excuse me, mr. lincoln: another halloween costume

Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving. I’ve begun Christmas shopping, but I’m posting about a Halloween costume.  Time is of the essence, folks.

I happen to know a kid who decides his Halloween costumes and birthday party themes far in advance of those actual days.  Roughly a year in advance, he’ll pipe up w/ a “Melli, you know what?” and then relate his costuming  or festivities desires. Maybe I shouldn’t encourage that kind of “planning”, but I’m a total sucker for it.  I realize this puts me squarely in this camp, (a realization that was good for my humility, frankly).  But given the strong lineage of sewing and crafting among the folks on both sides of my family, I like to imagine carrying on a valuable tradition. That, obviously, is way more appealing than seeing one’s self as a holier-costume-than-thou proclaimer, who waves their machine from up on high.  Is it only privileged people who spend this much time framing and narrating their crafting activities?  #StopItWhitePeople may be an apt hashtag for my endeavors.  (Questions left up to the scholars, maybe!) But they’re my way of connected with people I care about, so onward to Lincoln.

This year, the kid chose Abraham Lincoln as his costume. Yep. Lincoln. Last year, after winning a prize in a costume contest, we told him how “unique” costumes tend to do better in contests. It was meant to be general commentary, not advice, but I guess it stuck!

Making Lincoln was straightforward enough. There were six parts, total: jacket, pants, white shirt, hat, tie, beard.

For the jacket, I picked up the Little Gentleman Suit Jacket pattern, which worked out pretty well.

Abe Lincoln Halloween Costume

I used a bottom-weight heavy cotton blend for both the jacket and the pants, which looked nicer than I expected. There was some definite user error on the lapels, I think since I didn’t line the jacket or cut a facing… but I managed to make it work. Chanting “it’s a costume, not a runway piece” was helpful in that regard. I added a~3 inches to the length, in an effort to emulate Lincoln’s jacket.

For the pants, I made a quick pattern from some jammie pants, then sewed them up w/ an elastic waist. The Huz managed to get the one and only white button-down at the local thrift store (in the correct size, even). I fashioned the tie and the beard out of wool felt. And the crowning glory of the costume, Abe’s hat, was sent from San Francisco, courtesy of my uncle. He loves a costume as much, if not more, than I do.

Here’s the final result, if you can see past the glare:
Abe Lincoln Halloween Costume
(kindly ignore my messy fabric closet.)

The model seemed pleased w/ the outcome:

And because not dressing up for Halloween always bums me out, we threw together this ensemble b/f we headed out.


Werewolf mask and fur (fox?) stole courtesy, yet again, of my uncle! I’ve been hauling that dress and hat combo around w/ me for at least 15 years. It belonged to my great aunt, so suspect it dates to the 30s. Seeing out of that pumpkin head was a challenge, but overall I’d rate this Halloween as a costume and candy success. The kid even won another round of the costume contest, complete w/ a certificate and a Halloween-themed plastic tumbler of candy.

There’s been a request to refashion Abe into a pilgrim for tomorrow. I’ll trade him a lace collar and cuffs for reading a non-hegemonic account of Thanksgiving. Win, win?

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