Halloween Memories and a “Frozen” Dress

Phyllis Inspiration, Lifestyle 28 Comments

Halloween was a big deal when I was a child. I can remember deciding what I would be for the big night of trick-or-treating. My favorite costume that I recall was the year of the gypsy. I got into Mom’s costume jewelry and put on all I could. Then I applied all the makeup I could get on enhanced with bright red lips, which is still my favorite lipstick color today. We loved making our costumes.

Do you remember the hot little plastic masks that had the elastic band that encircled your head? Those were always a favorite when we could find a good one. But making our costumes was always the most fun. In fact, Halloween was fun and wasn’t all this horrible stuff that has surfaced in recent years. It was a child’s holiday, and it was a candy-filled, fun day! It was always a downer when we got a healthy snack dropped into our bags, so candy was it.

This year, I have had an even more exciting time getting Amelia ready for her parties. “GiGi, I need an Elsa dress!” Amelia said this year. My initial response was simply, “What?” When she began to explain that this was the star from the Disney movie Frozen, I got it. Of course I would make her an Elsa dress. That is what GiGi delights in doing: sewing and creating. I found shiny blue fabrics, a pattern, and all the bling I could glue on the dress—what fun!

So here is my Amelia in her Elsa dress. Oh how I wish things were innocent and simple like they were when we were young. But the transforming of oneself into a princess or gypsy for one night still reigns supreme. I just love the innocence of childhood.

Are you making or purchasing Halloween costumes this year?


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Comments 28

  1. Such a beautiful dress, Phyllis. Gigi is amazing! I was thrilled to concoct a special “Pirate Fairy” outfit for my own little Linden this year. What a blessing to relive all the joys of childhood through our grand children.

  2. What a sweet costume my friend! We also made all of our Halloween costumes growing up. What fun my mom and I had creating something different every year. Great memories! You too are making memories with your sweet Amelia!

  3. What doll baby for a granddaughter! That smile says it all I wish I could sew. If it weren’t for safety pins I couldn’t get dressed in the mornings! I hope Amelia’s Halloween is as magical as her costume.

  4. What a beautiful dress and a darling granddaughter! The love you have shows through in everything you do for your family and friends. I also had a homemade gypsy costume “back in the day” so many years ago. I also have a black and white snapshot of me in my Queen of Hearts costume. Long white dress with black satin ribbons sewed on evenly spaced all around the skirt. Each had a red heart at the end. I had a gold paper crown. My mother made it for me. Our church just had Trunk or Treat. We had 180 children come through. This was our 5th annual and it was wonderful. The weather (in Ohio, it can be tricky) was warm. Games were set up on the lawn for the children to play after they went past all the cars. They each got a lillte prize.Then they went inside for hot dogs, chips, and other treats. This year, the food was put into plastic pumpkin buckets as a “happy meal.”
    The committee chair, bless her heart, found the buckets on sale after Halloween last year for 10cents apiece!
    She enlisted some help to get 250 of them to her house and then had to store them for a year!
    My husband & I always decorate our car and go. One of the cleverest vehicles this year was a van that had big white teeth along the top & bottom of the open trunk, and white paper plate with black circle in center to make eyes that were on each side of the van near the trunk. It looked like “JAWS:! Fun night for kids and grownups!

  5. As a teacher I was always glad when Halloween fell on a Friday. Now that I am retired I watch our granddaughter excited about being a princess for the evening. Our church has a wonderful time planned for the children in our community called Light in the Night. Cars pull into the parking lot decorated and the children go from car to car. It’s become a great alternative for all who don’t go door to door.

  6. I was a gypsy, too. You brought back to me the memory of how beautiful I felt. It was a special party, at a classmate’s, when I was about ten. Homemade costumes were definitely a part of my childhood, too.

  7. What a lucky little girl to have you for a grandmother. The costume is just gorgeous. She IS a princess! I am a long time Victoria fan. Years and years. Thank you for such a magazine.

  8. That costumer is fantastic! I admire anyone who has the patience to sew! I get so angry when I make a mistake, or my thread tangles hopelessly, that I have been known to throw sewing machines in the garbage can! LOL Better for my blood pressure to just buy it or have someone else make it for me! But art work is a different thing. Unlimited patience.
    I don’t remember dressing up for Halloween as a child. I think one time, my mother let us cut holes in old sheets for a ghost costume. But it was so hard to see where we wee going, and we tripped over the bottom, and it was hot, so we quickly abandoned our costume and it became rags.
    One year, I guess to keep us out of mischief, the church had a Halloween party for us. I think they played some games, but I just remember that they brought a big metal tub , put it in the street beside the church, and added some apples. We had to line up to bob for apples, while the grownps encouraged and the younger kids just chased each other around the lawn. I thought I would drown before I ever caught my apple! LOL
    One year, when my son was about 9, and my daughter about 4, we were living in an apartment complex. I bought my son a Superman costume and my daughter a princess type of costume. My son got ready and beat us out the door for trick or treating. We were going to catch up with him, since my daughter wasn’t walking that fast ! We almost finished our rounds, and it was getting dark. Where was my son? I started o worry and looked for that Superman costume. Didn’t see it anywhere.
    By now, it was dark, but lights from the apartments helped along the sidewalks an porches.
    Around the corner came a boy with a dark face, (my son was blonde), ripped t shirt, ragged pants and tennis shoes, carrying a paper bag. I asked him if he had seen a boy in a Superman suit.
    “Mom, it’s me!”
    I just about passed out! It was my son.
    He had gone back home, changed out of his Superman suit and torn up some old clothes, used some of my green eye makeup and painted his face. Little rascal, changed and went back around for more treats! And I didn’t even recognize him!
    As a child, I think the worst thing we did while trick or treating, was that some of the boys took off window screens and put soap on them. I didn’t want to get in trouble, so I left the party and wen t home.
    One year, my mother hosted a Halloween and birthday party for a friend who lived out in the country. Another girl told me that we needed to do something to make the party more exciting. So we got paper cleaners bags and some glow in the dark paint. We couldn’t draw a skeleton, but we made marks on the paper. That afternoon, we took them to the cemetery and she climbed the trees and hung them.
    That night, we played around, had our cake and punch, etc. Then we begged to go walk through the cemetery, which was just one house away. Grownups said NO, nless we had an adult with us. Well, the birthday girl’s mother volunteered. WE took our flashlights and went into the old cemetery. I think our escort was probably more scared than anyone !
    My companion in the joke, urged me to hang back with her and watch when people got sacred.
    Well, we got to the spot where the paper bags were and the wind blew them enough to rattle. People started screaming and running for the gate. Including our adult escort. We rant too, because we didn’t want to be left in that cemetery alone.
    Our poor adult escort, thought, ran and stepped in a hole and broke her ankle! We helped her to the house, and my Dad drove her home.
    Daddy went back to the cemetery to check. He couldn’t imagine how those cleaners bags got in the trees. Of course, we had no idea! That has been about 70 years ago, and we never talked!
    In some schools where I taught we could dress up for Halloween and that was a fun day. I would put on black clothes, use green eye makeup on my face, add a long gray or rainbow fuzzy wig, and have fun with the kids. Sometimes, we did face painting, with our students adding a bat or pumpkin
    to kids’ faces or necks.
    My grandsons never got that fun experience. Their mothe4r would dress tem up, but there was no place that we knew of that was safe to go, except to the Mall. One year we went to a book store where they were bobbing for apples. That ruined my grandsn’s Dracula face paint. Paint just streaked down is face.
    One of the neatest things we went to was in my hometown, where a cousin invited us to go with her and her children to a church sponsored party in the country. A hayride took us down a country road, in t e dark. We had to walk so far, and people would pop out to scare us. We got to an abandoned old farm house, that they had cleaned up. It had candles in it, and a coffin. Soon would pop up out of the coffin as music played and there were noise from the woods. Later a tractor picked us up and took us to the little country church. There, they showed cartoons for the kids, and had refreshments. I thought that was imaginative and different. But I felt so lost! Glad my cousin was with me! 🙂
    Last year, my oldest grandson had to work, the other grandson was busy on his computer, my daughter kept the dogs in her room, and I sat at the door and passed out candy. First year we have had Trick or Treaters . I guess I got back into my school teacher mode and enjoyed talking to the kids about their costumes, handing out candy. As I waited, I sat at the door and sketched some of the costumes. I didn’t realize that they could see me, drawing, at the door from the driveway! They had some great costumes, some put on little acts, parents helped the little ones, but most just stood back and watched. Thought it was very nice.
    This year, I may put on my wig , etc. and sit at the door, and sketch while I wait for the kids.
    My dad told harrowing stories of how they would catch little boys alone and tie them to a tombstone in the cemetery. And, when I was in high school, some boys let our horse out, poured oil on its back, and, when we found it next day, it had blisters on its back from the sun. They also rolled all the benches fro he park and cemetery around town, and our big doghouse down the street. Someof our age boys managed to take a car apart and put it together on top of the school!
    I taught in one school where it was tradition to break out every window in the school on Halloween night, put dead vultures in the teachers chairs. And of course they had to egg houses and wrap toilet paper in the teachers’ trees. I didn’t ‘ think it was vey funny, or acceptable. But people just seemed to accept it as tradition. Seems they thought that was the thing to do , especially to the English teacher! And that went on almost all year, after Halloween.
    The nice innocent Halloween parties, being imaginative, are great. Being able to go, safely in neighborhoods for trick or treating, is a good thing and glad that there are some places where it still can be done. And mothers who can make or help kids with great costumes!

  9. Phyllis, You have a preciou s granddaughter. I’ve seen Amelia in “Victoria’ She is so cute!1 And love the dress!! You are a Blessed lady! With your wonderful family and friends! I need to write you a letter. I love your Lournal and “Victoria magazine” Keep up the wonderful work. You an inspiration to us all!!

  10. I stop letting my children and grandchildren celebrate halloween in the traditional sense when it got to be more satanic and the costumes became so evil…But I did go with them to our church for a harvest festival which was more of a party atmosphere…The innocence of the past is gone and never to return…You can see by the way parents have not let there children go out trick or treating in their own neigborhoods…But between families and the church and asking God for protection for that nite and we all can rest at ease…

  11. I, too, made Halloween costumes for our two sons, but was puzzled one year when our son (5 at the time) asked, “Mom, will you make me a Jesus suit?”
    Amelia’s princess pose in her Elsa gown is lovely!

    1. I’ve been working on my 5 year granddaughter’s Elsa dress for 4 weeks now and almost done. I love your dress did you use a pattern? I used McCall’s and it was complicated. Also, my granddaughter wanted pink (one of her favorite colors) instead of blue. Your choice of blue is beautiful. Your granddaughter is precious and looks very proud of her Elsa dress. Love your blog and magazine. Lynda Holmes

  12. I loved making costumes for my boys, I made a mouse costume and a clown costume for them, then they wanted Ninja Turtle costumes, what fun it was taking them trick or treating. We hardly get any trick or treaters I guess they go to parties or the mall. I did make some fancy little bat boxes for candy to send to my boys and my Grand daughter.

  13. You are so talented…beautiful dress! My mother also made our Halloween costumes, and yes, I too miss the good ol’ days! I do not sew very well but I too continued the tradition of making outfits for my son…Harry Potter, an alien, Sherlock Holmes, etc….they weren’t perfect but each one was unique…and I had fun making them.

  14. Halloween is still my favorite holiday. When my niece and nephews were small, I would call them up durin the first week of school to ask what costumes they wanted me to sew for them! Over the years I sewed Little Red Hood Riding,The Big Bad Wolf, Shy Violet, Clown Costumes, and Dalmatian to name a few. For myself, this year, I will wear my Maleficent cape which I sewed quite a few years ago. Your “Frozen” dress for Amelia is stunning! Thank you for sharing!

  15. When my children were young (they are now 38 and 40!), we didn’t purchase costumes, we made them. My daughter was easy to please since she wanted to be a princess every year. We simply used her current ballet outfit, and I made her a crown and magic wand with glitter. Our son was different things: a mummy wrapped in bandages, a cowboy, pirate, Superman. The most money I ever spent was for the year our boy wanted to be a California Highway Patrol officer. “CHiPs” with Erik Estrada was popular on television at the time. He wore a beige shirt and beige slacks, and I spent about nine dollars on an “official” CHiPs helmet and badge. Your post brought back great memories!

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