Halloween was my favorite holiday as a kid. I don't remember my very first Halloween Trick or Treating excursion but I do remember some great moments from those years and some of my favorite costumes. Thanks to my mother, who was a whiz with her post World War II Singer Sewing Machine, I wore some great costumes over the years on the 31st of October.
I don't know how Mom managed to find the time to design and sew my costumes, she was a working mother of three with a full time job during all the years of my Trick or Treat era. The few years she didn't work outside the home she took care of other people's children in our home, leaving her very little time to herself. It's amazing to me now that I ever had custom Halloween costumes, but I did and they were really wonderful works of art and a testament to Mom's abilities as a seamstress and costume designer!
The one that stands out most in my mind was my turquoise corduroy bunny costume. It was a full body suit, somewhat like pajamas with feet except it had a "hood" complete with wire lined bunny ears. No floppy ears for me, my bunny ears could stand straight up or even have a cocky little tilt at the tip! The hood wrapped around my head and the forehead area even had a little point in the middle.
The whole bunny suit was lined with a light pink satin, including the inside of the ears, and Mom accented the sleeves, the ankles and the front zipper with a darker pink ribbon. I seem to remember this ribbon being grosgrain, but I know it wasn't a zig-zag style ribbon because Mom didn't like zig-zag ribbons! She said they were "tacky", lol. The hood also had a pink drawstring to tighten it around my face - which had been appropriately painted up with a little bunny nose and whiskers!
The most astonishing part of this whole outfit was the matching costume my mother made for my doll! This costume was an exact replica of mine, right down to the pink drawstring for the hood - except Mom reversed the color palette. I had one of those Betsy Wetsies or a Tiny Tears - I can't remember which - though it did wet a diaper when you gave it a baby bottle filled with water. I dragged that doll around for several years, even after Butthead drove his bike over her face and she was scarred with a tire track across her cheeks! Next to Lambie (my stuffed toy lamb), this doll was my favorite toy and my mother lovingly gave it a costume to match.
This costume and the matching doll outfit were both marvels of beautiful and elegant workmanship. They were created by a devoted mother who spent many late nights of additional work at a sewing machine after an already full day of working at a job. I was too young at the time to understand the effort my mother expended to create those Halloween bunny suits but I loved them both dearly. I grew out of my costume by the next year but decades later I still have that doll and it's still dressed in it's own miniature bunny suit.
Halloween for me will always be a fun holiday of dress up, free candy and Trick or Treating. But more importantly it is and always will be a reminder and a testament to my mother's love of sewing and of me.
Happy Halloween, Mama, I love you and miss you.