February 2014
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Zak & Wheezie (subtitle: What was I thinking!)

When fall rolled around I started thinking about Halloween costumes for the girls.

Carolyn & Elizabeth

At the Pumpkin Patch

Hmmm… what to do? More and more we’re seeing them engage in imaginative/pretend play. One of the things they pretend is that they are Zak & Wheezie. Who are Zak & Wheezie? Well, they are conjoined twin dragons from the TV show Dragon Tales. Since Elizabeth is a lefty and Carolyn is a righty, they would walk around holding hands saying, “I’m Zak” and “I’m Wheezie.” Sometimes they would hold hands and pretend to be Zak & Wheezie while eating lunch. (I thought we had a picture of that, but I can’t find it. You’ll just have to take my word for it. It’s really cute.)

Zak & Wheezie

Zak & Wheezie

Can you see where this is going? That’s right, I thought it would be cute to get them dragon costumes so they could be Zak & Wheezie. So I looked. And looked. But I just couldn’t find anything that seemed right. “No problem,” I thought, “I can make dragon costumes for them.” I learned to sew as a kid and have made some items of at least medium difficulty. I found a pattern I liked and determined that I had sufficient skills to complete it without to much difficulty. And that part was indeed true… Somehow what I had failed to fully take into account is that it’s just harder to make a dragon costume for your kids because, well – you have kids! I don’t have a sewing room at home so it would mean putting up and putting away the sewing machine each time I used it. Plus, every time I take out the sewing machine, the girls want to sit on my lap and help. And I want them to learn and like sewing, so I let them. For small mending projects that works okay. But I thought it would be too overwhelming to let them help with this project.

So in the end, I set up my sewing machine at work in our big classroom. I was able to leave the sewing machine set up for several weeks and I had tons of table space so that part worked great. But I was working in small time segments during lunch breaks. I’m pretty sure that in the end that significantly increased the time involved. Every time I sat down to work, I had to reacquaint myself with where I was and what I was doing. (I didn’t think to take any pictures of the creating process. Oh well.) The project was further complicated because my sewing machine was challenged by the thick fleece I was using – particularly along the back spikes where it was sewing through six layers of fabric. It was skipping stitches and snapping the thread ALL THE TIME. I had to resew the same seam over and over and over to get it actually sewn. Turns out part of the problem is that I need to use a ball needle to sew fleece. I had never heard of a ball needle before and only discovered that when I finally got desperate enough to pull out the owners manual for my sewing machine. That made a significant improvement, but it was still more challenging than I expected.

Carolyn & Elizabeth

Wheezie & Zak

But finally, just in time for Halloween (like finished that afternoon!), they were ready. And they were a big hit with the girls! They even won the “Best Girl Costume” prize at the church’s Fall Festival. They were pretty pleased about that and talked about it all the way home and mentioned it many times in the following days. Their cousin won the “Best Boy Costume” which further added to the excitement.

Carolyn & Elizabeth

They spent most of the night unconjoined.

The costumes are very cute, and they continue to wear them so I have no regrets. But I do wonder sometimes, “What was I thinking!”

Carolyn

Wheezie likes the built in pillow the tale provides.

Elizabeth

Watching Dragon Tales.

We also decorated pumpkins for the first time this year.  The girls each choose a pumpkin and a face to decorate with and they were able to do it all by themselves.  Not sure who appreciated that part more – me or them.

Carolyn & Elizabeth

Yes, she’s picked a pirate.

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