Posted by: nightmistwalker | October 4, 2016

Costumes for Samhain

I retired from my job as costume director for the local high school drama club this past spring. The last show was “Shrek The Musical”, and two shows were scheduled for the final day.
While in the lobby before the afternoon show, I was surprised by my daughter and granddaughter, who had driven in from Philadelphia. During intermission, I went into the house and sought a review of the show from a 3-year-old. She loved the dragon, which I promptly told the puppeteer who was on our staff. The conversation shifted to a request that Grandma (me) make a Halloween costume for her. I asked what she wanted to be, and she answered, “The dragon princess.”

Now, I must confess, I had not seen our show. We were still cutting fabric during dress rehearsal, and we just did not have the time to sit through the production. We were getting assurances that it looked great, but seeing is believing. The fabric for the dragon princess had been acquired by the puppeteer, who included the yardage with his purchase of the fabric for the dragon. So, other than knowing that the costume was pink, I had not had first hand knowledge of what the costume looked like on stage.

That evening, I made it a point to hide at the back of the house to watch the dramatic moment when the dragon princess dominated the stage. Oh, dear Goddess! What had I gotten myself into?

The costume was an old Medieval style pattern that is now out of print and not in a child’s size. The most dramatic feature are the sleeves, which taper down to a point curved slightly at the end. When the actress extended her arms sideways, the sleeves fell from her shoulder to her waist. The actress was a beautiful girl with an absolutely gorgeous dramatic voice. She stood center stage with the dragon puppet towering around and behind her. The effect was stunning. And this is what my granddaughter was thinking about for Samhain?

Today, at last, I hit the fabric store. The pattern books are thick with costume pictures, and I finally found one that is similar enough. The sleeves do not taper to a point, but rather cascade in layers behind the arms. The style is more French than “medieval”, but she will definitely be a pink princess. I bought the exact same fabric, along with matching thread and zipper. This week will be filled with the power of costume magic!

Costume magic infused with Grandma love. What could be more powerful than that?



  1. I’m sure she’ll love it and that, at the age of 3 (or 4 if she’s had a birthday since) she won’t remember the exact sleeves and will be more interested in the pink and princessy part. Grandma love will do the rest!

    • Thanks. She will be 4 in January. Still, it is amazing what that child remembers.

      • She’ll still love it, I predict.

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