Designers fabricate elaborate costumes for Halloween

Andrea Hefferan | Online Editor

Senior Wrynn Boucher and junior Caite Brutvan have already been designing their costumes by hand for weeks by the time most people start to shop for Halloween.

This year, Boucher and Brutvan both set out to make their Halloween costumes by hand. Brutvan discovered sewing at a young age; her skill and passion for it has grown over the years. Now, she uses it as a way to destress from the pressures of high school.

“My grandma actually taught me how to sew when I was seven, so about ten years ago,” Brutvan said. “I started out with just a few small projects and then I hit middle school and high school and started doing more elaborate projects like making costumes.”

For Boucher, the process to make a costume takes about 70 hours from start to finish. While he does his best to plan out every detail, sometimes he said he has to get creative.

“First, I have to have a character in mind,” Boucher said. “I have to do a ton of research from every single angle to make sure it’s perfect. I sketch it out and start designing what materials I’m going to make it out of. And if that doesn’t work then I come up with something else on the fly, because not everything works exactly how you expect it.”

While she did not choose a specific character to dress up as, Brutvan decided on a steampunk theme for her costume — a Victorian age style combined with steam powered technology. This unique style allowed her to create a piece that differs from the typical Halloween costume.

“I love the steampunk style of clothing,” Brutvan said. “It’s always interested me. I think it’s cool to see the costumes with different gears and other stuff. A lot of times it’s more neutral colors or natural fabrics so you see a lot of cotton and silk and leather, which you don’t generally see in a lot of costumes.”


Junior Catie Brutvan created her own flapper costume, inspired by the ‘Steampunk’ fashion style.


Costumes involve various pieces and making it all by hand can get expensive. Boucher uses scrap material and goes thrifting to make it as inexpensive as possible.

“I usually use a lot of recycling in it; I build a lot of things from scrap,” Boucher said. “There’s always the off chance of finding a good item to start building off of in a thrift store. The things that are used to perfect it like worbla, silicon spray, stuff like that, that’s more on the expensive side, but the basis is pretty cheap.”

Boucher does not use his sewing skills merely to make his own costume. He also puts together costumes for his theater group, the Mason Community Players, and cosplay.

“Because I mentioned that I can make a costume, the theater group I was close to was like, ‘You’re a part of us now,’” Boucher said. “So that’s my job now. I also do it for different conventions because my friends like to come with me to them and dress up. So we’ll just all coordinate or I’ll help make them stuff. I also apply it by offering to sew pockets in people’s dresses for five dollars so that way at Homecoming you don’t worry about losing stuff. Just simple things like that to help other people.”


Senior Wrynn Boucher created his own costume Halloween costume this year out of recycled materials that he fabricated into his own style.


Besides her own costume, Brutvan makes costumes for Mason Drama Club and also makes Homecoming dresses as well as casual clothes. She said there is a significant difference between making costumes and everyday clothing.

“Costumes generally are a lot more elaborate,” Brutvan said. “There’s a lot of complicated things you have to do with them to get them to look the way they’re supposed to versus clothingwhich is usually simple stitches and types of seams.”

Simple clothing is a lot easier to make and is less time consuming for Brutvan. However, she prefers making costumes because they are so much more complex and she enjoys seeing all the pieces come together in the end.

“I prefer making costumes just because I think it’s a lot more fun,” Brutvan said. “You get a greater reward when you see it turn from a pile of fabric into a ballgown or a coat or whatever it is you’re making.”

From the first stitch to the final touches, Boucher is meticulous throughout the entire process. For him, the best part is when people take notice of his costume and the work he put into it.

“It feels amazing, just because it’s nice to be able to create something with your bare hands that people actually really enjoy and appreciate,” Boucher said. “And meeting people that are excited for the costume and want to take pictures with you–it’s awesome.”

Photos by Ryan D’Souza and Tanner Pearson.