Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thursday's Children - Dress Up and Character Creation

I'm piggybacking on the lovely Rhiann Wynn-Nolet's Thoughts on Halloween post. Apparently, we're both huge fans of Halloween and dressing up. I knew I liked her. :) I'm also a huge fan of sewing - well, of most forms of crafting , really. There's something incredibly satisfying about creating something from nothing - or at least, mostly nothing.

I make mugs, bowls and wall art from globs of formless clay. I make clothing from shapeless piles of fabric. I make pictures from colored bits of thread. And perhaps most satisfying, I create people and worlds from nothing more than words and the thoughts rattling around in my head.

The people in my stories are take shape in a similar fashion to how I create costumes. I look at random assorted personality traits, memories and experiences in must the same way that I look at fabric, trim, foundation pieces. Then I fiddle around with them until they become a cohesive, believable whole - person or garment, it doesn't really matter. It's a similar process - particularly since I rarely use patterns when I sew. Part of it is knowing what works and how to put it together and part of it is trial and error. Writing and sewing are really very similar.

In keeping with the Halloween tradition, here are some of the costumes I've made - or at least ones I could find pictures of. :)

                              My husband, our two boys (many years ago) and me at a ren faire.

 A friend in the wedding dress I made her. 

 My youngest son in the Stormtrooper costume I made him (well, obviously not the blaster or the helmet...)
 My youngest son in the Jawa costume I made him. His stuffed kitty had a matching costume, too.

                                A pirate-y homecoming dress I made for a friend's daughter.

                                                           One of my favorite dresses.


  1. Great post and fabulous costumes! I'm not a great sewer but I so agree about the universality of the creation process. My visual arts background always makes me equate novel-writing with creating a painting. One of these days I'll probably post about that. Glad to find another Halloween-lover out there!

  2. Wow, I'm so impressed! I can't even hem my own jeans ;-) I love the idea of putting together your characters the way you stitch a costume. Kind of reminds me of Geppetto and Pinocchio. Halloween is my favourite holiday, too. There must be a reason all of us Thursday's Children found each other!