A Twist on the Classics

New ideas for old-standby witch, ghost, and pumpkin costumes.

Witch & Pumpkin

Thoroughly Modern Witch

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Supplies: Child-size black cape (we used McCall's pattern #2860), 4 yards patterned fabric for cape lining, 6 large flower appliqués, 2 small flower appliqués, fabric glue, 6 yards pink rickrack, 2 yards black-and-white checked ribbon, black bell-bottom pants (we used McCall's pattern #3014), 2 yards lime green rickrack, witch hat, rubber bugs, hot glue gun, long-sleeved leotard, striped tights, tinted sunglasses.

How-To: Make or buy a black cape, and line it with patterned fabric. Iron on large appliqués about 10" from bottom of cape, spacing evenly; iron on small appliqués to collar. Using fabric glue, attach thick pink rickrack around the circumference of the cape edge, 2" from bottom. Cut black-and-white ribbon in half, and sew one piece to each end of the cape's neck. Make or buy black bell-bottoms; glue a layer of pink rickrack 1" from the bottom of each leg and a layer of green rickrack 1" above that. Glue layers of green and pink rickrack around witch hat. Decorate hat with rubber bugs, securing them with hot glue gun. Complete the outfit with a brightly colored long-sleeved leotard, tights, and tinted sunglasses.

Precious Pumpkin

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Supplies: 2 yards 54"-wide orange organdy fabric, 2 yards 54"-wide heavy orange linen fabric, measuring tape, 3/4 yard 45"-wide lime green velveteen, green thread, 2 yards lime green fringe and ball trim, tapestry needle, 3/4 yard 1/2" elastic, 2 yards orange ribbon, 1 yard chenille lime green rickrack, 1 large snap, lime green knit shorts

How-To: Cut a pair of rectangles 21" long and 54" wide from each type of orange fabric. Sew fabrics together with organdy over linen to form two double-layer pieces of fabric. (Note: We used two fabrics to give costume extra texture and shape; if you can't find orange linen, use one layer of any orange fabric and add padding under finished costume after your child puts it on.) Place right sides of fabrics together. Create arm seams by stitching 4" down from top edges on 21" sides of rectangles. Leave 5" openings for armholes. Resume sewing side seams to bottom edge. Turn both the top and bottom open edges under 1" toward inside of fabric, and press. Pin and sew around the top and bottom edges 1" from the edge and again 1/8" from the edge to form casings. (Be sure to leave small openings to feed ribbon and elastic into.) Thread ribbon through the top edge, leaving ends of ribbon exposed. Thread elastic through the bottom edge, pulling ends to create gathers. Turn pumpkin body right side out. Cut 5 leaves from green velveteen, and sew neckpiece. Sew fringe and ball trim around edges of leaves, then sew a piece of wide chenille rickrack around neck edge. Sew snap-on edges of neckpiece. Slip costume onto your child, and pull orange ribbon to create gathered look at neck; cover with neckpiece. Pair with lime green shorts.

How-To: Cut a pair of rectangles 21" long and 54" wide from each type of orange fabric. Sew fabrics together with organdy over linen to form two double-layer pieces of fabric. (Note: We used two fabrics to give costume extra texture and shape; if you can't find orange linen, use one layer of any orange fabric and add padding under finished costume after your child puts it on.) Place right sides of fabrics together. Create arm seams by stitching 4" down from top edges on 21" sides of rectangles. Leave 5" openings for armholes. Resume sewing side seams to bottom edge. Turn both the top and bottom open edges under 1" toward inside of fabric, and press. Pin and sew around the top and bottom edges 1" from the edge and again 1/8" from the edge to form casings. (Be sure to leave small openings to feed ribbon and elastic into.) Thread ribbon through the top edge, leaving ends of ribbon exposed. Thread elastic through the bottom edge, pulling ends to create gathers. Turn pumpkin body right side out. Cut 5 leaves from green velveteen, and sew neckpiece. Sew fringe and ball trim around edges of leaves, then sew a piece of wide chenille rickrack around neck edge. Sew snap-on edges of neckpiece. Slip costume onto your child, and pull orange ribbon to create gathered look at neck; cover with neckpiece. Pair with lime green shorts.

Knitted Pumpkin Hat

Supplies: 1 skein Patons Canadiana worsted weight acrylic yarn in color #72 (pumpkin orange), tapestry needle, knitting needles in size 7, to achieve gage of 5 stitches per inch

How-To: Cast on 65 stitches. Knit 1 row, purl 1 row for 6 rows. Knit for 2 rows. Continue to knit 1 row, purl 1 row for 22 rows. The total number of rows at this point will be 30. Decrease by knitting 6 stitches, knit 2 together, and repeat this pattern of stitches to the end of the row. Purl 2 together, purl 5, and repeat this pattern of stitches to the end of the row. Knit 1 row, purl 1 row for 6 rows. Decrease by knitting 2 together across the next row. On the next row, purl 2 together across. Break remaining yarn off 15 inches long. Draw through remaining stitches. Sew center back seam using this yarn. Sew stem and leaf out of green velveteen fabric, and attach to top of hat (fits size 12 to 24 months).

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