Get Halloween Sewing!

Halloween is a great time to DIY and putting together a stand-out costume doesn’t have to require years and years of garment-making expertise! With a little creativity and a few key tips, it’s easy for anyone to craft a creative costume.
Here are 5 tips for beginner sewers who want to make a notable Halloween costume:

  1. Choose ‘no-fray’ fabrics
    When you work with fabrics that don’t fray, costumes are as easy as cut-and-go. Look for felt, vinyl, pleather, and flannelette. Once cut, the raw edges won’t unravel, so the finish will look pro even if your skills are not (yet!).
  1. Find existing pieces
    Instead of sewing an entire costume, use clothes you already own as a base (or hit your local thrift shop) and build the costume on top of that. Having less to put together will save you time for extra trick-or-treating.
  1. Use a sewing machine that’s easy to work with
    Look for a sewing machine with features that are suitable for beginners. The Brother NQ900 sewing machine has speed control, an automatic needle threader, and an easy-to-load bobbin. A machine that’s easy to work with eliminates frustrations, so you can spend more time crafting your costume.
  1. Find creative ways to customize
    “Glue gun” is not a four-letter word when it comes to a homemade Halloween costume. Anything goes! Add studs, appliques (the Brother NQ900 has a sideways-sewing feature to make this super easy), or trim to your piece. Many sewing machines have the ability to embroider different fonts, so adding words or monograms to your costume is also within reach.
  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself
    Halloween is about having fun, and a DIY’d costume is a bragging right! So get creative, and don’t worry about little mistakes that only you will notice.

– Denise Wild

TV personality, sewing, DIY expert

Halloween Fun!

Looking for some spooky fun to keep you entertained this creepy season? Check out some of these fun happenings to keep you and your little ones busy, entertained and full of haunted history.

  • The Sea to Sky Gondola welcomes trick-or-treaters of all ages for an afternoon of activities from face-painting and trick-or-treating, to exploring the new kids’ Alpine Alley Trail. (Saturday, October 29th; 12am – 4pm)
  • Visit Spooktacular at Britannia Mine Museum and take a ride on the Halloween train, or walk through the Witch’s House, Spooky Science Show and Insect Emporium. (October 29th and 30th; 11am – 3pm)
  • Experience Halloween at Pemberton Museum with a wander through the haunted School House and participate in Halloween-themed games while enjoying fire-roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. (October 29th; 12am – 3pm)
  • A longstanding tradition, Tapley’s Farm neighbourhood in Whistler promises an evening of trick-or-treating with more than 80 homes participating. (October 31st; 5:30pm – 8:30pm)
  • Check out the Haunted Village at Burnaby Village Museum and wear your costume, listen to ghost stories and roam the haunted history of our local town.
  • Visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum for their annual Haunted Tour! There’s a mystery afoot in the museum some come out to learn, solve the secret and add to the spooky stories.
  • Hit up the Trick-or-Treat parade on October 31, 2016 at Willowbrook Shopping Centre for this popular and lively Halloween event! Just $2 (cash only) per child up to age 12. Registration starts at 4:30pm at the following Willowbrook entrances: Sport Chek, Swimco, Tim Hortons,  Sashimi Sushi, and Sears.
    Proceeds from the event will go to the Langley School District Foundation to support innovative and essential school programs for Langley students.
    shopwillowbrook.com

Halloween Shouldn’t be scary… for your waistline!

Halloween Shouldn’t Be Scary… for Your Waistline

 While the kids are out enjoying trick-or-treating, sitting around the candy bowl at home and avoiding temptation to snack can be difficult. To have a Halloween with less guilt, indulge in a few sweets that aren’t as “sinful” as the traditional favorites, and see if the lure of the real thing is truly worth it. TOPS Club, Inc.® (Take Off Pounds Sensibly®), the nonprofit weight-loss support organization, offers guidance to a healthier Halloween that is still fun for all. Treat-sized candy can give the impression that “just a little bit won’t hurt,” but when the facts are laid out, there is nothing fun about these “fun-sized” bites. Consider this: 1 serving (1/5 of an 8-oz. package) of candy corn = 150 calories* = 42 minutes of walking,
2 Fun Size Snickers bars = 160 calories = 18 minutes of jogging
1 2-oz. package of Skittles = 250 calories = 38 minutes of cycling

Part of TOPS’ philosophy is that all foods can fit in your meal plan, in moderation. If you really want something sweet, have it – but also consider healthier options that give you the same satisfaction from regular candy. Help your health by calorie budgeting for the treats. Split a sweet with a friend, push yourself a little harder during your workout, or cut back on something else in your diet for that day. By staying mindful of choices and planning ahead, Halloween candy cravings won’t be so spooky after all.*Calorie counts and calories burned are estimated using www.calorieking.com.

Healthier Options Are Amazingly Satisfying

 Frozen banana-chocolate treats
Place peeled, medium-ripe bananas on sticks and freeze them. Once they’re frozen, drizzle with a little melted dark chocolate and serve. According to the Cleveland Clinic, dark chocolate contains flavanols that may provide antioxidant qualities and have potential influence on vascular health.

Crispy rice treats
Modify the classic recipe for a healthier version using whole grain brown rice cereal, honey, or brown rice syrup for substitutions. The brown rice syrup has a lower glycemic index than high fructose corn syrup marshmallows but will still make the treats sweet.

Honey popcorn balls
Popcorn balls are a Halloween favorite, but they’re commonly loaded with salt and high in sugar. They can be made healthier when prepared at home with just air-popped popcorn, honey, and a bit of salt. The popcorn provides fiber, and you can get creative by adding flavorful options. Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa power, and cloves will provide delicious taste options for your popcorn balls.

Vegetable “candy corn”
Try a healthy twist on a Halloween staple. You’ll need toothpicks, orange and yellow bell peppers, and cauliflower florets. Simply cut the vegetables and layer in the colors of traditional candy corn.

TOPS Club Inc.® (Take Off Pounds Sensibly®) is the original weight-loss support and wellness education organization. Founded more than 65 years ago, TOPS is the only nonprofit, noncommercial weight-loss organization of its kind.

Don’t bleed financially this Halloween – Reduce Reuse and Recycle your Costumes!

By: Shawn McIntyre, Community Relations Manager, Kijiji Canada

October is never a great month for your budget. Here we are, recovered from back to school, and the holidays are right around the corner! So Halloween is just poorly-timed, really. If you’re my age, you remember that Halloween used to be as simple as some makeup, or a sheet with a couple of holes in it. Not today. The average price of costumes has jumped significantly over the last 10 years, and it isn’t “cool” to wear the same costume twice. Let’s face it: Kids are stepping it up. As parents, we’re expected to have superhero powers; balancing budget and coolness.

October does, however, seem to be the perfect time for Waste Reduction Week. So in light of this, why shouldn’t we seize the opportunity to reduce our ecological footprint a little as well? Used costumes have become far more common than they once were, and since we generally only wear a costume once, I think “gently used” is probably a more appropriate term. Buying these gently used costumes prevents unnecessary waste, and saves cash. Selling your own used costumes creates an instant “costume budget” for next year. Forget crime-fighting, you’re an ecologically-conscious, money-saving superhero. Well done!

As for the market, it is flooded with options. Thrift stores have become “Halloween stores” in October, and people are turning to sites, like Kijiji.ca, to find great costume options at a much better price. Some smart shoppers even source the parts needed online to DIY that perfect costume themselves.

The used costume market is probably more popular than you think. In 2012, the month of October accounted for over half of Kijiji.ca’s “costume” searches. The week leading up to Halloween saw 36 times more costume-related searches than an average week the rest of the year. Some of the more commonly searched costumes included Pirates, Princesses, and Star Wars. The most common theme searched for? Superheroes. Oh, the irony.

The Pumpkin Train Pulls Into Squamish

Take your kids on a Halloween adventure without all the scary stuff!

This pumpkin train is a 40 minute round trip train ride. Children of all ages will travel with their parents to the magic pumpkin patch where they will search for the magic pumpkin. Choose a pumpkin and if you are lucky it may contain a magic surprise. Draw a face and have your pumpkin carved by train conductors to take home. Other treats include mini rail rides ($3), multiple games and craft stations followed by the train trip back to the starting point.

Reservations highly recommended!  book online at wcra.org or call 604-898-9336
39645 Government Rd. Squamish, B.C.

You can also take this opportunity to book a trip on the ever popular Polar Express Train ride coming this way during the Holiday Season

Be Safe, Be Seen This Halloween

The B.C. Association of Optometrists is offering free, reflective stickers for children’s Halloween costumes. The reflective stickers are available to parents across the province at BCAO optometrists’ offices, which are listed at www.whatcouldbemoreimportant.com. In rural areas where there are no optometry offices, the reflective stickers are provided to the local RCMP detachments.

About 10 per cent of all pedestrian traffic injuries involve children six to 15 years old and occur between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Traditional Halloween activities such as trick-or-treating can be risky because there are more children on the street than usual, and they tend to be excited and pay less attention to traffic safety.

Here are some Halloween safety tips from the B.C. Association of Optometrists:

  • Have a responsible adult accompany trick-or-treaters.
  • Use iron-on reflective fabric or tape – or pick up a “Be seen. Be safe.” reflective sticker for children’s costumes and/or coats.
  • Don’t wear a mask, use hypo-allergenic make-up instead – children need to see where they’re going.
  • Carry a flashlight.
  • Don’t crisscross the street while trick-or-treating – go down one side of the street to the end, then back on the other side.
  • Avoid novelty or cosmetic contact lenses, which may obscure vision and increase the risk of eye infections.
  • Avoid costumes that restrict movement of the head, so children can still easily look both ways before crossing the street.
  • Ensure that the path to your door is well-lit for trick-or-treaters.
  • To avoid an eye injury or vision loss, stay clear of firecrackers and sparklers and keep young children away from them.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!