The Nightmare Costume

DSC_0648There are nine days until Halloween. Which means my kids can still change their costume requests about 900 more times.

I’m hoping they won’t, but betting they will.

This past week we had a major switch. My three-year-old decided he no longer wanted to be a Tyrannosaurus Rex. He wants to be Jack Skellington.

Major difference.

I was banking on the T-Rex. He’s wanted to be one for half his life. He used to run around our house in just his underpants because, “A T-Rex doesn’t have clothes, Mom.”

He’s grown his fingernail claws extra long and cried real tears when I clipped them. He’s perfected his roar. He’s asked me a million times if I think he’s going to be a T-Rex when he grows up.

But thanks to Netflix and his recent binge watching of The Nightmare Before Christmas he is now claiming that he is really Jack the Pumpkin King.

So last week when we talked about him wearing his dinosaur costume that grandma bought him this spring (she gave it to him as a bribe for potty training) he informed me that he’s not going to be a T-Rex. He’s going to be Jack.

Oh really…

I love making costumes for my kids but this was a little last minute for me.

Then I saw how he started showing people how he is the real Jack. He folds his arms around his chest and rises up out of the ground like Jack. He waves his arms and screams like Jack. I’ve even caught him with a skeleton book at the piano claiming to play the “Jack Song.”

There’s no stopping him. He is Jack.

It reminds me of the year his older brother wanted to be a bat for Halloween. I sewed him an awesome bat costume. Then he changed his mind and wanted to be Hook.

He wore that Hook costume (and a drawn-on mustache) for nearly a year straight. I thought we’d never leave Neverland. It was adorable. It was crazy. I thought I was going to lose my mind.

I’ll never forget the look I got from other customers at the store when I took Hook grocery shopping. I have a feeling I’m going to get similar looks taking Jack around.

So call me crazy, I got my little boy a second costume. Well, made it. He even helped.

We painted a black shirt and pants based on this blog post. It was tedious but simple. Then I sewed a bat-tie bowtie and hooked it on with Velcro.

But no Jack is complete without his dog. We made Zero on Wednesday. We used a pattern from this blog and some fabric scraps from the basement.

My three-year-old stuffed his head and helped position his nose. Then he proclaimed, “Oh I LOVE him.”


We are nearly done with the final Nightmare Before Christmas piece – a Sally costume for little sister. (Which I patterned after this post. Her wig I made after reading this post.) If all goes as planned then Jack, Sally and Zero will be the Clemens family Nightmare trio.

This whole costume project started off as a stress but ended up being great. I’m just glad that Jack and Sally both have uneven lines and raggedy stitching. That made my rushed, amateur crafting skills perfect for the job.

Seeing my baby boy with his costume on, his dog under his wing and a Jack-style smile stretching from ear to ear made it all worth it.

He really is Jack.

Let’s hope he stays that way for nine more days.

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