Thursday, October 28, 2010


"Halloween is becoming a forgotten holiday," reads the cover of "The Peanuts Book of Pumpkin Carols." "We dedicated followers of the Great Pumpkin must do something to rekindle the Halloween spirit. Let us not rest until the universe resounds with pumpkin carols." And then the carols are obviously patterned on secular Christmas songs.

"Deck the patch with orange and black,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.
Take along your goody sack,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Dashing through the streets
In our costumes bright and gay
To each house we go
Laughing all the way.

Here's a cute little vintage Halloween costume. No, not mine but Mike's younger sister, Carol's, made almost 60 years ago by another "retro" woman of my experience -- my mother-in-law, Bennie. If I judge correctly by looking at the little witch dress, it was made for a six- or seven-year-old, so Bennie probably made this costume for Carol when they lived in Mississippi -- say 1951 or 1952. A 4-inch panel was sown on the bottom of the dress which probably enabled Carol to wear it one more year, an easy fix if a mother can get away with it.

Mike recognized the dress as Carol's but disavowed any responsibility toward her Halloween activities. Was it a party or trick-or-treating, I asked. He allowed that he went trick-or-treating but certainly not with Carol. He doesn't know what Carol did -- or with whom. But he remembered the costume and knew his mother had made it.

I don't remember exactly how the little witch costume came to our house -- and maybe the paper ornaments you see on the mantel as well. I thought perhaps the intent was that Hallie could wear the costume, but even if I could have persuaded her to do so I wouldn't have. I knew the fabric was fragile, and it's such a fine example of a Halloween costume, early 1950s. It should be cherished now as a keepsake -- a reminder of how it was.

Mike and I have many fond memories of Halloweens past, including recent years when we've traveled to Denver to trick-or-treat with the Mile High Warnocks. We aren't going this year -- maybe next. There should be a number of years yet when we can tag along with young Emerson.

Here's a door hanger I made with my embroidery machine the other day -- a fun project. While digging in my "hobby closet" this afternoon I found scraps suitable for making even more of them.

The scene outside my window truly says "autumn" today -- gray, rainy, chilly, breezy with leaves flying through the air. Mike says no bike ride or bird hunting this afternoon. He went out to hunt deer this morning but the deer scored again. I made "Marshmallow Cheerios Squares" (or whatever they call that recipe) with Hallie's leftover Multigrain Cheerios. Now it's time for a hot cup of tea -- and the vintage sewing room. KW


Hallie said...

The door hanger is adorable! I don't think I realized the reference to Charlie Brown when you previously said I was whistling pumpkin carols during our jelly making. I'm watching the Great Pumpkin right now!

Chris said...

Ratz!! I forgot the Great Pumpkin was on this week. But then I was watching the boys last night and that was great fun.

I agree with Hallie--that door hanger is adorable!! Looks like someone has been having fun. :-)

The dress is amazing. I remember wearing a sheet one year, and a few masks, but never something like that. A wonderful keepsake.

Hallie, I have an upcoming post for you, stay tuned. And I'm checking recipes for Irish Soda Bread, although I've never made it.

Kathy said...

I missed the Great Pumpkin, too!!!! (Actually, I haven't seen it in years.)

Well, I had so much fun making the door hanger that I took advantage of the "12 designs for $12 sale and ordered all door hangers.

Mother never made a costume for me. I think she thought I should wear a coat and didn't know how to fit a costume over that. I had some cute masks. Then my glasses would fog up and I couldn't see. I always went with other kids -- and our mothers weren't far behind. I made quite a few costumes for my kids, though. How about you? Chris? Anyone?

Chris said...

I made Ann a cute Strawberry Shortcake costume one year, and even found green and white striped socks. We passed it on to John's girls later on. Matt was a logger with an axe Dan from wood and wore a red flannel shirt I made along with some suspenders and pants of Dan's. That was the high point of our costuming. :-)