playsuit.

  25. Seam people. Classic. It sounds like a horror movie made of crafters. LOVE the outfit!

  26. This Friday! Can't wait to see the Oprah either! Is she going to watch and wear her costume?

  27. We will be watching for sure. Maybe we'll BOTH dress up ...

  28. Heh. We had 2 years of the Disney-lust. Panicked the first year. Calmer the second year. This year? She wants to be a dead fairy. Progress?

  29. Sounds like it to me -- thanks!

  30. I got in another year and I'm very pleased with the clown jumper I made, delighted by Julian's reaction when he saw it, and proud when my husband clarified to a co-worker who said "I was a clown, too, but my mom MADE my costume", that Julian's mom also MADE his costume. Not the rainbow afro wig of course. Look for pictures this week!

  31. Also, sometimes the kids start to want what all the other kids have, and the only thing we want to provide is the thing that none of the other kids get to have. We figured this out when our daughter just really begged to have a cake and a bounce house at school, even though her dad wanted to have someone dress up as Darth Vader and show up at preschool in the middle of the day.

  32. you are so lucky to have the ability to make something wonderful for your little one - i wish i could ...

  33. Also, on a slight tangent, we were talking about How to Train Your Dragon, the movie this weekend, and Rica asked if dragons were real, and we said no. After a thoughtful pause, she said, 'so really, anything you see by Disney isn't real, right?'

    There may have been a small celebratory dance immediately following.

  34. Mike,

    You, of all people, have to see this:

    I LOVE it! Maybe something like this could be the gateway back to homemade?

    I'm personally a fan of the Disney Empire (my husband is NOT,) but I love all the girly stuff & wish they'd had it when I was a kid. (Tho, my parents wouldn't have done it, so maybe it was better this way.) I know, I know, but I'm a marketing person anyway, so what do you expect. (I also like Starbucks. A lot!)
    Can we still be friends?


  1. [...] are a few more detail shots of the Sound of Music Halloween [...]

  2. Ted says:

    Ha ha! I was wondering when the dark side would make its presence known. Like me, I bet you've figured out by now it's not SOO bad and that all will return to normal. Kudos for lettign her wear what she wants.

  3. Janelle says:

    This makes up for the princessy stuff, I'm sure. Love it!