Halloween 2017: Feeling autumnal

For a while I’d been entertaining the idea of making some kind of ‘autumn’ costume. The only problem with this plan is that brown is the colour I wear the least often by far. So I needed some strategic wardrobe augmentation to make this work. Got this skirt for $6 at a Kind Exchange in Toronto in 2015 and went from there.


I decided I wanted to put a circle of leaves around the waist. My first try at this involved buying a couple of old shirts and cutting leaf shapes out of them, but these ended up looking limp and uninspiring. I didn’t particularly want to have to play around with e.g. wire in order to make them work. So the entire attempt ended up going into the nearest textile-recycling bin sometime in the second half of 2016. And then the whole costume idea was on-hold indefinitely.

But I ran into some luck at the Bloor/Lansdowne Value Village in March 2017. Luck in the shape of leaves.


These were just hanging around in the ‘home textiles’ section for $2.50 each, and are both large and sturdy (polyester suede in two layers). I originally thought they were intended to be novelty tea-towels or something, but my sister pointed out that placemats were a much better guess. Either way, exactly what I needed. I love that there are exactly enough for a circle of leaves around the waist of, say, a brown skirt in a North American size 8.

I clipped the leaves to the skirt to get a sense of where to position them. (And rediscovered that the camera on my phone is terrible. Apologies. Digital camera is far better, and hopefully I’ll get better at photographing my craft projects as well.) Once I’d worked that out, I hand-stitched the leaves to the skirt in two places each.


Now for a top. The one I originally had in mind is sparkly and fun but way too summery to be practical in late October. So while dropping off a box of donations to another Value Village in October 2017, I ran up and down the aisles of women’s long-sleeved tops and pulled out an olive-green tunic-top from Ricki’s with gold beadwork around a V-neck opening. Didn’t have time to try it on, but it was a medium and likely to work. Grabbed it for $8. Trying it on later, I found that the only issue was that the sleeves were too long for me. I considered just cutting them, but didn’t want to have to deal with redoing the sleeve ends. Instead – especially since it was now the late evening of the 30th of October and I was also packing to leave for a conference on the morning of the 1st – I folded the sleeves in on themselves upward and hand-sewed each one in place around a circle of piping cord. Yeah, okay.


Somewhat more of an ‘original-series Star Trek‘ look than I’d been aiming for, but tolerable in a pinch.


Finished that and added a shiny gold leafy headband from I-forget-which-accessory-place-at-the-mall. Over the course of the 31st it kept trying to fall off my head – and at $15 it was by far the most expensive part of the costume – but worked fine for the short term.

On the 31st after wearing this thing around all day I hopped a fence to take photos. Got only one, and managed not to be looking at the camera at all. Ready for the low-budget-fantasy-novel cover?


The reason I didn’t have a chance to take any more is that I literally got chased off by a couple of enormous male deer who showed up out of nowhere. Serves me right for intruding. And for pretending to be more a part of nature than I am in my day-to-day life. Heh.

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