A Dibble about Patterns…

So I have a family of 7. My hubbie and I, our three beautiful girls and our two little men. For the most part I make their Halloween costumes each year ¬†for a few reasons. (1) Practice makes perfect and I am far from perfect when it comes to sewing and so much more. (2) I would rather pay $12-$15 in materials and make a quality costume then pay $10-$14 for a synthetic shell of a costume that will just make it through Halloween night. And (3) my kids use their costumes on a weekly basis. We have neighborhood plays, imaginative versions of fairy tales, and goofy cleaning parties when we dress up just to make it fun. So today, I started working on this years cast of ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ The problem is that most costume patterns include more than one costume in the ‘pattern set.’ This year there are two pattern sets (a 0-3 & a 4-8) with 20+ pieces each, yards of fabric, and random bits of accessories all waiting to become Halloween wonder. A friend asked me how I even know what goes where and who will be what in the mess of all this and so, I thought I would share my ‘Organized Chaos’ with you. Hopefully, there is someone out there who can benefit from my learned process!

The first thing I do when I know I am using one pattern for more than one child is label the pictures on the front of the pattern with the child’s name, size, and year. Next I go to my cupboard and pull out some quart sized plastic baggies and label them, one for each costume that can be created using the pattern set.Then I will cut out all the pieces of the pattern and sort them according to the costume that it will create.

Once this is done I will place any pattern pieces that I will NOT be using into the appropriate baggie. Then I will press all the air out of the baggie and fold the top of the baggie over itself.

This will protect my pattern pieces and make them small and flat enough to fit back into the patterns’ envelope. Don’t they all look so pretty in there!

Once my pattern pieces are all figured out I will pull out all the fabric and accessories needed for each costume and put each set into their own large paper grocery sack. Lastly, I place the the pattern pieces for that costume on top of the fabric and label the paper sack with the child’s name.

Now, when I am actually ready to make one of the costumes (hopefully not the night before) I simply need to pull out the pattern set instructions and pick a grocery sack, then get to work.

I have found, through trial & error, that I am able to accomplish so much more so much faster when I am organized from the start. So if you have not yet started on your Halloween costumes or if you are amazing and are already planning out your Thanksgiving or Christmas outfits and your head is spinning trying to get it all work out -try this method. I call it ‘Organized Chaos.’

“Whenever I am feeling overwhelmed by outside circumstances, worries about money, concern over a sick family member, or anxiety…instinctively I turn to homegrown rituals to restore my equilibrium. There is an immediate emotional and psychological pay off to getting our houses in order. We might not be able to control what’s happening externally in our lives but we can learn to look to our own inner resources for a sense of comfort that nurtures and sustains. I have even noticed that there is a direct correlation between the days when I’m feeling depressed and the days when the house is in disarray. I suspect that I am not alone. ‘It’s not the tragedies that kill us,’ Dorothy Parker once observed, ‘it’s the messes’” -Unknown (but very true!)

Now go make something or clean, whichever you feel up for!

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