First of all, I’d like to thank 1984 for this awesome shirt! We bought it at Goodwill a few years ago and it has made many a costume amazing since then (pirates, pilgrims, and now Thomas Jefferson all owe at least part of their glory to this shirt). It is lovingly referred to in our home as the puffy pirate shirt. Ok, enough about the shirt. Just know that if you ever see one for sale you should snatch it up without hesitation. You won’t regret it.
The knickers were made from his old church pants that were too short. I made the vest from some fabric I purchased long ago to recover a chair- one of the many projects I’ve given up on over the years. I bought the fabric for the coat, as he was adamant on that particular shade of green. The coat had so many buttons that it forced me to learn how to use the automatic buttonholer on my sewing machine (it only took me 11 years)! He also really wanted real pockets that actually work, so I spent 45 minutes on the internet one day learning how to make welt pockets. This was the best tutorial I found, and this was the best video. The wig is an ’80s rocker wig from Amazon that we powdered with baby powder and tied back with a ribbon. Of course, he needed buckles on his shoes. We bought buckles at the fabric store and attached them to his church shoes with black elastic. The stockings are a pair of my trouser socks, consequently they fall down a lot – sorry, Thomas. Finally, I made him a trick-or-treat bag using this fabric that has the Declaration of Independence printed on it, just to try to help people know who he is. Sadly, there are very few people who know that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, so it didn’t really work. I used this pattern for the vest and coat (although I had to use the pattern pieces to make my own vest pattern, because theirs was made to go with a dickey, and was lacking important parts like the shoulders).
One of the reasons I like to make my kids’ Halloween costumes is that I push myself to learn new techniques. The other reason is that they look better. This year I received my biggest reward ever when Josh, who has an incredible attention to detail told me that he loved his costume and it was exactly as he had imagined it. Coming from a little boy who has a slight fascination with Thomas Jefferson, and knows everything there is to know about him and the time period in which he lived, this was an incredible compliment! I almost cried!