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John's New Blue Suit

Friday, September 21, 2012

Every year Disney hosts a special Halloween party at the Magic Kingdom called Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. It's the polar opposite of Universal's Halloween Horror Nights, with kid-friendly costumed characters, a parade, special shows, and enough trick-or-treating stations to send everyone home with a five pound bag of sugar.

Needless to say, I love it.

John and I have been to MNSSHP (which really needs an easier name) three or four times over the years. The first time we went we threw together some last-minute pirate costumes, which was fun. The next year we dragged a friend along, and he and John went as playing cards, while I went as the Queen of Hearts. Those costumes took a few weeks to make; we made mine from an old prom dress, the cards completely from scratch, and I turned a plush hedgehog into a purse.

It poured the entire night we were there - we're completely soaked in this picture. (Those light spots are raindrops.) The card costumes were ruined, we were wet and cold all night, and we had so much fun.

That year marked the first time we ever had strangers ask for our picture, and all three of us were delighted -  so much so, that the next year, 2008, John and I pressed several more friends into service, and we had a nice-sized Wonderland group:

Since John and I made all the card costumes, we were especially delighted to see that *our* versions were a lot nicer than the official park costumes:
A straight! 
(Chad, Chris, & Glenn, you guys have fun with that.)

And see those paint buckets? We had the cards use them for candy pails, and each had red paint slopped around the edge & a half-painted white silk rose twisted around the handle.

Here's the before-and-after on my dress:


I'll give you two guesses who did all the sewing on my skirt. [hint: it wasn't me.] I did all the hand-sewing on the trim and heart, though!

And here's my hedgehog purse:

I emptied his stuffing out & added a zipper to his back, and then made the strap so it looked like he was sitting on a swing.

Sorry for the unnecessarily long intro, but this was all back before I had a blog, so I got a little caught up on memory lane just now. :)

Ok, so, getting back to present day, last week we were talking with some Disney friends about how we want to go to MNSSHP again this year, but it just doesn't seem right going without a costume. That night, lying awake with my usual insomnia, I had a flash of inspiration that kept me awake for the rest of the night, only this time with excitement.

A lot of you asked about John's costume for Star Wars Celebration and Dragon*Con, and I felt kind of bad admitting he didn't have one. He claims he was perfectly happy just being my guide and handler, but I know he'd like to have an epic costume himself some day. So this idea was just for him - although I'm pretty sure it makes ME happier, if that makes any sense.

Despite the fact that John has never even seen this character in real life, he was immediately on board. Not only that, he was almost as excited as I was! That very night he was at the sewing machine, working away (I cut out the pieces, though! I helped!), and within two days he'd sewn the most amazing thing he's ever sewn. Seriously, I think we were both a little awed. He used no pattern; just an old thrift-store jacket we cut apart for reference.

Wanna see?

Let's see if you Dizgeeks can guess what his costume will be, just from this:

Look at that face! Yeah, he knows he's all that. ;)

Since this was taken John's also made a full vest (with button holes! And buttons!) and he's wrapping up the pants as I type this. My husband is a wizard!! Who knew?

The best part, though, is how much fun John seems to be having. Every time he'd finish a section we'd both do a little happy dance, and can we talk about how he's showing this picture off to all the women who work at JoAnn's now? Please? Because it's ADORABLE. We're there so often that most of them know us on sight, but John's the star. He never gets out of there without double or triple discounts (shh, don't tell), and everyone there just seems to brighten up the moment he walks in.

A few days ago John went back to the store by himself for more fabric, and apparently he managed to acquire some octogenarian groupies. "It was kind of traumatizing," he told me later, "They were all over me! One lady kept hugging me! Another had her arm around my waist the whole time!"

Don't let his protests fool you, though; he was "complaining" with a big grin on his face. (And the same thing happened thirteen years ago, when John went to the local sewing studio for help making my wedding veil. I'm surprised I didn't hear the shrieks of delight from ten miles away.)

I told him this is why he always needs me there: for protection from the little old ladies.

Oh, and John's real mark of dedication? Borderlands 2 came out this week, the sequel to John's most favorite game ever, and instead of playing it right now he's sewing pants. But don't worry; he's still shooting up demon dogs and whatnot a few hours each night.


John came in here just now to show me the little pile of belt loops he's made. At this rate, he'll be done tonight! So stay tuned for more, and let me know if you guessed his character in the comments!

Posted by Jen at 7:59 PM Labels: ,

66 comments:

  1. Gail, CM from the GFSeptember 21, 2012 at 8:23 PM

    The Dreamfinder! I love slightly-esoteric MNSSHP (my husband once read that as Moonship, so that's what we call it for short). My favorite so far is a Disney blogger and her husband who is a puppeteer's costumes. She went as the Haunted Mansion's Constance and he was Tokyo Disney's Tower of Terror's main character, Harrison Hightower, complete with light-up, moving, handmade "possessed idol" puppet. All very cool. Can't wait to see your finished costumes!

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  2. all I can think of is some awesome alternative Genie costume with that bright blue! I can't wait to see the reveal! :)

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  3. The first thing that came to mind was Willy Wonka?

    I really love love love reading your blogs!

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  4. Dreamfinder? Is he Dreamfinder?! OMG, my childhood. There's a picture of me, 2 years old, with a big plush figment, and now EPCOT is 30...let's just say I'm a few months older!

    Um, enough ranting, just please be the Dreamfinder.

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  5. When I was young and EPCOT opened, I was in love, love, love with Figment and the Dreamfinder. It was the one ride I'm sure my parents eventually tired of, but never complained when I wanted to go back. Especially because EPCOT was at once a Disney park and an educational experience. I haven't been on the ride since it's changed, but I still love Figment. The whole experience is inspiring.

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  6. I have no idea what the costume could be...but he sure is a keeper! :) How's the no-Mountain-Dew-lifestyle-change going?

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  7. See, in keeping with the alice in wonderland theme, I would have guessed the white Rabbit. Can't wait to see what it is!

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  8. I give John props - I'm playing Borderlands 2 with my husband right now :)

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  9. Hoping for Dreamfinder!

    ::gets on soapbox::WHY did they have to ruin a wonderful ride?! UGH UGH UGH! ::gets off soapbox::

    Can't wait to see the finished product!

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  10. Ahhhhh! Please tell me you have a figment to go with him! I still have mine! What a fantastic costume! You guys are AWESOME!!

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  11. My guess would be the Beast from Beauty and the Beast. He's the first character I thought of when I saw that blue jacket, mind you his lapel is a little different so I could be wrong.

    I'd love to cosplay a Disney character some day, perhaps Snow White since I have the complextion for it. Last year for Halloween I was Tintin, and this year my friend and I will be going as female Henchmen from the Venture Brothers.

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  12. Squealing with glee!!!! Dreamfinder?????? Will he have a Figment?? What a GREAT way to remember a favorite! You guys just become cooler (more cool?) each day!!!

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  13. Amazing costumes and yes, please be Dreamfinder. I love Eric Idle but was terribly upset when Disney got rid of Dreamfinder and Figment :/

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  14. My money is that his costume is Dr. Facilier. That should look awesome :)

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  15. Dream Finder would be great. I would take Genie as well.

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  16. Oooooh!! Will he be carrying around a Figment plush? Or even better, an articulated Figgy puppet?? Oh please! I miss Dreamfinder! Fun!

    I knew someone who went as the 20's version of John from CoP, complete with Niagra Falls Fan and all.

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  17. LOVE the Dreamfinder!
    We went to MNSSHP once, in the pouring rain. So much fun... And the parade... And the fireworks...
    I have a picture somewhere of my daughter, passed out in her bed in her Jasmine costume hanging onto her giant bag of candy...

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  18. pleeeeeeeeeeeease oh please oh please oh please tell me there's going to be a Figment??? pleeeeeeease?

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  19. Now I know why you got that stuffed Figment in the mail...

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  20. John *made* your veil for your wedding? . It is so adorable how you two were just made for each other. Reading the way you write about him makes me note all the ways MY hubby is a hunk of awesome, and so perfect for me!

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  21. I agree with Dreamfinder. When you said he made a vest, that sort of clinched it. :) Very cool!

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  22. This is amazing! Please please please tell me you'll be there on 9/30 (the night we're going)! I've only been once before (also a thrown together pirate) and my hubby and son have never been, so I'm so excited for them to experience MNNSHP. Our costumes? Drumroll please..........Wreck It Ralph! Yeah, I know the movie isn't even out yet, but the idea came to me and I knew it would be perfect! I'm right in the middle of making our costumes, which has been interesting because they don't make red overalls for men (that aren't leather...). Out of curiosity, are you dressing up too? Figment to his Dreamfinder maybe? I hope your costumes continue to go well and that maybe we'll see you there!

    Jess

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  23. Those Alice costumes are great! I can't believe how much more professional your cards look than the official one! MNSSHP is always a blast (at least here out West at D-Land); have a great time!

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  24. My first thought was Dr. Facilier from Princess and the Frog... who is Dreamfinder?

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  25. Oh holy crap. That Dreamfinder costume is going to make me so happy. Gotta go dig out my Figment toy ASAP.

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  26. Love the great work on the Alice costumes! What, no Cheshire Cat though? Enjoy your blogs immensely!

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  27. Eeeeee! I LOVED Figment when I was little! I actually just found these at my parents' house over Christmas last year:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100273896077248&set=a.830224431808.2284642.38713922&type=1&theater

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100273895727948&set=a.830224431808.2284642.38713922&type=1&theater

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  28. I hope its Dreamfinder and he is going to carry around a big stuffed figment. Such a great idea!

    -jennifer

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  29. Jen, I can't remember if you ever posted about this, but have you SEEN the Haunted Mansion cosplay that a couple from California did awhile ago? I've been reading her blog for years and the costumes that they came up with were insanely good. She went as Constance and he went as Horatio Hightower of the Tokyo Haunted Manor. http://disneytravelbabble.com/trip-reports/halloween-trip/day-12b/

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  30. You guys are the most fun ever! :) John has some mad sewing skills!!

    My hubs and I are trying to decide if we're going to go to MNSSHP while we're there. I mean, we'll be there the week of Halloween, so it's kind of hard to say no, but we're planning everything last minute, so we may have to go sans costume.

    Can't wait to see John's completed costume.

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  31. Guess I'm not that much into Disney, because what I picked out of that blog was...John made your wedding veil? Pplleeaassee, tell us more. Just one wedding photo? (making puppy-dog eyes) Just one?

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  32. I've been to MNSSHP a couple of times with my family. We only did costumes once and another year we all wore Halloween themed shirts. It's pretty funny to see all the decorations and people and collecting tons of candy. Sadly I haven't taken the drive up to Disney at all in years :(
    I can't wait to see the finished product

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  33. Are you going to be figment?

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  34. Tell John if he ever wants to come play "professional costumer" for a day or three, I can get him some work! I love it when guys want to sew - and I promise I won't be like the little old ladies at the fabric store, lol!

    I can't wait to see the finished costume!

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  35. Judging by the above comments, I'm guessing this is an East Coast Disney thing?

    Also, I love you guys! Does John have a brother??

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  36. I'm visiting from Seattle and going to be at the party this Friday night - any chance that's the day you're going?! :-) I haven't been to Floriday/WDW since 1999 and have never been to the Halloween Party before...so excited!!

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  37. Dreamfinder!

    We were at MNSSHP last night, it was my first time going as a guest! I used to work at those all the time, so this was a treat. Despite the sprinkling all night, we had the BEST time! No costumes for us, though I did see a Toy Story Mania vehicle, a Colette from the Tiki Room, and a Redhead from Pirates! I'd love to do a costume as a character from a ride sometime!

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  38. I really hope that is the Dreamfinder costume!! As for the Halloween Party- we are taking our 3 yr old son for the first time on 10/18- I so hope to catch you all in person! Which nite are you attending?

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  39. Gotta be Dreamfinder... I actually went a few years ago to one of the parties as a member of Off Kilter, including a small toy bag pipe!

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  40. OK...Somewhere I have a picture with me and the dreamfinder...yes, an actual face character...going to look for it now. Will send soon if I find it. That must be it!

    Mandy O

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  41. I know a lot of people have already guessed but ZOMG Dreamfinder!! My most cherished picture from my honeymoon is the original Dreamfinder with the Figment puppet. How awesome is your husband?!

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  42. You are such a great couple :) my finance is a little sick of hearing about my long lived dream to acheive your levels of craftiness. Very very nice work.

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  43. You could pull of a mean Doctor Snuggles with that jacket.

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  44. As both someone who sews, and the spouse of someone who has been immersed in Borderlands 2 all week, I am very impressed by the dedication here :). And that jacket! No pattern?! John truly is a wizard :)

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  45. Oh yeah the Dreamfinder!!! Can. Not. Wait. to see it finished, and the along-the-way post(s). What are you going to go as, Figment? lolz

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  46. Well, MY first thought was that he looked like the Broadway version of Zazu, though it looks as if the correct guess has been unanimously agreed upon. :)

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  47. My first thought was Timothy from Dumbo or Jiminy Cricket, but Dreamfinder would be awesome!!!

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  48. Oh, how funny- I absolutely wore the exact same "before" dress to prom in high school. I loved it. Love the modification, too! -Sarah

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  49. I have never loved anything more from my childhood then meeting figmant at Disney. Good luck with the beard

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  50. To everyone asking: we're not sure yet which night we'll be going to MNSSHP. We're waiting to hear when some of our other Disney friends can go. That said, it probably won't for for at least another 2 weeks, since we still have some work to do on various "accessories." ;)

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  51. Wow, he's passing up BL2? You must really have him excited about this. Totally awesome, and I can't wait to see the pictures.

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  52. THAT'S WHY YOU GOT A FIGMENT IN THE MAIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (aw, crap, Sharyn beat me to that revelation! lol)

    I freakin' love Figment and the Dreamfinder (even if the in park character *was* mildly creepy when I was younger)

    I can't wait to see pictures... I think John probably even has the right coloring for him, too!!

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  53. Dreamfinder!! I love it! I hope you guys are there the night we are. I will be watching for an update on your date so that I can stalk you for a dreamfinder pic. I <3 the original journey into imagination and Figment!

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  54. Dreamfinder!!! So are you going to be another Epcot discontinued character?

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  55. McTwisp right? so cool if he is... can't wait to see!

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  56. That Queen of Hearts is lovely!

    Do you have what date you will be at MNSSHP? Please let your rabid fans know!

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  57. Please tell me it's Dreamfinder! I was devastated going on Journey to Imagination last year after 15 years away from Epcot...that Eric Idle thing is awful. What a great idea!

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  58. Oh my gosh... Ohmygoshonmygoshohmygosh...

    He's... He's gonna be the Dreamfinder, right? RIGHT?! Gahhh.... I am exploding with Journey Into
    Imagination feels right now... Oh it's so perfect... -cries uncontrollably-

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  59. OMG I LOVE HEDGIES THAT PURSE IS TOO CUTE I'M GONNA PLOTZ!!! Great job in general girl, for real, that's one of the better Red Queen costumes I've ever seen, and that purse is GENIUS! I recently decided to do a similar purse for my Marie Antoinette costume, by taking a plushie Pug and turning it into a purse version of Mops, Marie's favourite Pug. :)

    Go on with yourself!

    Storm

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  60. As someone with no sewing skills, mad props to John for taking it up and doing exceptionally well at it from the looks of things.

    My family has attended two MNSSHP thus far. I went to both as the Robert Downey Jr version of Sherlock Holmes. Walking around in the humidity wearing a three piece suit with corduroy frock coat was not the best idea I've had. LOL We had so much fun though. And there is still half a bag of candy sitting in our kitchen from 2011's party which no one can bring themselves to toss out. :)

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  61. *sings* Imaaaaaaagination, imaaaaagination! A dream can be a dream come true... With just that spark in me and you. ;D

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  62. Do you have any tips or tutorials on creating the playing card costumes? I will be attending an Alice in Wonderland themed murder mystery party for Halloween and my husband's character is the playing card and I will be making it from scratch. Any help would be appreciated as yours turned out better than any I've seen!

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  63. Thanks! No tutorials, I'm afraid, but the concept is pretty simple: just take a long rectangle of white cotton, stiffen it up with heavy interfacing, cut a hole in the middle for the head to fit through, and then add ribbons to the edges to tie it closed at the sides, under the arms. Use applique material (in the same section as the interfacing at the store) to stick on the red hearts and numbers, and then a decorative fabric for the back of the card. We just winged it with the head covers, but if you find a pattern for a wimple, that should work. Hope that helps, and good luck!

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