One of the things I love about collecting vintage patterns is seeing how fashions change. Take, for example, the pirate costume. Here's Butterick 6731, copyright 1988, again from etsy seller patternmania.
If I had to sum up pirate fashion now vs. then? Less "Margaritaville", more "faux sinister Johnny Depp." I know the 80s couple is trying to look sinister, but your average "Pirates of the Caribbean" extra could wipe the floor with them. Hey, even the little girl in the McCall's photo looks like she's ready to take them on. So, for those considering the pirate look this Halloween, Pattern Junkie HQ presents:
UPDATING YOUR PIRATE LOOK -- DOS & DON'TS
DO utilize kerchiefs and striped bloomers -- the classics are always on-trend!
DO keep hair slicked back and out of the way. Unruly locks are easy for swashbucklers to grab!
DON'T veer too far from your basic colors of red, white and black. You're a pirate, not a fruit stand.
DON'T wear a headband. 'Nuff said!
DO wear a skull and crossbones hat!
DON'T be afraid to show off your waist. Corset it, ladies!
DON'T use polka dots bigger than a dime. You're raiding the high seas, not auditioning for the Mouseketeers.
DO lose the parrot. No one fears a man with a bird on his shoulder.
With just under a week to go until Halloween (one of my favorite holidays -- I'm still rubbing the blood off my arms from the "Carrie at the prom" costume I wore to a party last night), I'm declaring it "Costume Countdown" week. I'll be featuring vintage costume patterns every day until Halloween.
I love this illustration. I like to imagine it's actually from a children's book, "The Littlest Spaceman," about an astronaut's son who takes dad's spaceship and lands on the Planet of Animals. As he shouts "I'm Lord of All I Survey!", Panda and Leopard bow compliantly, while Lion does a welcoming dance. Sadly, the Littlest Spaceman has led a sheltered life on the space compound, and doesn't realize that Rabbit and Carrot have other opinions. A coup's a coming, and it's not going to be pretty.
Now, no Sci Fi costume post could be complete without McCall's 8731, which any Star Wars fanatic should grab from PatternPeddler posthaste. It is -- hold your breath now -- an Ewoks pattern. OK, so some Star Wars fans may buy the pattern to burn it, but I'll take the cutesy Ewoks over Episode One any day.
I was excited to post this because I thought it gave me a valid reason to link to the Star Wars Holiday Special from 1978, until I remembered that that gem of television history featured Wookies, not Ewoks. I'm linking to it anyway, because you've never seen such a confused mess in your life. Poor Harrison Ford.
Finally, why limit Sci Fi wonderfulness to Halloween? Erin over at Dress A Day finished her Tetris Dress, and it's great! Here's a pic of the wonderfulness, but go to her blog to get the full story!
These two are late 80s "XRay Women" straight out of Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities, don't you think? But don't let the refined setting (a tony luncheon club on the Upper West Side, perhaps?) fool you. Arms akimbo, they stand ready to drive a bony elbow into your side...or, if things get really serious, to do some damage with those pointy stiletto heels.
Waif-thin or not, don't underestimate these women. They're tough. Sure, their Master of the Universe husbands may trade millions daily on the stock market, but these Nipon women know that's nothing. After all, this is a pattern that calls for seven rows of topstitching! SEVEN ROWS. If that doesn't take nerves of steel, I don't know what does.