Alice got really into watching Octonauts in the fall, and learned about the vampire squid, and asked to be one for Halloween. Cool, OK. What do I do?
I ordered a dyeable hoodie, skirt, and leggings from Dharma Trading. Then I dyed it all plus some scrap fabric in maroon. I didn’t really make it dark enough, but she loves pink and was fine with it.
The vampire squid has a membrane that stretches between its tentacles, forming a sort of skirt. Underneath it are a series of spikes. The squid turns itself inside out to display the spikes when it gets scared. I sewed and stuffed a whole lot of little spikes, and stitched them on the underside of the skirt in rows. Then I cut tentacle shapes from the scrap fabric and sewed that to the outside of the skirt. If I had spent a little more time on it, I might have added a drawstring to the hem of the skirt to flip it all up over her head at once.
I cut pieces from the scraps to make those little flappy fins on the head. Then I cut some circles from green scraps, and sewed them down with glow in the dark thread and a little glow in the dark fabric paint, because vampire squid live in the midnight zone and have glowing spots on their heads.
Hers was, I believe, the only homemade costume in her whole preschool class, but she didn’t seem to notice or mind.