Tag Archives: Halloween

Last Minute Shaun of the Dead Halloween Costumes!

My fiancee and I have a tradition of choosing nerdy couples costumes to wear on Halloween. So far, we’ve gone as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovette, and Comedy Central/Fox TV execs under the control of brain slugs.

This year, we were finally going to try and figure out one of our dream combos…Carmen Sandiego and Where’s Waldo. I had a grand plan to find the perfect red trench, a matching wide brimmed red hat, and the perfect red and white striped shirt; the three required elements of our couples costume. Unfortunately, the fates were aligned against us. I found a long red wool coat, but it wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t find a red fedora to save my life, and even the relatively simple red and white striped shirt eluded us. I decided that I would do something semi-handmade. I could alter the coat, sew red felt stripes onto a white shirt, and  cover a random wide brimmed summer hat with red felt. But, in the midst of all these plans, I was also working full time AND studying to take the GRE. Needless to say, my plan was an epic failure, and we found ourselves up the night before our Halloween party trying to figure out what we were going to do.

Eventually, we came up with the idea to go as Shaun and Yvonne, from the 2004 classic Shaun of the Dead. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it! It’s one of my top 10 favorite movies…it might even be in my top 5.

So yesterday, Saturday, I worked until Noon…and then the hunt began. First, I went to Plato’s Closet, an awesome resale store in Greenfield, WI. There, I found the (almost) perfect green military style jacket. In the film, Yvonne’s jacket is actually a muted camo print, but this came pretty close in terms of style. I also found a perfect gray shirt to wear under it. These are both items I would wear again, and because the jacket’s zipper was slightly broken, I got an additional 20% discount. Jacket : $10  Gray Shirt: $6 I then headed to the Goodwill on 27th St in Franklin, which was a COMPLETE bust. Every single parking space was full, and people were parking haphazardly in the random open areas of the parking lot.

Next stop was Walmart. I found the perfect gold hoop earrings in a random set of 6 different size hoop earrings, which cost a little more than I was hoping to spend. I’m not really a hoop earring person, but I figured they were still cheaper than what I would have paid for a single pair at Target or Kohl’s. I then scoured the men’s clothing section and found the one and ONLY short sleeved white button down shirt they had in the entire store, which just so happened to be the perfect size. Earrings: $6 White Shirt: $12

I still needed a red tie, a golf club, and some sort of “weapon” for Shaun. I wanted to find an actual cricket bat, but a few phone calls to sporting goods stores around Milwaukee convinced me that I had a better chance of finding a unicorn than a cricket bat. I headed to the Salvation Army thrift store on 27th St., where I found the perfect red clip-on tie. I also had my pick of random golf clubs. Club: $2 Tie: $1

I found everything I was looking for, minus the cricket bat, and decided to head home and brainstorm with my fiancee once he got home from work. We already owned the other pieces of our costumes; skinny jeans, boots, black dress pants, and black shoes.

Lou decided we could make our own bat, and it actually turned out pretty well! We used a wood stake, cardboard, brown mailing paper, and electrical tape. It was actually fairly sturdy too, so we didn’t have to worry about it falling apart. I found the name tag graphic online, and stuck it onto an old work name tag I had laying around. Lou used a red washable marker to apply the “red” to his pocket. All I had to do was style my hair into a ridiculous Pompadour, and we were set!

Our costume grand total came to…$37, or $18.50 each!! Not bad at all! Our film nerd friends definitely approved of our costumes, but they went completely over the heads of our non-nerdy cohorts. But that’s what happens with pop culture costumes, and we are totally okay with that. We felt bad-ass and ready for zombie action, so it was definitely worth it!

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My First Foray into Sewing

While living in Los Angeles, looking for a “real” job, and working minimal hours to make a few cents, I had a lot of time on my hands. LA is one of the worst places to live if you have no money, because you KNOW there are so many amazing, awesome, fantastic things happening within minutes of your apartment, but you can’t afford to actually DO any of them.

Le sigh.

But I did have a Jo Ann very close by, and I spent a lot of time crocheting. I’ll probably document some of those projects at a later date, because this post is about sewing.

I’ve always, always, always wanted to learn to sew, but beyond learning a few basic hand stitches and once making a very simple cloak with a family friend, the mysterious art of sewing eluded me. I’ve had a fascination with costumes my whole life, from the beautiful dresses featured in Lord of the Rings, to the iconic Jedi robes of Star Wars lore. It’s been a secret dream of mine to someday make an elaborate, amazing Halloween costume, and be able to say that I made it. It probably stems from a subconscious desire to actually become the brave, loyal, courageous characters of my favorite books and movies. In any case, I promised myself that if I moved back home to Wisconsin, I would finally pull out my mom’s old Singer and teach myself to sew.

Well, I’m still a bit timid, and socially awkward, and indecisive. And I still have a slight obsession with cats.

But I kept my promise and am LEARNING HOW TO SEW!!

I bring you my first major sewing attempt. My first curved line, applique, complicated pinning, fabric selection, and following of a pattern were all encompassed in this one project. I present:

AN ADORABLE WOODLAND OWL PILLOW!

My cousin just had her first baby; an adorable little boy, and his room is “woodland animal” themed. When I saw this pinned on Pinterest, I knew it was exactly what I wanted my first major project to be. You can find the blog post with the pattern on the Make it and Love It blog HERE.

I’m still amazed with how well this turned out, and family and friends are even more amazed than I am! I’m so in love with this, that it’ll be a little hard to give it away! But I made it for baby Blake, and his new woodland forest themed home is waiting for him! Wanna see another angle?

BAM! I actually finished this project about a week ago, and I’m still riding the high of making something so awesome with a sewing machine, a plethora of sewing accessories, AND MY OWN BARE HANDS!

So. I figured I would share my excitement with the interwebs. And I’ve done that. Now please excuse me while I go squeeze this pillow and “squee” like a little girl.

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