Santa’s Little Helper…

When it came to creating a fancy dress costume for wearing to work in the pub over Christmas, after careful consideration I decided to go with the Santa’s Little Helper idea of (from top to toe) red and white Santa hat, red T-shirt with white fleecy trim and black felt buttons, black skirt, red and white striped tights, and black boots. It has to be practical and comfortable enough to work in, so can’t be too fanciful.

I finished trimming the T-shirt today so tried it all on together to see how it looked – it’s not the sharpest of images taken on my phone camera (I tend to be infinitely happier on the other side of the lens, so you’re lucky to be seeing this much of me in shot), but hopefully it’s clear enough to get the picture! Let me know what you all think… 🙂



Christmas Fancy Dress…

Having surprised myself by actually dressing up for work on Halloween earlier this year – I work locally in a busy pub – I’m now thinking about dressing up once again for working over Christmas. I’d chosen to make my own Halloween costume (like we did as kids) rather than buying a generic, ready-made version, so I raided the local pound stores (and my sewing box) for bits and pieces, then created my own take on being a fallen angel dressed all in black, which was great fun, both to make and to wear…

So with Christmas fast approaching, I’m wondering what kind of fancy dress costume I could create for myself this time around? As before, I need to consider the same practicalities – nothing too restrictive, nothing too cumbersome, nothing too revealing, and nothing too awkward to be serving food and drink in! So far I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of options, both variations on a theme of my usual (very practical, very comfortable) black T-shirt and skirt work uniform.

I could maybe be a snowman, with a base of white T-shirt, black skirt, white tights and black boots. I could add a black stove-pipe hat of some invention, either as a hat or as a headband, and I’d need to add three large black felt ‘buttons’ to the front of the T-shirt and drape a scarf around my neck – et voila, instant snowman.

Or I could perhaps be Santa’s Little Helper instead, with a base of red T-shirt, black skirt, red and white striped tights and black shoes. I’d need to trim the T-shirt with white along both the neckline and hemline, and add the same large black felt ‘buttons’ as for the snowman, and top it all off with a red and white Santa hat…Hmmm…!

Either way, the prospect of dressing up for work doesn’t feel nearly so daunting this time, and I’m quietly pleased to be looking forward to joining in the fun. I’m not historically a great fan of all things Christmas – more of a boring old ‘Bah, Humbug’ than a seasonal shining star – so this is a real break from tradition for me to be embracing the Christmas spirit and going with the festive flow… 🙂

Halloween – Part II


I actually got dressed up for Halloween this year – woo-hoo! I work in a pub, and it was surprisingly good fun to get into the spirit of things by wearing a Halloween costume to work. I’m not one of life’s natural joiners-in of things, so it was a big thing for me even to be thinking about it, but I did it, and I’m really pleased with myself 🙂

Getting my costume together in the first place was wonderfully therapeutic – I bought some cheap bits and pieces from our local pound shop and raided my sewing box, and created my own. The end result was probably quite subtle, as Halloween costumes go, but it had to be something practical enough to work in for a full shift – bending and stretching, lifting and carrying – as well as looking good.

I decided to be a Fallen Angel – angelic but dark – so had a short black net skirt, black bedraggled wire-and-fabric wings hanging down my back, and a black wired-flower headband, all of which I wore over a plain black T-shirt and a short black skirt. As we wear black for work anyway, it didn’t look startlingly obvious at first glance, but it was enough to be recognisably dressed up.

For a first attempt, I’m really pleased with how it all went; I not only wore my costume for my full shift but also walked all the way home dressed as a Fallen Angel. To my absolute delight I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Dressing up for work is definitely something I’ll happily repeat in the future – so I suppose now I’d better get started with planning my next costume, for Christmas… 🙂

Halloween – Part I


I’m in the middle of making myself a Halloween costume for wearing to work – I work part time in a local pub – and it feels such fun! I’m not naturally one of life’s joiners, so I’m pleased to even be considering dressing up for work, especially at 50 years old. I don’t think I’ve dressed up for Halloween since I was in single figures, and it seems that the concept of what counts as a Halloween costume has certainly changed a lot since then.

When we were kids we used to create costumes out of various bits and pieces – some bought, some re-purposed, some made from scratch – but we all looked unique because we all ended up being dressed differently, each creating our own individual outfit. And in those days we were mainly, witches, ghosts, devils and vampires. But the plethora of complete costume sets available today – including pirates, zombies, and even little red riding hood – seems to me to take away some of that fun, the creative imagination required to make something of your own design, and that’s such a shame.

So I’m having fun making my own costume again – I’ve decided to be a fallen angel, dressed all in black, wearing nothing too revealing (plump middle-aged angels need to maintain some level of dignity!) but also nothing too difficult to work in, either – basic Health & Safety measures still have to be considered. My base is probably going to be a plain black tunic and leggings, over which I’m going to add a little black net skirt, a pair of black bedraggled wings, and a black headband head-dress.

A quick visit to our local Poundland furnished me with four black Halloween-patterned net tablecloths, each 1m x 0.75m, a pair of child-sized devil wings, and four small black wired roses, all for a grand total of £6. From my collection at home I’ve found an old black velvet headband, a black fabric flower brooch, a fabric belt, an old pair of black fishnet tights and bits and pieces of black ribbon.

Two of the net tablecloths formed the basic skirt shape, and 2/3 of the other two made the frill for frothing out the bottom of the skirt. After stitching them all together, I attached the skirt to the fabric belt, and will pin the fabric flower brooch to the waist for decoration.

Most of the last third of the net from the tablecloths was used to decorate my wings. I stripped the devil wings down to the wired frame, then turned the framework sideways to create a drooping wing-shape. I stretched the legs of the fishnet tights over the wire frame to create the base, then layered pieces of net and ribbon over them to give a bedraggled, ragged look to the wings. I still need to finish fixing the ribbon and net onto both wings before joining them together and adding the arm straps, but I’ll get there.

For the head-dress I shaped the four wired roses into one curved line, attached them to the headband with ribbon, and used the last of the netting and a few strands of ribbon to decorate – and so far I’m really pleased with the overall result. Hopefully it’ll all look OK on the day – and the big question now is – will I spend my Halloween shift as a fallen angel, or as a chicken… watch this space! 🙂