Holidays Parenting

Happy Halloween from the Gruffalo’s Child and the Big Bad Mouse

Eleanor is still little enough to let Brandon and I choose her costume for her, but she’s big enough now at 2-1/2 to be excited about Halloween and the chance to dress up. August, being eight months old, goes along for the ride.

I had a hard time coming up with ideas for Halloween costumes this year. I don’t know why it took so long to settle on the Gruffalo, since Eleanor’s favorite books right now are The Gruffalo, and The Gruffalo’s Child, but E was all over the idea. With one modification: She wanted to be the Gruffalo’s child.

Happy to oblige, I set about figuring out how to make her costume. Because of course I was going to make Halloween costumes for both kids. No matter that I’m busier than ever, borderline overwhelmed with work as it is, and oh yeah… I have two kids now, not just one. And I’m not that great at sewing. And I’ve never worked with fake fur. And Halloween was coming up fast. And our house has been a hot zone with one of more persons here being sick for the last two weeks.

What? Awesome! Bring it on.

I started the costumes on Friday night. The fabric store had been pretty well picked over by the time I had gotten around to shopping for fabric. I had more than enough fleece for August’s mouse costume, but it was going to be tight for E’s. I started with the mouse so that I could get a little practice in, which helped. I made a few (mostly minor) mistakes that I learned from before starting on Eleanor’s.

I had a pattern for the costumes, but when I opened it and saw eight pages of instructions, plus confusing and tissue paper thin templates, I gave up on the pattern pretty quickly. The diagrams did help for making the hat though, so it wasn’t a total waste. I just held up the kids’ pajamas to get the sizing right on the rest of the costumes.

You guys, I did it. Yes, those costumes took hours upon hours, but it was worth it.

August’s pants were too short so I had to pull his socks up to cover his legs, but I decided he looked cute. Like Angus Young as a mouse.

Eleanor had been nursing a cold, and she exemplifies the worst toddler traits when she isn’t feeling well, so I was afraid she wouldn’t want to wear her costume. She refused to try on the hat when I asked her to the night before. She woke up feeling better though, and she wore the costume all day!

August is still pretty sick, so he stayed home with Brandon while I took Eleanor out to trick-or-treat. We had been practicing our Halloween etiquette at home (and teaching her the whole “smell my feet” song), but she gets shy and quiet around strangers so she just stood there and thrust out her bucket at each house.

August was out of his costume by the time we got back, but Eleanor stayed in hers all night. I think she enjoyed answering the door for people more than she liked hitting up the neighbors houses. She went to the door each time, yelling “hi kids!” and passing out candy. She did ask later though, “Mama, we trick-or-treat tomorrow?”

Being a parent is so good.

Sources & Paint ColorsNeed design help? Let's work together.

You Might Also Like...

  • Alicia
    November 1, 2011 at 12:01 am

    They both look great! Good job, mama!

  • Jamie Lee
    November 1, 2011 at 12:06 am

    Congrats on a job well done SUPER MOM! You have achieved what every mom should try their hand at even if they are not so friendly with their Singer.

  • kristin
    November 1, 2011 at 12:41 am

    SO CUTE!! you did a great job, especially for being “not that great at sewing.” they look awesome to me! :) happy halloween!

  • Cara Crowley
    November 1, 2011 at 12:45 am

    Super cute costumes!

  • liveformemories
    November 1, 2011 at 2:46 am

    They turned out SO WELL!
    I remember so many pre-Halloween late nights with my Mum hunched over the sewing machine, making sure we looked fantastic. They are some of my favourite memories, my Mum-Made costumes :)

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm

      That’s sweet. I hope Eleanor and August have memories like that too.

  • Meg
    November 1, 2011 at 3:10 am

    fantastic work! I agree, wearing mummy-made costumes is a vivid childhood memory (although I seem to remember my sister having the coolest ones.. little mermaid etc).

  • Lydia
    November 1, 2011 at 3:47 am

    Holy cow! I was certain that you must’ve run out of time and bought the outfits. They’re *THAT* good! Awesome job!

  • Trish
    November 1, 2011 at 4:25 am

    The final result was great. I wish I had time to sew something this year. Had to go with store bought.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2011 at 8:26 pm

      There were many points in which I wished I had done store bought costumes.

  • The Distressed Mother
    November 1, 2011 at 4:46 am

    My goodness Nicole! Eleanor is just beautiful.

    TDM xx

  • Lindsay
    November 1, 2011 at 6:13 am

    Clever you for doing the costumes yourself. Your reference to Angus Young made me giggle – my little boy (who’s now 7) is called Angus, named after his Dad’s guitar hero from AC/DC. Naughty Daddy sneaked the name under the radar when I was 8 months pregnant, extremely hormonal, not thinking straight and unable to find a boy’s name that we liked. Love it now though and the name suits him. Your two tots are adorable – and they have a very chic Mummy! xxx

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2011 at 8:27 pm

      That’s funny! I love the name Angus though.

  • my honest answer
    November 1, 2011 at 6:30 am

    Ah they both look adorable! I can’t believe you made those costumes, they are amazing. Well worth all the effort. Can’t wait for some sewing tutorials…!

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2011 at 8:27 pm

      Oh, no. No sewing tutorials. I couldn’t offer tips — I just wing it!

  • Ashly
    November 1, 2011 at 7:01 am

    I know this is about the kids – but what is the source for your dress and necklace? I love!

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      I wrote about the necklace here, and the dress was from Target.

  • Constance
    November 1, 2011 at 7:13 am

    Oh my gosh! I don’t think she could look any cuter! Well done!

  • NK @ Style-ING w/ Children
    November 1, 2011 at 7:30 am

    too cute for words!!

  • Mrs. Kinne
    November 1, 2011 at 7:43 am

    They look adorable! I have been known to tear up while trying to thread the sewing machine, so I am super impressed!

  • Dianne
    November 1, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Congrats on a job WELL done!!!! They look adorable.


  • Anna
    November 1, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Grandiose! a good plush kids and a beautiful mama!
    it’s a pity that we do not have such events, but I look forward to the creation of costumes for my two sons(sorry for my English :)

  • Amanda Fellers
    November 1, 2011 at 8:31 am

    you look fab! (the little ones are cute, too) your hair, the dress, the colors…beautiful!

  • Stephanie
    November 1, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Lovely job on both costumes. You are an inspiration to me, managing your work life, the blog, and your personal life so successfully. Keep it up!

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2011 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks. It’s a struggle, but I’m getting along all right.

  • Alice
    November 1, 2011 at 8:49 am

    You did such a good job! The costumes look great and you can tell Eleanor loved Halloween. She looks so grown up in some of your pictures!

  • Lindsey @ arkadian belle woods
    November 1, 2011 at 8:57 am

    AHH! They ARE PRECIOUS! Those costumes are too sweet!

  • Jen
    November 1, 2011 at 9:21 am

    Yay for homemade costumes!! Great job. :)

  • The Glamorous Housewife
    November 1, 2011 at 9:30 am

    Your kids are getting so big! And kudos to the adorable costumes- I know how hard they can be to make, but also how fulfilling it is when they come out so cute.

    Thanks doll,
    The Glamorous Housewife

  • jodi
    November 1, 2011 at 10:15 am

    so sweet! great job!!!

  • Daria
    November 1, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Beautiful costumes, you did a great job! I can only imagine how much work it took! It took me four hours to make just a cape for my daughter (and I was even too lazy to use the sewing machine) and sew a whole bunch of Christmas ornaments on it. And to cover her pink rainboots in silver plumber tape to match. She was dressed as Winter-Snow Queen-Snow Flake whatever, which is a pretty scary thing in Canada with 6 months of winter coming upon us.

    And I only embarked on this journey because I remember so fondly my mom making beautiful costumes for my sister and I when we were kids. We didn’t have Halloween in communist Romania, but we had winter carnivals/costume balls.

    Your kids will definitely appreciate the effort and thought you put in all this when they grow older.

    And, of course, I have to say that Eleanor is more and more beautiful with each picture.

  • Erika
    November 1, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Such lovely costumes AND lovely children!

    Fantastic job.

  • Elena
    November 1, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Wonderful job on the costumes. They are so cute! Love the Angus Young reference.

  • iris
    November 1, 2011 at 10:35 am

    The costumes came out so cute! Working with faux fur isn’t that much different than working with other, non-stretchy fabrics.

    But I do hear ya on the patterns. I always trace the pieces I need onto tracing paper…and the 8 pages of instructions, well, probably not all 8 of them are for one costume.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2011 at 8:30 pm

      The fur was slippery, but thick at the same time. I thought it was hard to work with! The fleece for August’s costume was much easier.

  • Nuit
    November 1, 2011 at 11:07 am

    ok. You are brilliant!!!!!!!! absolutely love both costumes, you did an amazing job!

  • Jayna
    November 1, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Amazing job on the costumes! Who says you don’t sew well..? I think you did an amazing job! Eleanor looks so cute. I wish my child liked putting a costume on – he’s almost exactly the same age as Eleanor, but he hates it.

  • Peaches
    November 1, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Oh. Em. Gee. Those are the cutest little munchkin costumes ever. Well done!!

  • Katherine
    November 1, 2011 at 11:34 am

    AH-dorable!! Well done! I can’t believe these are hand-made, they almost look store-bought. Super duper cute.

    I’m glad you’re making your kids’ costumes – I’m a teacher and at our parade at school there was a shocking lack of imagination in the costumes and abundance of store-bought polyester junk.

    Keep on keepin’ on!

  • Kelly in DC
    November 1, 2011 at 11:44 am

    The kids look adorable. You did a great job on the costumes. However, what I can’t get over is your HAIR! You look AMAZING!!!!

  • Lauren @ chezerbey
    November 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    So cute and I’m sure they’ll be worn again and again! My mom made a similar lion costume when we were little and it was worn by my brother, then me, then my sister as we each grew into it.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2011 at 8:31 pm

      That’s sweet. I hope August loves the Gruffalo just as much as Eleanor. He can wear it EVERY DAY, as can Eleanor, to make up for the time I spent making it. ;)

  • Tonia B.
    November 1, 2011 at 12:26 pm

    What adorableness! Your costume making stress made me want to call my Mom and thank her for making my costumes. Fabulous Job!

  • Erika
    November 1, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Aw, you did an AWESOME job! I’m very impressed! I managed to get the Little Guy’s Thomas the Tank Engine costume done the day of the Trunk or Treat event we planned to attend. He just loves it and has been playing with it ever since we started the project together. It’s so fun to be able to do these types of things for them, isn’t it? I will be posting about his costume tomorrow. Take care!

  • Dottie
    November 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    WHOA! I thought those were store bought–they looked so amazing! And what cuties! Awww!!! Well done!

  • kristi @ pumpkin + seed
    November 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    These costumes are fantastic! I recently moved from Oak Park to LA — as much as I love the weather here, seeing those leaves makes me miss the beautiful autumns there!

  • Melissa
    November 1, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Excellent job on the costumes!! I too, make patterns by placing clothes over fabric….Pattern paper is far too confusing. :)

  • Erin
    November 1, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Amazing! My proudest achievement in sewing is my little Finn’s crib skirt, but a Halloween costume? That’s incredible!

    And ditto the question about your dress/necklace? Where are they from?

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2011 at 8:32 pm

      The necklace was from J. Crew, and the dress was from Target.

  • Rebecca @ beautiful square feet
    November 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    They are so adorable – can’t believe you made those costumes – brilliant! Torin loves both of those books too – we bought him “The Gruffalo’s Child” last Christmas.

    • Making it Lovely
      November 1, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      Aren’t they cute? Eleanor randomly recites lines from both books.

  • Le Man and Wife
    November 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Those costumes are unreal. I am incredibly impressed.

  • Julia
    November 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    These costumes are so precious. Your children are adorable. And I agree, being a parent is the best thing ever!!


  • Athina
    November 1, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Amazing job! The costumes look so great, they look adorable in them!

  • ashley
    November 1, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    maybe it’s your photography style or the lighting… but your girl is so pretty/adorable in a very classical way… with a little editing, i often could mistake photos of her of being from the 1960s or something. so pretty.

  • Fenny
    November 2, 2011 at 3:23 am

    Lovely post lovely kids and happy family :). Totally love the costumes though,looked very comfortable for fall season too.

  • jess
    November 2, 2011 at 5:51 am

    LOVE their costumes – they make me want to learn how to sew!

  • Kathryn S
    November 2, 2011 at 7:46 am

    Impressive and adorable!

  • The Rambling Crab
    November 2, 2011 at 8:50 am

    What kind of camera do you use? I love the quality of your photos!

  • Sasha
    November 2, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Nicole, you did a wonderful job! They both look so cute!

  • NicoleD
    November 2, 2011 at 9:24 am

    WONDERFUL job! They looks so insanely cute!

  • Kristín
    November 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    wow, I’m impressed! They look super cute, love the Gruffalo books, can’t wait to read them to my little guy when he gets older.

  • tracy
    November 2, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    So impressive! I can’t believe you sewed that! My son is 3 and dressing him this year WAS A CHORE. He was super duper indecisive about what he wanted to be AND opinionated. I had all the intentions of making his costume but he couldn’t give me a decent direction. There’s no way I could make him a rocket ship costume. And he also wanted to be a BASKETBALL. Like the ball. What?! He’s also very particular about wearing hats and looking silly.

    Just wait til next year….

    At least you know you have a couple more years with August. Haha.

  • Jen @ Rambling Renovators
    November 2, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Way to go mom! We can only dress these kids for a few years, might as well go all out, right?

  • Ann
    November 2, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    She is getting so tall!!

  • Tina
    November 2, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I love that she yelled “hi kids”! Great job on the costumes.

  • arundati
    November 3, 2011 at 5:41 am

    incredibly cute costumes and the kids in those look almost edible! thank god i live across the globe! and may i say that you are looking fab!

  • Missy
    November 3, 2011 at 8:53 am

    The kids look adorable. Love their costumes. But I gotta be honest – I also LOVE the dress you’re wearing! Where did you get it?!

  • Amber
    November 4, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    I have no interest in ever having children, but if I ever do I hope to be as awesome as you are. Your kids are going to have so many great memories!

  • Leone
    November 5, 2011 at 8:18 am

    The costumes look absolutely adorable. Great job and I appreciate the Angus Young reference. :D

  • A Dollhouse Made Lovely | Making it Lovely
    December 15, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    […] make some art for the room, but I ran out of time. I made the rug out of leftover furry fabric from Eleanor’s Halloween costume. Again, I already had the chair, but added a kitty to sleep in it. I painted the dresser pink and […]

  • Eighteen Months Old (August’s Monthly Photo) | Making it Lovely
    August 8, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    […] She loves it, and the photos are so nice to have. Lately, she’s been wearing the hat from the Gruffalo costume that I made for her last Halloween. The whole costume still fits too, though it’s too short in the arms and legs […]

  • Eileen
    October 18, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Gruffalo is so adorable …. all worth the effort !

  • eilval
    October 21, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Nicole , would like to know if I could feature this impressive costume on my squidoo lens which is still in progress : . Thank you so much .