A Sweeney Todd-Inspired Costume

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Mrs. Mooney has a pie shop,
Does a business, but I noticed something weird:
Lately all her neighbor’s cats have disappeared.

My love for Halloween is hereditary. In fact, watching my mother sew my childhood costumes is responsible for my interest in sewing, and I still use the same machine she bought to make me a pioneer costume in third grade for the majority of my handmade wardrobe sewing today.

My mom and I always wanted to host or attend a huge Halloween party, but living in a small town didn’t afford many opportunities for spooky gatherings. So imagine my surprise when she reached out to me last year for help with a costume because her sister-in-law was hosting an All Hallow’s Eve gathering—I knew I had to put together something special.

Mrs. L

When the movie Sweeney Todd came out, we were obsessed with Mrs. Lovett’s character. First of all, who doesn’t love Helena Bonham Carter? Second, her eccentric presence contrasted with with the movie’s gloomy background beautifully. Her costumes were perfection—moody frills on frills, often with hints of red. Her wardrobe inspired the dress I ultimately decided to make my mom for the party.

Mrs. Lovett Wine

Using Simplicity 1819 as a guide, I created a ruffled dream for the back of the skirt. It took a lot of fabric. This one was a labor of love for sure, as I had a lot of fabric gathering to do, as well as a lot of hemming.

Mrs. Lovett 3

Then, there was dyeing this beast. Originally a striped cream fabric, I dipped it, unassembled into my dye bath, hoping not to fray any of the yet-unfinished edges. It turned out beautifully—all 20 pounds of it. (Not really, but it sure is heavy to wear.)

Mrs. Lovett Back

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