i’m a costuming junkie. halloween (and the other dress-up holiday of new year’s eve) is my fave holiday of all. some years, i come up with ideas months in advance – the medusa costume a couple of years ago was a direct response to me seeing one the year previous and thinking, “i can do better than that.”
this year, though, i just haven’t been feeling it. no ideas, no burning need for one either. i found myself replying “me too!!” to several friends’ calls for concepts on facebook, but nothing really revealed itself to my inner crafty person. one friend-of-a-friend replied that it would be simple to toss together something that was a pun on a short, recognizable, 2- or 3-word phrase (“devil in a blue dress”, “tropical depression”, “witch doctor”). the latter became my fall-back plan, but i wasn’t in love with it.
ebi was the obvious choice, if for no other reason than when it was complete, i’d have a cute little shrimp-pillow. the biggest trick was finding just the right fabric, something in a slightly reddish orange. that being done (mine is in quilter’s cotton, in a print with a cross-hatched texture), the next step was to draft the pattern. i wanted my shrimp to be somewhat longer than my torso, so that was the only measurement necessary. an elongated, vaguely heart-shaped design ending bluntly rather than pointed was cut twice from the same fabric – for more authenticity, you could cut the underside from white or beige fabric. the right sides together, i stitched all along the edges, leaving the blunt end of the heart open. after flipping it right side out, i stitched a straight line down most of the middle (leaving a gap at the top and bottom, so that the whole stays poofy and flat instead of folding floppy along the line), so my shrimp looked as though it’d been butterflied. i painted white lines in waves all down the back to give it depth/texture, but i think this step could be optional. i stuffed it just enough to give it lift and shape, but not so much that it was firm – i didn’t want the pillow to weigh my shirt down and choke me. the tail fin of the shrimp was in a contrasty matching fabric (nearly the same color orange-ish, but in heavy shiny satin) – i went with a design of 2 longer pointed fins with a smaller spur in the center, but for simplicity a rounded fan shape would work ok too. same as before, stitch and turn right side out, then pin in place over the shrimp body (turn the raw edges under to last longer) and stitch shut to join it all up.
i pinned the pillow to the back of a new white sweatshirt from the inside (so the pins didn’t show), then velcro’ed a dark green sash around my middle to serve as a bit of nori. i gathered a bit of pale green thin satiny stuff into a poof, and stitched it to a barrette: wasabi! i likewise folded some pinkish satiny stuff into waves and tacked that onto another barrette: pickled ginger! hair up in a chopstick’d bun, and i was good to go.
Chris went as an ikura roll: we made this one as a hat-only costume built on the cut down brim of a fitted baseball cap. he cut a hole in the center of a pie plate (lots more stable than just stapling a flat object to a round one), then hand-sewed the pie plate onto the cap. after cutting a face hole in it, black fleece was hot-glued all around the plate and to the underside of the remaining hat brim. the plate was filled with shiny red satin-covered styrofoam balls.
note: it’s now the 3rd of the month, and i failed to notice that NaBloPoMo was this month until today…so i’m cheating from the get-go, meaning i won’t enter in for the prizes & whatnot. funny, but last year, blogging every day burned me out enough that when a friend finally forced me into facebook, i rather quickly gave up posting here in favor of little one-liners. this year, i’m going to give it a go again, and hope that daily blogging gets me back into the habit of posting tales here as well.