Sew What Do You Think?

If you know me, you might know I’m an indulgent creative who dabbles in the occasional sewing project and costume design. I also have a long history of dying my hair bright colors (currently it’s more on the “salmon” side of blood orange). Apparently, my daughter inherited said traits because when it came to a dress-up contest with a theme of Superheroes vs Villains, she conscripted my husband and I to build her costume for her.

Since I figured she’d want to be female, therefore ruling out Deadpool, I consulted my friend to compile a list of recognizable female superheroes. Of course there was Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl, and Cat Woman. Would anyone recognize Raven from Teen Titans? I didn’t think I could pull off makeup for Gamora and figured Black Widow would be too bland. Mantis maybe? That is the problem with Marvel female superheroes. Either the costumes are too complex or not complex enough.

My ideas were met with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. My daughter then shrugged and said, “I could be a villain.” After a quick “Okay Google, show me a list of female villains”, she made her choice.

Harley Quinn.

I informed my husband of the girl’s choice, and he burst into laughter and cheered her on. Pictures from Suicide Squad dominated the image search results for Harley Quinn, so my husband decided to play the movie so that our daughter would know what character she’d be representing. By the time the movie finished, my daughter was set on that version of Harley Quinn for a costume.

Next day, we were off to the fabric store to pick up a jacket pattern and material. I did the shorts pattern freehand, mostly because I wasn’t willing to shell out an extra $12. We stopped by the party store to pick up an inflatable mallet, and my husband used his mad duct-tape and Sharpie skills to decorate it. Finally, I bought fabric paint and a white T-shirt.

I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with the result, considering we pulled it together in a week.

Even I hand-painted the lettering on the T-shirt to match the movie’s design.

Under the jacket, she’s got some black straps that match Harley’s holsters, but most of the time, you can’t see them. I did get the color scheme backwards, but I don’t think anyone but me (and those I told) know it. Her skin is slightly tan, so the lightest foundation at the dollar store did the trick to unnaturally pale her up. And since I’d already bleached the bottom of her hair, coloring it was no issue. She won first place in the costume contest and got high-fives all around (plus a bucket of candy and glow sticks).

I probably won’t be putting as much effort into the other themes (Hawaiian day? Red, White, and Blue day? I might do Under the Sea day…), but it was fun to help her totally rock the competition.

If you could be a superhero or a villain, which would you choose? Which character would you dress up as? Why are all the female superhero costumes either skin-tight or skimpy?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

23 thoughts on “Sew What Do You Think?

  1. Even though I worked in a costume business for many years, I don’t know much about putting together a costume. I was in the sales side of costumes selling to costume shops and the like. I think you did a very credible job with this costume.

    I’d rather be a superhero, but I’d probably make up my own character. All in all though I’d rather just be me.

    Tossing It Out

  2. Anna

    I’ve always loved Xena. Not so super but still my hero. πŸ™‚

    Anna from elements of emaginette

  3. Well, that was delightful! The costume, the name and your family involvement. Couldn’t be better.

  4. That is awesome and she looks so cute!

  5. That is just awesome! I would’ve cheered as well, especially as she’s too young to go really dressed as Harley. Your daughter rocks.
    And Harley is a bit of an anti-hero, so not all villain.

  6. TooCute! love the attitude she demonstrates wearing it. Wow, I’m impressed and not surprised she rocked the competition. What awesome parents she has too! Female superheroes, Elektra, Storm, and the Black Widow are some of my face Marvel ones. Xena as Anna said another big fave as far as female heros and some the ones you already named.

  7. What an amazing post today Loni. Adorable pictures! I love how Dad supports it too. I would be Wonder Woman in an armoires uniform maybe. I love her lasso of truth so much and her invisible jet. I grew up loving her and SheRa too πŸ™‚

  8. It’s nice when the kids still like to dress up for dress up days. As they get older, the dress up days get met with much less enthusiasm. Great job on the costume.

  9. Awesome costume! Too bad you don’t live here because I need costumers for a play I’m producing. I could use you for sure.

  10. That is amazing!

    I don’t know who I would want to be. Or why female costumes are so skimpy (or if they do cover, they don’t leave a lot to the imagination). Even when I was cosplaying, I’d take male roles more often because better costume choices (and I’m tall).

  11. Congrats on the win! That’s one creative family right there. And kudos to you, crafty mama-bear. You rocked the HQ costume and in a week? Well done!

    Oh, and tell me you’ll do Under the Sea day! That sounds like a lot of fun πŸ™‚ Any ideas yet?

    • I’ve proposed the idea of mermaids for Halloween (both she and I). Under the Sea day would be a jump start on that. Just not sure what to do for the top half of the costume…

  12. Hello from Idaho and came in from Liz. I never tried sewing a costume but my mom did sew some fantastic costume for halloween.
    If you fine the time stop in for a cup of coffee

  13. I love the costume. You did a great job!

  14. Looks great!

    Costumes of both males and females are skin tight because it’s easier to draw (shhhhhh). Once you have basic anatomy down, you can drawn the figure, add a few lines in for the top and bottoms and forget it. No wrinkles, no figuring out how the material would move or hang depending on the character’s pose/movement. Though artists will lie and say it’s for a billion other reasons, but I’ll bet anything you want that that is the truth.

  15. That is adorable. To be honest, I probably would’ve picked Harley, too (the more classic kind), if not Poison Ivy or Catwoman. But I mostly wanted to be Batman.

    The last costume I actually made, rather than bought all done, was a Dalek. Even then, that was mostly double-sided sticky tape, spray paint and hot glueing.

  16. You did an amazing job! She looks fantastic. Hooray for first place..and for candy and glow sticks! We saw Deadpool 2 last week and it did not disappoint. πŸ™‚

  17. Great costume – super mum…and dad.

  18. What an awesome costume! She looks fantastic in it!

  19. How fun πŸ™‚ I like to get creative with costumes, but don’t lean toward superheroes for the most part. But zombie milkmaid? Why yes!

  20. Love her costume. Very awesome. Wonder Woman is my favorite, but no way would I want to wear what she wears. I also really like Mantis and the sister in Black Panther. They’re not superheroes, but I’d probably pick either Sam Carter from Stargate, or Zoe from Firefly.

  21. She looks adorable! You did a great job.

    I’ve always hated that about female superhero costumes–it’s ridiculous. Have you seen the female Thor? No way anyone would go into battle dressed like that.

    As for me, I’d probably go as Spiderman or Thor. Two of my faves.

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