THE PORTFOLIO OF PAULA B. ENTIN
ORIGINAL ART QUILTS

Halloween: traditional costume sewing vs. chocolate stash.

Paula posing in Halloween dress with trident.

1976 Halloween costume

In the fall of 1976, my friends and I went into Boston for the day, and I found this luscious dress for 10 bucks.  I didn’t even try it on, I just grabbed it and paid, because the fabric was such rich colors, and the texture was just like the cat, and I figured I could make it fit.

My friend Linda has her birthday on Halloween, and someone always had a party, so I decided to use the dress for the celebration.

My father made me the trident, which I then spraypainted silver, and he helped figure out what shape the paper needed to be for the hat. He started his professional career as an engineer, so that was a piece of cake for him!

Starting from scratch:

I’m fairly sure I never sewed a Halloween costume in my life. We preferred to adjust rather than start from scratch. The method my sister and I generally used was to snag stuff at the church rummage sale in April, then look it over in October. She once used inside-out sweatpants and shirt, sewed brown felt blobs on, and went as Snoopy.  I once borrowed a bloodred shirt from dad, paired with black pants and cape, my sister did my makeup, and I went as the devil.

Of course, we did collect candy, and the next day, my mother had us divide it in half, with the extra going to the local children’s hospital for their Halloween bash in the hospital wards. It was the perfect opportunity to ditch the icky things, while helping others.

So this year, seeing the sewing machine picture below as a secret chocolate stash, just reminded me of the whole of Halloween, the collaboration with parents and sister, and the community of recycled clothes and recycled candy, all for a good cause.

Sewing machine with M&Ms in drawer.