Let me just get one thing straight from the start, I don’t live in filth. I’m just not tidy. My worktops and dishes are clean, they just aren’t maybe in the cupboards, you are more likely to find them in the dishwasher having just finished the cycle.
Our clothes are clean, they live in piles on the bedroom floors and never quite make it in to the drawers but they are clean.
I’m useless at ironing, I don’t hoover upstairs anywhere near as much as I should because, well, effort. I often forget to grocery shop for lunchboxes and make do with whatever we can find in the fridge and I would rather sit and watch Netflix than dust. But I try, I am an average housewife, I will never win prizes for my perfect storage solutions or inspire a Pintrest board on home organisation but I try my very best.
The one thing I don’t try though, the one thing I can not do, is sew. I can sew up a split in a pair of trousers with a painstaking slow cross stich I can just about remember from school. At best it will look like I had my eyes closed the entire time I did it, at worst it will come apart the second the wearer tries to move their leg or breathe.
So after a last minute decision to hit Comicon with the kids resulted in my 2 very reserved children suddenly asking for costumes with one day spare to make them you can perhaps imagine my panic.
Shop bought costumes just were not going to cut the mustard, they wanted Assassins Creed.
Incase you are not familiar with Assassins Creed this is it explained in my best laymans terms from a mother who has never actually played
it but has spent a Saturday bent over a table trying to make a replica outfit. Some men in stupidly elaborate costumes involving peaked hoods, silver bits and red stripes go around assassinating people and they wear different costumes at different times in their lives and if you happen to put the red stripe in the wrong place you are a terrible parent and Comicon will be ruined because it’s not accurate!!
Sorry. I think I have some kind of post traumatic costume making trauma.
Let me put that in to context, I had one day to make 2 of these outfits; but not really 2 because they both wanted to be different people which meant slightly different costumes. Are you following me on my nervous breakdown yet? It was a hell of a ride.
The kids shopping list involved brand new boots, expensive swathes of fabric, replica knives and cloaks.
My shopping list involved 3 bedsheets, some wonderwebbing, pillow cases and an old mans shirt from the charity shop.
My shopping list won.
I could totally do this right? Of course I could. Maybe.
So we started. First the beautifully detailed rich brown cape with the red lining became me kneeling on the floor with a brown bed sheet and a red bed sheet. With the power of wonder web I stuck the 2 pieces of fabric together with nothing more than a hot iron and then cut the shape out with my very blunt kitchen scissors. The result? A wonky but quite serviceable cloak. Oh yes. Win for me.
Next, the shirt with stripes, easy! I put the shirt on him, trimmed it with my wonky scissors to give it that authentic assassiny shape then took it off him and wonder webbed 2 incredibly wonky red stripes down the front. I am on a roll! Except I’m not really, did I mention how I can not sew? This was the point of my first breakdown of the day, the wobbly bits won’t stick, why won’t they stick? I have put as much wonder webbing as I can underneath, I am trying my hardest to make them straight but they are peeling off. I can start to feel my breathing quicken as I imagine all of those mums who can actually do this whipping their sewing machines out and dashing off a perfect cape and shirt in a matter of minutes as I kneel on the floor with the iron sobbing with frustration at my wonky lines. I can see it in my head, it looks perfect; but something misfires between my brain and my hand and although my head has the skill of a master craftsman, my hand has the skill of a toddler on a sugar rush. Time to take a deep breath, pile up the brown fabric and pretend like it’s a giant poop pile and move on.
Need a sash with an intricate buckle? No problem! Cut the buckle shape out of cardboard, spray it silver and use fabric glue to glue it to a piece of bed sheet then wrap it around your kids waist. See I do have these genius ideas.
I’m starting to think just maybe I am the next Martha Stewart, minus the fraud and jail term.
Yeah hold on, can you see that >>> totally not how I imagined it. I keep looking at the original picture for reference, I don’t think I should do that any more. I think it’s time for improvisation mark 2.
So came my biggest stroke of genius yet. No assassin is complete without a hood right? How do you make a hood with no sewing? Simple, you use a pillowcase. You put it over your sons head, have a 20 minute discussion with him about kidnappers and how they would put a pillow case over your head and the best way to count steps so you would know where you were, then you cut a big hole out of the front.
Easy peasy! Although I admit I did have to sew the back corner to stop it sticking out. Running stitch to the rescue. I’ve reached that point in the day now where the only thing getting me through is a huge amount of caffeine and blind optimism. I’ve given up on realism or even pretending like I will ever be one of those mums who can whip up something amazing and I’m concentrating on just finishing, just seeing the light at the end of the costumed tunnel where that light is filled with vodka shots and chinese food.
Boots came from those weird over the leg things you get for Halloween and wrist straps from the fancy dress shop. All in all a sterling effort all round I feel!
To be fair the second outfit was even easier, no cape, no shirt. He had some sort of cowl with complicated straps. My interpretation? A bed sheet and lots of old belts. Totally the same thing! You may notice here I have reached desperation point. I can’t think any more, all I can see are bed sheets and I know this is not going well.
We get to the big reveal, where we put all the parts together to make a full costume. I am grimacing waiting for that look of disappointment, but it doesn’t come. They are happy?!
No, I don’t understand it either, have you been following my work up there? They actually really truly loved the costumes. My gut instinct tells me they are faking it but I don’t even care. I’m taking the false happiness and I’m running with it all the way to the kitchen where I am pouring myself such a large drink it’s unreal!
The costume making Saturday is now referred to in whispered conversation as ‘Black Saturday’ and is liable to bring about an hour long bout of rocking in the corner with just a muffled scream or a random shout of ‘so many buckles’. But ignoring that I have decided they loved the costumes and do not recoil in fear every time I get the look in my eye when somebody mentions capes.
So how do you make an Assassins Creed outfit in one day with absolutely no sewing skills. You wing it totally and when anyone at Comicon asks you tell them the kids made it and pretend to smile as they talk about what a cute first effort it is for a youngster 😉