Organizing Theory & Artistry

Halloween Costumes 2012 – Queen Elizabeth!

Perhaps it is my organizing tendencies but I try to put all the kids in Halloween costumes along the same general theme.  Once my first daughter chose Cleopatra, I had to figure out what everyone else was going to be.  I was a bit stumped at first.  Then, one of those serendipitous moments occurred when my younger daughter stood in front of a painting of Queen Elizabeth at the Virginia Historical Society.

Inspiration strikes!

It was just like when my older daughter stood in front of the Renoir a few years ago.  The lightbulb went on!

This was also going to be a sew-it-yourself project as there are no Queen Elizabeth costumes for children as far as I could tell.  It’s a shame as she was such an elegant lady!

Good Queen Bess : The Story of Elizabeth I of England at amazon.com.
As with my older daughter, we checked out a book from the library on Queen Elizabeth aimed at children.  The book was still way over the preschooler’s head but it was interesting for me to learn/remember things about this dynamic and groundbreaking woman, such as her being a wonderful patron of the arts and encouraging talents like William Shakespeare.  I also like the fact that she has Virginia ties, being the namesake of the state of Virginia (for the “Virgin Queen”).  All I think my preschooler got out of this was that Queen Elizabeth was a person.

My goal was to create an elegant look for not much money.  So with a budget of just $20, I found some quilting cottons that simulated the richly patterned silks in the painting.  With a little interfacing and a  little lace ribbon that my husband had to pick up for me on a busy Saturday.  (He told me that he tried to pick something Elizabethan and I just about died from his thoughtfulness and good taste!)

There are no patterns for costumes like this so, as with all my costumes, I just kind of hold up the fabric to my children and cut and guess and stitch and hope it all comes out all right.  And amazingly, it did!

Little Queen Elizabeth was a huge hit in our neighborhood.

Also, in solidarity with all kids who need to wear glasses or eye patches with their Halloween costumes, we also present Queen Elizabeth in glasses.  Just as cute in my opinion!

Next costume: Young George Washington