Have I mentioned to you yet how much I love Halloween? It’s not about being gross or scary for me, but I love the fall aesthetic with dark glittery things thrown in the mix. Decor is so easy for me to put into place. Costumes on the other hand… oi.
I often start brainstorming mid September so I have time to make something, but I always draw a blank. There’s too much pressure to do something awesome and creative. Sometimes Rory and I work together on a costume, but the last minute factor always remains true. (Last year we went as two crows, or an ‘attempted murder’. We were still assembling our costumes as our friends arrived for a party.)
This year, lost in my cloud of indecisiveness (and Pinterest) I happened upon an image of Audrey Hepburn with some stunning mod make-up. It was a promo shot from the film How to Steal a Million.
I remembered watching that film a few years back and being enthralled with her wardrobe in that film. Lightbulb!
I close to re-create the black lace dinner dress, as I noticed it seemed to be the most iconic from the film as I researched (though not iconic as I thought. Many people had to ask me who I was when I wore this).
The quality of the film and images I could find made it very difficult to decipher the details, but from what I could tell there was a matching jacket, dress and mask of black lace, white gloves and patterned tights. I could do this!
A trip to Value Village provided a lace button up to act as the jacket. I simply snipped the sleeves at three-quarters and took it in at the waist. If you really look the jacket is a very dark navy blue. Had I the time to find black polyester dye, it would have been taken care of, but alas, you have to cut corners sometimes.
I then hit up the fabric store for the dress and the mask. The dress was a fairly simple make. The shape was fairly a-line and my lace had a touch of stretch so I could avoid the use of any closures. I traced the shape of a trapeze tunic I had in my closet then cut two layers. I stitched up the shoulders and side seams, and using a long strip of the lace finished edge, made a ruffled hem. I finished the hem late at night so I didn’t try it on one last time before saying ‘I’m done!”.
About 20 minutes before the party started last weekend I put it on and it was WAY too long. Like midi. YIKES! I grabbed the scissors and did a super quick slice and re-sew. Rory did a double take and couldn’t believe it took less than 10 minutes to fix.
The most challenging part of constructing the costume was surprisingly the mask. I bought a dainty trim to get the perfect scalloped edge on the mask like the film, but dang it, it’ll do whatever it wants to when you are sewing it!
I dug into my mental box of sewing tricks and used some tissue paper underneath the mask to give it some grip when running it through my machine. This worked for 90% of the trim, but once I tore it away there were still some spots that needed a hand stitching touch.
Add some gloves from the costume box and tights from the closet and we’re done! I pulled my hair into a french twist to give the impression of Audrey’s mod bob and tried my hand at a 60’s cut crease eye shadow (I shot a tutorial for work here. I may have had ulterior motives in putting that together…)
Tomorrow night includes dressing up for work, attending some improv then dancing the night away to some swinging retro tunes. I hope y’all have fun things in store as well. Have a spooktacular Halloween!