Family Halloween Costume 2015

family back to the future costumes for halloween

We’ve done a family Halloween costume for the past four years.  We did Scooby Doo, Sound of Music, and Harry Potter.  This year, we did a little more steering than previously, where the kids had a heavy hand in picking the costumes–this year, we convinced them to join us in Back to the Future costumes.

They haven’t seen the movie, of course–they’re still quite young, and while we don’t remember it that way, when you re-watch the movie with your little kids in mind, you realize pretty quickly that it’s not for tiny babies.  My husband showed them edited clips on the YouTube, but they haven’t seen the whole thing.  So this was really about indulging the parents this year.

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It all started at Goodwill, where I discovered an orange vest in our son’t size.  Since he loves a nice puffy vest in the autumn, O brought it home, but the seed was planted.  There was very little sewing involved this year, since we had most everything we needed on hand: the vest, the jean jacket, the sunglasses.  We did order a lab coat for Doc Brown (in a large enough size that all the kids will be able to share it over the years, for any future mad scientists/doctors/Einsteins), and a pair of suspenders that my son wore to school today because he loves his pants HIGH.

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My husband actually owns a tux, which he bought when he joined a firm right out of law school, so his costume was taken care of.  We did consider renting a white dinner jacket for him, but $92 seemed a little excessive for a single night.  So he wore a heat-insulating thinsulate shirt underneath his tux shirt to keep him warm, and we called it a day.  Most of the sewing, though, came down to my costume: Lorraine’s Enchantment Under the Sea dress.

I actually did spend an hour or so searching for a better pattern than the one I designed for Stitch Savvy, but in the end, couldn’t find one that I preferred.  So hooray!!  I got to use my own pattern to make the dress that inspired it.  Nice, yes??

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I added some boning to the pattern, which was not in the original design.  I figured this inexpensive, costume-grade polyester could use all the support it could get.  Boning goes in simply: sew the seam, press the allowances to one side, and stitch them down on the raw edge.  This forms a casing, and the boning can slip in easily.  The boning should be trimmed a little on each end, so that it falls within the seam allowances that will attach the lining.  Easy peasy!

This was a super quick sew: about three hours of sewing, not including the cutting.  I trimmed off some corners, though.  I didn’t finish any seam allowances; I didn’t bother to hem it; and the lining isn’t stitched down on the inside.  This is most assuredly a Costume and not a Real Dress, but it was just right for the evening, and was a super fun Halloween.

The children might not let us do a family costume much longer.  What idea should we run with while they’re still willing to indulge their parents??

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  • Charlotte
    November 13, 2015 at 12:54 am

    The whole left-brain right-brain theory is such a ridiculous over-simplification of how the brain works. It is far more complicated than simply, the left hemisphere processes language etc… I suppose it is very attractive to have such a straightforward theory to espouse, but I blame the media for perpetuating such nonsense. Sperry’s original study by the way, was done on epileptics whose brain hemispheres had been severed by a commisuritomy (operation to cut through the corpus callosum that links the hemispheres allowing instantaneous communication). As such the two hemispheres operated separately… Real still-connected brains don’t work like that…. I recommend reading the original journal articles when talking about neuroscience.

  • Jean C.
    November 16, 2015 at 12:00 am

    Hi, I like your family costume idea. It turned out really cute. My niece and family did family costumes for years, but now that their older boys are 10-12 or so…. they aren’t interested in it any more. They did The Flintstones family, I think one year there was a family from Whoville. I can’t recall any more than those… but the boys were minions one year. I think that hear husband made one of the kids a bird in a bird cage . Lots of fun ideas out there.

  • Jean C.
    November 16, 2015 at 12:03 am

    Just remembered, they did a Star Wars theme one year, with their daughter as princess Leia and dad as Chewy… the other kids and my niece were different aliens.

    • Deborah
      November 16, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Oh, these are all such great ideas! I love the birds in a bird cage one especially–I’ve never seen that before!