Book Week Parade & Dress Up Anthology

Caitlin - Dorothy

Friends, I know it isn’t good to blow your own horn…but  today I’ve got a hall-pass so I’ll be tooting. I have a little confession – for me, my daughters’ participation in Bookweek Parade and other events that required a costume, was more about the costume than it was about the celebration of books or other events. I know that sounds bad, but in my defence, my daughters were raised in a home where books were celebrated daily; I even read to them both while they were in utero – seriously, I did. I read them the original Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne books. None of this Disney guff for my unborn progeny folks!

Miss20 (almost 21), in her first Bookweek Parade, went as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz; she would have been 5 in this very grainy photo – okay so I know you know who she was! The Peter Pan collared t-shirt was her own Osh Kosh B’Gosh shirt, the socks were her own socks, the shoes were her Girl’s Brigade shoes that I painstakingly glue-gunned with red sequins and the dress…the dress I made with no pattern…literally just sewed it together and threw in a zip. Folks I’m going to pose a RHETORICAL question; wasn’t she the most gorgeous Dorothy you’ve ever seen?

Chloe in Medieval costume - Year 8 Melbourne Girl's College

Friends, please rise from your seats while I present the royal Miss23 (almost 24) when she was 11 or 12. She was dressed as a medieval maiden for either her year 7 or 8 History Medieval Day at Melbourne Girls’ College in Richmond when we lived in Melbourne.  It was an expensive costume to make…even though I used cheap lining fabric it cost quite a bit simply because of the amount of fabric required. There were lots of hired costumes, hessian sacks and hastily-thrown-together outfits on the day…but none of those choices were good enough for my child…nuhuh…I made sure my child had the ‘real deal’; a hand sewn garment.

Caitlin - witch

Behold Miss-almost-21 in her second Bookweek parade – It’s the Wizard of Oz theme again; it takes a brave little girl to don a schnozz like that and celebrate the Wicked Witch of the West in public.

Caitlin - in Indian Sari for dress up in your cultural heritage day.

And here she is again – this one was a cultural/racial heritage celebration at Cubbies; the club she belonged to prior to joining Girl’s Brigade. As you know readers, my girls are Anglo-Indian in racial heritage so I made her a very glittery sari to wear while she sang for the audience with the other kids.

Caitlin - Darth Maul

That sweet little four year old angel turned into a massive nerd during her teenage years (and still is a massive nerd); she’s about 16 here – she embraces her nerdness with relish as you can see by her Darth Maul outfit I made her. It’s just as well we love nerds in our family – we’re all nerdy in our own special ways.

Winnie The Pooh; earless and pawless

For her  17th or 18th birthday she organised a Winnie the Pooh picnic in the park with her friends.  This is an awful picture friends; i’m sorry – it’s so blurry.  Anyways, Miss-almost-21’s birthday is October 14 which is also Winnie The Pooh’s birthday too. So, by request, I made her a Winnie outfit. I hadn’t quite finished it; as you can see it’s missing ears and mittens.

Miss-almost-21 travelled, in this costume, on the public transport bus to her school in the city and then celebrated with her friends at one of the public parks near the school at lunch time.  The school she and her sister attended is a Senior College, there are no uniforms and the school isn’t on a campus. Instead lecture rooms, study rooms and tutorial rooms etc  are partly situated in city office blocks near the Adelaide University and the students also have access to the university facilities like rest rooms, Unibooks, lecture halls, the Barr Smith Library etc. She was walking around the city in her Winnie The Pooh costume; brave or stupid??? You choose hahaha

Given that I only have one picture of Miss-Almost-24 in costume to show you, I’m going to have to troll through the old photographs and do some scanning. She had just as many costumes as her sister: Harry Potter, Jasmine the Disney Princess, Pocahontas, Tarzana from the book by Babette Cole. If you haven’t read any Babette Cole books to your kids then you’re missing a treat: Start with Dr Dog – you won’t be disappointed.

Readers, I hope you enjoyed my self indulgent trip down costume-sewing memory lane; I sure did. I’m feeling a tad nostalgic as my daughters’ birthdays are fast approaching. They were born 15 days and 10 minutes apart so we have a birthday fortnight. Miss 23 is living in Germany and for the second time we will not be with her for her birthday; the hole in my heart due to her absence feels like it gets twice as large during these family celebration times. This year I’m thinking i might make her favourite birthday dessert (tiramisu) even though she’s not here to enjoy it – if nothing else it might make me feel a little bit closer to her.

What costumes have you made or intend to make for celebrations like Bookweek Parade? Readers, do tell all and feel free to direct me to pictorial evidence of your creative endeavours.

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