What do you do when your five-year-old's imagination is on fire? On Fi-yah!
You fan the flame.
This year for Halloween, Charlotte ordered up a frightening feat; that is, a costume I had no hope of purchasing -- and it was the week before Quilt Market. Last year she dreamed up a Bat Fairy. This year, she was intent on a fierce, fire-breathing Dragon.
The day after Charlotte was born, my sister, Julia came to visit us in the hospital. While holding Charlotte for the first time, Julia leaned over to me and whispered, "The baby just told me something. She said, 'I am my own self.'"
I was puzzled and dismissive at first, "Yeah, whatever." Then a tetch concerned (knowing Julia and her knack for such things). "If that's the vibe my sweet little baby is putting off already, then I'm in for it," I thought, "especially once she's a teenager."
So, how much stock can you put in the proclamations of a one-day-old baby?
Perhaps, some. Julia, with her freaky, awesome sixth sense, was right again. Charlotte could have been named Scarlet for all her fiesty, charming individuality. She is her own self: uniquely creative, thoughtful, sweet, sassy, and notably interesting. I was looking forward to what she would come up with this year. A dragon, though a tall order, was no surprise.
One bat of her eyelashes and a quick, sincere squeeze was all it took. And I was off on her quest.
At TJ Maxx, I found an oddly dragon-like mermaid dress to build upon -- a huge blessing. With this running start, I gathered up a smorgasbord of fabrics with the same flavor and set about designing the beast's head -- no headdress, no dragon.
The foam alligator hats I grabbed from Dollar Tree were a great help. (Before photos here.) I would have otherwise structured the headdress with Timtex, but that might have zapped me for time. (I only had two days to complete the costume, wrap up some work, and pack for a 9-day trip.) I stacked two or three hats & quickly stitched them together for strength, then extended the gumline by covering the foam teeth with bias tape. I built the dragon you see here on top of this frankensteinian monkey business.
And it worked. Thank heaven. Furthermore, the hood turned out light-weight and comfortable, so Charlotte actually kept it on. Bonus, right?
As it turns out, Charlotte's I-am-my-own-self singularity is a complete delight. Worthy of celebration, not dread. Her obvious enchantment is worth every stitch, and then some.