Introduction: Family Freak Show

This year for Halloween our family dressed up as a circus sideshow!  I was the Tattooed Lady, my husband was the Bearded Woman and our son was the "Amazing Octo-Baby". 

To make the costumes you'll need:

Tattooed Lady:
A corset of choice
a camisole if you are using an underbust corset
fringe/trim for the cami (you only need enough to go across the front of the shirt)
a tiered skirt that can be gathered with two straps and sewn to create a bustle
a bustle pillow to go under the tiered skirt (basically a pillow with straps and a buckle)
an underskirt (can be any color or material)
Tattoos!  or fake tattoo sleeves if you don't have real ones.  DIY version: draw tattoo designs with a permanent marker on nude pantyhose cut to arm length.

Bearded Woman:
a man with a beard, or a woman wearing a fake one
opaque pantyhose
a dress of your choice (big enough for a man) or if you're really ambitious, sew your own! 
a wig (if needed)

You will need 2 matching pairs of baby pajamas (make sure they are the same size!)
One sacrificial baby doll, the kind with plastic hands and feet but a cloth body... the more realistic the better

Using a seam ripper, remove the arms and legs from one pair of the baby pajamas.  Make holes alongside the other limbs in the remaining pair of pajamas, then sew the extra sleeves and feet in.  Note: make sure that you sew the additional sleeves so that you can fit the extra limbs in later, don't just sew straight across!
Remove the arms and legs from the baby doll.  (It helps to sew the severed limbs shut so that all of the stuffing doesn't get all over your baby!)  Once the limbs are closed, put them in the extra sleeves and feet of the costume.

Circus tent:
Use a stroller as the base (Jogging strollers work the best!)
a wooden dowel, 7/16" or 1/2" as the center pole
about 3 yards each of red and white fabric
a rubber or foam bouncy ball of your choice

Cut fabric into 7 inch strips.  Sew with a 1/2" seam alternating strips of red and white fabric.  When you have enough to surround the stroller, sew the ends together about halfway down to make the tent with open flaps. Make a sleeve for the elastic by folding over the top of the fabric about an inch and a half.  Thread the elastic through the sleeve and gather the fabric VERY TIGHTLY so that it will be snug on the dowel.  If the tent appears to slip down you can add a piece of foam weatherstripping around the wood to act as a stopper.  Take foam/rubber ball and cut a hole large enough for the end of the dowel to fit in. Insert dowel with tent attached into net behind stroller, use velcro to secure if needed. Add signs drawn on foam board announcing what kind of freak you are, and you're ready to go!  Instant sideshow :)

Halloween Costume Contest

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