Friday, November 1, 2013

Upcycled Thrift Halloween Costume - We Can Do It!

She's a cultural icon. She's a symbol of economic power for women. She's Rosie the Riveter.

She was also a perfect choice for Vivian's first real Halloween costume.

I thought of the idea months and months ago and had been keeping a mental list of supplies I would need to create the costume. I knew that if I wanted it to be recognizable, I would have locate some specific items and I knew that thrifting was the way to go.

Thrifting is kinda like fishing. Sometimes you can be out there all day, casting and reeling and end up with an empty ice chest. But every once in a a while you'll catch something really great - something you're proud of - and it makes it all worth it. It doesn't always happen so if you're going to stick with it, you've gotta love the sport.

And I do. I love hunting through racks of velor track suits and polyester dresses with heavily padded shoulders and mock leather vests with fringe to find something awesome. It's especially fun when piecing together a costume, because some of the most outrageous things are often just the things you're looking for.

I was at a thrift store looking for some old suitcases to use in a display at work. I figured it wouldn't hurt to check the children's section to see if they had what I needed for the Rosie costume. I remember saying aloud "I'm going to check and see if they have a one-piece denim jumpsuit in Vivian's size." It may seem like a stretch but if there is one thing that thrift store's don't have a shortage of, it's denim.

And lo and behold, I found this little number, sized 18 months.

I paid just two bucks.

Because it was intended for a tiny mechanic, it needed a few alterations. I took a seam ripper to the patch on the front and the embroidery on the back. I attempted to peal off the silk screen lettering. No such luck. It took nearly a half hour to take off one letter and you could still see a discoloration from where it had been. Instead, I found a tote bag at Hobby Lobby made out of a very similar color denim. I cut out a panel from it to fit the back of the jumpsuit and just glued it on.

These stick-on embroidered stars and letters were just $.69 each at Hobby Lobby and added a fresh pop of color and a hint to anyone who didn't know there American History.

The front also needed something. It had a discolored oval from where I removed the mechanic patch.

I found a perfectly sized American flag patch and stuck it on.

The jumpsuit was ready to go but Rosie just isn't Rosie without her iconic red and white polkadot head scarf. Back to the thrift store! I perused the racks for anything with the pattern that I needed and came across this.

Once upon a time, it lived in the drawers of a grade school teacher, I imagine. But now, this stretchy nylon top would be given a second chance at life. I cut it up, tied it in a knot, and stretched it over Vivian's head. For the finishing touch, I collected some plastic tools and stuffed her pockets.

Among lots of princesses and ladybugs, one little riveter tried her luck at trick-o-treating.

Rosie fixing the bike rack with her all-in-one screwdriver

Our little hero on the homefront grasped the concept of trick-o-treating so quickly. She would take a piece of candy from the outstretched bowl and plop it into her bucket, sign a little "Thank You", and wave goodbye. We only visited about five houses around a cul-de-sac and it was plenty. The highlight of the night was the house handing out glow stick bracelets. She didn't want to take it off.

Will we be able to think up an even cuter idea next year? We Can Do It!

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