Hello from Bee!
First of all: Great Scott! Happy Back to the Future Day! Today, October 21, 2015, is the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown visit the future. Let’s all celebrate by going hoverboarding! 🙂
All right, back to the posts…
Last week, I introduced the concept of semi-homemade Halloween costumes, citing my own Bumblebee convention costume as a (Optimus) Prime example. 🙂 I’d like to continue with this topic, focusing today on the “semi” part of “semi-homemade” and featuring my Captain America costume!
As I mentioned last week, when I start putting together a costume, I first go “closet-shopping” – searching through my own wardrobe for pieces that are already usable. This is a great place to start: just look at the “DisneyBound” Tumblr by the incredible Leslie Kay, who pieces together awesome Disney-inspired outfits using common articles of clothing! As for me, having done theatre for so many years, I’ve built quite a collection of costume pieces for myself, and usually end up with a decent foundation for an outfit after rummaging through everything.
After perusing my own closet, I always look through the wardrobes of my family members, as well; often, they have items that are old or unused that I can repurpose to fit the desired look. For example, my father seems to accumulate baseball caps which he never wears, and occasionally passes them along to me; I took one of these hats, carefully pulled out all of the stitching, and felted it over to make an awesome Cap cap!
In addition to the baseball cap, I found a plethora of old, unused white t-shirts in another closet that have already come in handy for so many of my costuming projects – an entire Princess Leia outfit and a Renaissance Faire blouse, just to name a few. For my Captain America costume, I cut off the bottom of one such t-shirt and sewed it to the top half of a blue t-shirt I found on sale at a craft store. I did the same with the white t-shirt sleeves, adding them on to the blue sleeves for that signature Captain America look. The leftover white material was used to make the star. In addition, since the craft store sale was a buy-one-get-one, I had also picked up a red t-shirt, whose bottom became the stripes, and whose sleeves became a really neat pair of fingerless gloves.
Of course, if I didn’t find those t-shirts in the closet or on sale, I definitely would have paid a visit to the local secondhand clothing stores. These are excellent places to find inexpensive costume pieces – especially if you’re looking for something a little more vintage. (I actually found the rest of my Ren Faire outfit at one of these shops; whereas a good store-bought medieval costume costs anywhere from $40 upwards [accessories not included], I put my entire look together for less than $20!)
Now, with a sewing machine, all of the stitching for my Captain America costume would probably have taken a week at most. However, as I do not own one, I had to do the entire project completely by hand, which ended up taking almost a month in between work and other activities. Nevertheless, I’m incredibly pleased with the way it turned out!
Have you found costume inspirations from your closet? Did you find some cool items at a thrift shop? Let’s hear about it in the comments below!