Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Today’s post combines two of my favorite things—sewing and costume parties. I’ve never been fond of the pagan rites of Halloween like trick or treating. Costume parties for kids are much preferable, with dressing up, lots of games, and candy. Oh, another thing I like about Halloween—chocolate. But that’s another topic.
I prefer character costumes to the scary stuff. Here’s the Raggedy Ann and Andy costumes I made for my grandchildren some years ago.
Where did this costume custom come from? Costume parties go back to the masquerade balls of the 15th century. These balls dominated the carnival season, especially in Italy. The custom spread throughout mainland Europe in the 17th and 18th century. In London, characters in masks and fancy dress mingled with the crowds at Haymarket and Vauxhall Gardens.
Masquerade dances became popular in colonial America, so popular that an anti-masquerade movement grew, claiming the events encouraged immorality and foreign influence. Party poopers.
Of course the style of costumes varied widely depending on class. Peasants attending carnivals made do with what they could throw together, whereas the nobility hid behind elaborate jeweled masks. How about this?
Character themed parties for teens and adults are all the rage now. Movie and book characters are most popular. Star Wars themed parties are big this year for obvious reasons.
Dressing up isn’t restricted to Halloween. I follow a historical costume blog, and serious costumers and historians get together throughout the year for teas, parties and reenactments. I’m not nearly as serious, but I enjoy sewing historical and character costumes, though I’ve never made a costume for myself. It’s enough for me to watch from the sidelines.
My granddaughter and her friend are going to a Disney themed Halloween party this year so I volunteered to make their dresses. Belle and Cinderella.
I got myself in a time crunch, but finally finished. Here they are ready for the princesses to go to the ball.
Happy Halloween everyone!
Did you ever go to a costume party either as a child or adult? Be sure to enter a comment to get into the drawing for our weekly giveaway, Land of My Dreams by Norma Gail