I've been channeling my "inner Martha Stewart" a lot lately by baking, cleaning, organizing and now tackling the demon of sewing. I have always bought my Halloween costumes or had my mother make them but wondered if I could handle making my own.
So began the brainstorming. What on earth would I be? Then, came the more important question: What could I make that wouldn't look awful and be relatively simple? Although all indications were pointing toward going as Lady Gaga because even a mistake could be claimed as intentional, I went the route of Glinda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz. Something about a pink dress, glitter shoes, a crown and a wand made me as giddy as a 5-year-old.
Next, it was time to gather all the materials. Rather than using a pattern, I drew what I wanted the costume to look like, and the plan was to create a masterpiece for less than $50. With this in mind, I started at a thrift store and was able to find the pieces to make the top portion of my costume for $6. After that, I gathered the rest of my materials at a craft store and a discount store: tulle, ribbon, glitter, thread, needles, clear spray paint, a dowel and wooden stars.
The assembly of the top half was simple. All I did was take a scarf and wrap it over the straps of a "spaghetti strap" shirt to create fun sleeves. The bottom half was headache-inducing. I had 22 yards of tulle that had to be sewn and gathered into a pretty skirt. I enlisted the help of my mom — with the rule being that no matter what, I would make it myself.
Gathering the tulle and sewing it into a skirt took more than an hour. Once it was done, I sewed a ribbon around it to make it easy to get on and off. The wand took about a half hour to wrap and glue. Spraying shoes I already had with glitter took about 15 minutes, plus overnight drying and spraying with clear spray to seal. With materials gathering and assembly, the project was done in a weekend.
Once finished, it looked more like a princess than Glinda the Good Witch, so I got a cute tiara and decided I was going to be a fairy princess instead. This decision took out the need for Glinda's over-the-top crown and dress embellishments. My final piece came in at just less than $50 and looked good enough to have been purchased at a store. Reactions of friends and family also led me to believe it will be just fine for Halloween.
I still secretly want to do a Lady Gaga costume, and since I have several parties I plan to attend, I may just go for it and transform into Mother Monster for an evening.
My First Time is a column about Ashley Grant trying new things in Tampa Bay. Got a suggestion for something she can try? E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.