Creating Lurch and Wednesday

This year was our first Halloween as a married couple, the hubby and I, and since it’s my favorite holiday of the year, I thought long and hard about our costumes. Because the hubby is quite tall at 6’8″, I thought it would be perfect for him to go as Lurch and I as Wednesday from The Addams Family.

See, the thing about him being so tall is that it’s not so easy to just pop into your local thrift store and find a black suit to fit–or any clothing for that matter–so off to Hobby Lobby I went, on the hunt for a men’s suit pattern. (Don’t forget that you can get 40% off one regular priced item every time you shop, but not on patterns because they’re on sale every day…click the link for your coupon.) Come to find out, most people aren’t sewing their own suits these days, so finding that pattern was tricky. The Simplicity book had one pattern. ONE!

So I bought it, 7 yards of black broadcloth, a new spool of thread, and some fusible medium weight interfacing and got to work. It took me about 6 hours to carefully cut out the pattern pieces, pin them to the fabric, and cut them out. Then it took another day or so to sew everything together for the jacket. The main thing I learned is to just take your time and double check everything. Just like in carpentry, you should measure twice and cut once!

Also, before pinning pattern pieces down, I added a few inches to the bottom hem allowances on each piece that had one for my man’s height adjustment.

Here is the jacket, about halfway through the sewing process, already beginning to look like a jacket.

I followed the sewing directions on the pattern, and googled individual terms that I didn’t know. By the time I got the jacket finished, I knew I didn’t have the time to work up the pants with a zipper (I’ve never attempted to sew a zipper, but it’s on my to-do list), but I knew the hubby needed black pants and I had the material so here’s what I did:

First, I laid out the folded black material on the floor. On top of it, I laid a pair of his work jeans that I knew fit him, folded in half. Leaving enough for about an inch and a half seam allowance and several inches for a waistband, I marked on the fabric with a white crayon, then cut it out.

After cutting, I stitched each leg seam, right sides together, pressed the seams, then pinned them together at the crotch and rear seams. Then I stitched those, cutting notches at the curves. If you’re unsure how to fit something together, as I was, the best thing to do is just pin it how you think it should go before just jumping in and machine stitching. That way you can check to make sure it’s correct.

Next, I wanted to make a drawstring for the waist, so I created one by stitching down the side of a long, narrow piece of fabric and then turning it right side out (I used this method, thanks Make It & Love It!) and pressing.

To make the waistband, I edge finished the entire waist, then folded and pressed where I wanted the waistband to be (I folded over about 2 inches). I then unfolded it and halved the drawstring and marked it with a crayon. Then I put the marked drawstring at the back center, right up next to the fold, and stitched it down in two places.

Picture shows outside view of stitching mentioned above.

I worked up the drawstring waistband by stitching two squares on either side of the front inside center using the Q stitch on my machine, then clipping a hole out for the string, much like making a buttonhole.

I pinned the drawstring down all the way around the waist before I realized I didn’t want pins forever stitched under the waistband, so I folded the fabric over the drawstring and pinned (much smarter, Brie). Then I ran a single stitch directly under the drawstring, careful not to stitch into the string itself, removing pins as I went. I had extra fabric folded over, so I ran a second single stitch all the way around to tack it down and lend extra support.

The pants probably took me an hour and a half total to make.

With the suit finished, he needed a bow tie to go with the white dress shirt I ordered from Amazon that was on sale for $19.99 at the time. So I searched the interwebs for a free pattern and found one, along with a tutorial at Sew Like My Mom. She has several great free patterns as well as some super cute and inexpensive ones in her Etsy store. This was probably the easiest and most fun piece of all to make and it took me less than an hour.

I also had to teach myself to tie a bow tie, and I watched several different YouTube tutorials here, here and here before finally figuring it out. My trouble was that I made the length for his neck and was trying to tie it on myself.

The final pieces of his Lurch costume were the wig and the makeup. For the wig, I visited my favorite place to buy a wig, the beauty supply store! Of course I had to try on a few while I was there…

And I found the perfect Lurch wig! In white and black, not red.

I ended up doing a small trimming job when it was on his head, to make it more of a men’s style. To make it look more piece-y, I put some baby oil in my hand, rubbed them together, and applied it to the wig until I liked the look. Then for finishing touches, I added some baby powder to the black parts to tone them down.

My honey has a goatee, and while neither of us wanted him to shave it off, he was kind enough to trim it so that I could glue it down, drag queen eyebrow style, and apply makeup over it.

For his makeup, I used my own foundation, set it with baby powder, and contoured, highlighted, and created black eyebrows with eyeshadows, eyebrow and eyeliner pencils, and eyebrow pomade. To blend the goatee in, I added facial lines and penciled his lips in a taupe color.

As far as my own costume and makeup, the only thing I purchased was the black hair spray and the baby doll. Both the original Wednesday and the movie version carry a baby doll without a head. We got this one at Dollar General.

My dress was a long sleeved black knit shirt dress I purchased several years ago. The white shirt underneath I borrowed from my step son. I wore black fleece lined leggings and black flats. My makeup was all from my own stash.

I think everything turned out great, and so did the judges at the Halloween party we attended, because we won the prize for Best Overall Costume!

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