I once talked about “sweater guilt” on the blog – the guilt I feel when I buy or receive a manufactured sweater instead of knitting one for myself, especially if I really love the new sweater! Well, I have now been struck by sew-er guilt!

I have made a few of my kids’ Halloween costumes over the years. My daughter’s second Halloween costume was handmade – the cutest cowgirl costume ever! It was made from a flannel cow print remnant and an old black pleather coat I owned. I took two years off (I was VERY pregnant the next year, then had a year old baby the next) and then I decided I wanted to sew costumes for them as much as possible. For my daughter’s first year of school (preschool) she wanted to be a Care Bear. So, I created a Care Bear costume, complete with a fat white belly with a belly badge and even a tuft of hair on the top of her head! My son was (and is still!) a huge dog fan and wanted to be a puppy, so he was a white puppy with floppy ears, a long tail and brown spots. Next came my daughter’s new-found fascination of all things Princess! With her dark hair, she would have been a great Belle, but instead wanted Snow White – which worked for me! (And if you click the link to check out the Snow White costume, you will see the puppy dog costume on my son. Yep, he insisted on wearing it two years in a row!)

So, when we started to approach Halloween this year, I started asking the kids what they wanted to be. My daughter wanted to be a witch – but a pretty witch, not a scary witch. She started perusing the costume catalogs, looking for the perfect costume. I figured I would sew it for her after we settled on a look. My son wanted to a fireman. That was easy enough. He received a fireman playset for Christmas, which included the helmet and jacket – although the jacket was HUGE on him! I even found him some fireman boots at Once Upon A Child to make the costume complete.

And then, I realized that, try as I might, I couldn’t produce the kind of costume my daughter wanted for as cheap as I could buy the costume. She wanted foofy skirt, ribbons and tulle. I just kept thinking of all the material I would have to buy! So, I gave in. I went to the store with her and we picked out her witch costume. I didn’t craft ANY of it. She is cute in it, though!

So, I resigned myself to the fact that my kids wouldn’t be sporting anything homemade this year. And oh, the guilt! I looked at those costumes and cringed. I even tried to convince my son to let me make him a new fireman coat that fit, but he wasn’t having anything to do with that!

I couldn’t believe how strong the guilt was! And I have noticed it at other times, too. I bought my daughter a fleece coat and wondered why I didn’t just make her one. Of course, the fact that she needed it ASAP was why, but still, I had guilt. I have looked at PJs for the kids and wondered why I am not just making them. And PJ pants for me, too. I know I just need to cut myself some slack. I have a ton going on. My wrists are not great lately and I need to take it easy on them when it comes to the wrist-stressing stuff  – including cutting with scissors and hand stitching. And really, if it is faster and easier and cheaper to buy something that isn’t going to be a keep sake, I need to just realize I need to give in and just buy the item.

Oh, and my son’s costume? Today, the day we planned to take them to our annual Halloween festival in our town, he changed his mind and decided he wanted to be A PUPPY! Of course! But the costume he wore the last two years just wasn’t going to fit this year. So, at the last minute, we were running to the store for a costume. And the puppy costume we found was ugly! Even he looked at it and scrunched up his nose, then suggested we go to another store! But, I seized the opportunity! I ran to the boys clothing department, found a brown fleece hoody and matching pants, ran to JoAnn’s for some brown fleece, and headed home to pull out the scissors and sewing machine! And, when all was said and done, I sewed at least part of his costume! It may only have been the tail and ears and they may only be held on by safety pin (so the outfit can be worn without ears and tail!) but it works! He wore it tonight and actually got a few compliments on it. Isn’t it cute???

He mentioned being a dinosaur next year. I know he will change his mind – possibly many times! – between now and then, but I admit to already daydreaming about how to turn my little monster into a dinosaur!