Kate wanted to be Merida from Brave in the blue and gold dress. I looked into buying the costume, but everything was either too expensive, too lame, or both. Some of the costumes didn't even look like anything Merida wore in the movie. Pshaw!
So I was going to try to make Kate's costume, but it soon became clear I had bitten off more than I could chew. My wonderful mother came to the rescue. She took the pattern and fabric from me and made Kate's dress mostly while we were gone at the wedding. I think she did a pretty awesome job:
M made her a little bow to complete the look. She LOVED it.
And before you ask, yes. That is Kate's real hair, not a wig:
I got the idea for Kate's hair from this site. But I wanted a wilder look than that, so I used smaller sections, tied them in tighter knots, left them in longer, and separated the finished curls more.
I curled Kate's hair the night before using drinking straws and some mousse. I used the straws like you would do rag curls - roll the hair around the straw and then tie the straw in a knot to hold it. I went with a full square knot so they would hold up to a four year old level of abuse for almost 24 hours. And they did hold up really well. None fell out with her sleeping in them and then wearing them all day long (even at dance class!) until the party in the evening.
This is a photo from the first time we did it for a church party. We went with rainbow straws. For actual Halloween we went with all red and orange straws to slightly give the illusion of red hair when she wore her costume at preschool earlier in the day. The second time I did it, I think I sectioned her hair even smaller than pictured here and it was almost too much. But I did cut the ends of the straws shorter the second time, and they were less cumbersome for her to wear, so I recommend that.
We're not going to talk about how long this took me. Suffice it to say that Kate and I enjoyed a nice movie together while we did this.
Then I untied all the straws and was left with a Shirley Temple look. Adorable, but unfortunately not Merida-like. I combed through all the curls pretty thoroughly with my fingers until we had a nice wild mane of curls. Then I hairsprayed it all. Finally, we covered her body and face in an old towel and sprayed her hair with a combo of half red temporary spray color and half orange temporary spray color.
The look sagged a little by the end of the evening, but still looked pretty great! It was so sad to put her in the shower at the end of the night to wash it all out, but I wasn't letting that hair color get anywhere near her bedsheets!
Fortunately, Claire and Scott picked some pretty easy costumes this year. I bought some robes, threw together some of Scott's, Claire's, and my church clothes, and sanded down and painted some sticks. A little eyeliner scar and some old costume glasses we already had from M being Waldo for Scott. A french braid that Claire slept in overnight (Yes, my fingers were cramping by the end of doing both Kate AND Claire's hair in one night, in case you were wondering) and... Voila! Harry Potter and Hermione Granger!
It doesn't really show in the bloggable photos, but they REALLY looked like Harry and Hermione, if I do say so myself. It struck me with Claire especially. That girl basically IS Hermione, brainy sassy attitude and all.
And at the last second, I threw together a costume for myself out of a few things around the house:
Can you tell what I was? I'll give you a close-up detail for help:
(Do most people have Japanese toe shoes, a toy samurai sword, kick-boxing pants, and a balaclava hanging around their house?)