Friday, March 30, 2007


Or : why my child has a beautiful, hand-crafted costume for Carnevale despite having non-sewing non-crafting parents:

Yes. Nell.

What a legend. After discussions with the Climber, she researched Arlecchino via the internet, found a pattern, then went out and bought the materials. She (painstakingly) painted the fabric, sewed the costume, lent him her hat and gave him a mask to paint. She even took the morning off work so that she could see him in his glory. He was much admired. And so pleased and proud.

Climber chose Arlecchino when many 6-year-olds might have been expected to go with a Superhero or Star Wars theme. He loves the Italian classes at school and can often be heard singing the 'theme' song for what he calls Carnevahnay, which appears to consist of the words Oh Oh Carnevale [repeat x 2], Ah Ah Arlecchino [repeat x 2], sung over and over and over with appropriate mispronunciations.

And what part did his slacker mother play in all this? Actually, I did the pants. As in, I went op-shopping. I also painted the pants; those of you with an eye for detail may notice the inferior job I made of this compared to Nell's sharp edges and clean lines. And the fact that they are not painted all the way to the waistband is due to the paint running out and not because I'm lazy. Well alright, I did make the cavalier prediction that they were probably high enough (the top wasn't completed till 11pm the night before so there was no way of checking) but there was definitely a paint shortage too.

So at school this morning, they had a special sfilata (parade) and EVERYONE including teachers dressed up. Climber's teacher was quite impressive as Batman. I'm thinking the kids would have been behaving well in class today. When he returned after the teachers' lap of honour, the kids could be heard singing nananananananana FATMAN! at him, which he took in good part; asserting he was merely plump.

And the end of the story? This afternoon, Cherub, arrayed resplendently as a non-specific Incredible, and I went to pick Climber up at the earlier time of 2.30 (last day of term) and almost failed to recognise him because he was no longer Arlecchino. There was only a blonde boy in borrowed clothes, a bag full of wet costume and a note.
Dear Parent,

Today your child received first aid attention. He fell over in a puddle and grazed his hip. Your child was given a change of clothes and had his wound cleaned and dressed.

Signed The First Aid Officer.

The grazed hip looks fine. The costume?

Well, we're hoping it will wash successfully.


  1. Well what a fantastic costume and she painted the fabric!! Amazing!! He looked wonderful!! Oh I so hope it washes up well!!

  2. Oh no! They just don't appreciate the work that goes into them and insist on still being children instead of sitting still!

    I hope that his hip is OK.

  3. Wow what a cool costume, I really hope you can wash it.
    My MIL was a wizzhand at costumes, mind you she is a seamstress. My talent lies in providing sheets for ghost costumes.

  4. LOL !

    What an amazing fall from grace. Did he *take a swim* in that puddle ?

    Also love the non-specific Incredible ( my personal favourite ... )


  5. Fabulous costume. And yes, I'm interested in quite what he did to achieve that damage. Good luck with the washing.

  6. What a stunning costume! My son is learning italian too - i think it is wonderful... I wish we could go to italy so that he could soak up even more of it!

  7. Awe the kids look so cute in their costumes. Accidents happen. I always came home dirty smudged and bleeding. I played hard.

  8. Nell deserves the medal of honor. Hope the costume washes out...


  9. Yes, Fantastic costume! What a great friend Nell is! He looked wonderful.

  10. Thank God for Nell.

    I had a Nell, too, to save me. Only she's called The Frock Fairy.

    Without her, these events would surely give me a nervous breakdown.

  11. That is a fabulous costume! I'm sure it will wash up fine. I foresee a lot of washing in its future...

  12. The photo of all three of you is so very nice. So too that costume. That Climber, he has a wonderfully original mind and imagination - wonder where he gets that from hey :-)

  13. what a fabulous costume! (and what a sad end it met... let's hope it washes well!)

  14. Way to go, Auntie Nell! Loved the sequence of your photos......ending with the sad, soiled, used up, tossed aside costume.....

  15. Please send Nell over to my house PRONTO. (I think that means chop, chop, in Italian.)

    What a beautiful costume, and how gorgeous he looks in it. Don't kids amaze you sometimes? I'm thinking mine will never see beyond the branded materials - everything is Buzz and Spiderman and, yes, still Shrek. (There's even Shrek milk for heaven's sakes!! But I digress...)

    And how cute is Cherub in that Incredibles outfit? You done good.

    PS. My first thought when I saw those photos? You are SO not f.f.f....

  16. Hi, just had to comment on the fantastic costume. Nell is amazing. Loved it and have sewing envy. Jenny C

  17. Wow! I really hope the costume cleans up nicely after his fall (poor boy - hope he's ok!), because that is a great costume! And I can't believe it's all handpainted -- so clever!

  18. Such a beautiful costume!! Your boys are so gorgeous :)

  19. What a gorgeous costume! Did it wash ok?


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