My love of Halloween runs deep. In Brazil, where I grew up, there was no Halloween. Those were the days of no Internet, of learning about other cultures and people from magazines and the often distorted representations of TV shows. Brazil has its own version of a celebration where people wear costumes—Carnival—and another one where candy is distributed among children—Saints Cosmas and Damian’s Day. But up until I moved to the US, the magic of Halloween was unknown to me.
My first Halloween in the US was one of the best nights of my life and the beginning of a tradition that not even a pandemic could have stopped. For the past 24 years, I have not missed a celebration—rave, club, or party, I was there, wearing a costume most likely no one understood but proud of all the clever work that went into creating it.
2016: Morrigan from The Wicked and the Divine graphic novel
- Corset: Purchased (don’t remember where from)
- Skirt: Self-drafted, black peachskin fabric (Joann) with feather details sewn to fabric
- Feather piece: Craft foam (Michaels) and black feathers (Amazon)
- Sleeve: Fishnet leggings cut into one sleeve (Amazon)
- Jewelry: Local store
- Crow tattoos: Tattoo transfer paper (Amazon)
2017: Batwoman from DC Bombshells graphic novel
- Dress: Simplicity 8432 made with black and red cotton sateen from Joann
- Bat and Number 52: Red vinyl with double-sided contact fabric paper
- Iron-on letters from Michales
- Hat: Baseball cap from Michaels; wings self-drafted made with black cotton sateen
- Socks: Sporting goods store, black details are elastic loops
- Red wig: Amazon
- Shoes: Discount store
Last year, thanks to the wonders of Zoom nightlife, the club was brought into my home, and I was able to repurpose the corset of my Catra costume to create a Wonder Woman outfit. I have to admit: Dancing in my living room, having mac and cheese five minutes after the “club” closed, and then walking ten steps to bed was simply glorious.
This year, I have no plans. By this time in any given year, I would have a costume picked, materials purchased, and tickets for whatever event I am attending bought. With the pandemic, I feel hesitant about going to a packed club, and I am not really a party person anymore. I know I am going to figure everything out last minute and have a meltdown while putting a costume together. Hey, I can always wear one of the many costumes I have stored in my garage. It’s not like there is a Costume Police that is going to fine me.
2018: Catra from the She-Ra animated series
- Dress: Simplicity 5006 made red vinyl (Downtown Los Angeles Fabric district), red duck canva, and red cotton sateen (Joann)
- Skirt: Self-drafted, red vinyl (Downtown Los Angeles Fabric district)
- Cape: Self-drafted, stretch black and purple velvet (Downtown Los Angeles Fabric district)
- Neck piece and bracelet: Self-drafted, red vinyl (Downtown Los Angeles Fabric district)
- Mask: Red craft foam and green cellophane (Michaels)
- Boots: Amazon
- Blue wig: Amazon
2018: First-Season Eleven from Stranger Things
- Dress: Megan pattern from Tilly and the Buttons made with white cotton sateen dyed pink
- Bomber jacket, shocks, shoes: Discount store
- Blonde wig: Amazon
2021: And This Year’s Costume Is…
This is what I’ve envisioned: For work, I am planning on a raven costume (the black bird, not the teen superhero). I can wear a back top, black skirt, black boots (yeah, my average work outfit), black wings, and some sort of black sleeve covered in feathers (the black boa I already have). My inspiration for this costume is Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom, and I will be using this amazing tutorial online on Instructables.
I bought the boa and black wings that will become the raven costume a while ago. I cannot verify if the feathers were collected ethically, and this really bothers me. But since they have already been purchased, I might as well go ahead and use them, right? For the beak, I thought of adapting an amazing pattern for a plague doctor mask I received from Hunny Bunny Burlesque. The pattern is great and meant to be used as an everyday mask. I haven’t figured out exactly how to make it more raven-like, but maybe some vinyl and feathers will do the trick
If I go out to a club, I can recycle pieces from previous costumes to create the red Morrigan. I can use the red wig from my Batwoman costume and the black corset and skirt from my original Morrigan. I can adapt the sleeve from Simplicity D0792 and use black pleather to make it. I should definitely try on the corset and skirt first to make sure they still fit.
Are you a Halloween lover? How do you celebrate it? I’d love to see pictures of your decorations and costume! Share it with me—let me know if you have an Instagram account, blog, or just post it as a comment. I’ll make sure to post whatever I come up with.