Moonrise Kingdom Halloween Costumes

Months ago, we weren’t halfway through watching Moonrise Kingdom in the theater when Andy leans over, grabs my arm and whispers, “Halloween costumes.” Which sounds like a normal enough thing for one person to say to another. But this is coming from a guy who wore the same Halloween costume for four years in a row. That just about describes his level of enthusiasm for the holiday. Just along for the ride, but surely not driving the Halloween car.

So, you better believe I grabbed these characters by the horns and went with it. If you haven’t seen Moonrise Kingdom (which you should!), the story is set in the mid-sixties and follows Suzy Bishop and Sam Shukusky, two misfit twelve-year-olds on the island of New Penzance, who run away to be with each other. (The photo below is from the movie, check out more here.)

Though I kept my eye out for costumes items for a few months, I didn’t find much and, being empty-handed, finally had to get pretty serious a couple of weeks before Halloween. I soon discovered that there were no pink dresses, saddle oxford shoes or coonskin hats where we live. Believe me, I looked everywhere. This meant sewing and improvising and sewing more. Yep, I sewed a coonskin hat out of furry fabric. Something I never thought I would do in my life.

I also made the dress I wore. Yes, from scratch. It was the first time I’d made something from a pattern and not from deconstructing other clothes or using existing pieces as a guide. For those of you who don’t know me too well, it was kind of a miracle I read through the instructions without just jumping in and cutting all over the place, much less followed the directions all the way through. But I made it and it stayed in one piece and it looked like a real dress! That’s the idea, I guess.

But talk about a learning experience. Like when the lady at the fabric store emphasized that I should go by my measurements and not size, which put me at eight sizes larger than I usually wear. So I trusted her, but when I actually put the dress on for the first time, it was like a large tent. And that, if you’re new to sewing, you should read the directions 28970 times before you do anything drastic like cut fabric. No mistakes there, but there might have been if I’d only read them 28969 times.

After a week of work and a lot of pinpricks later, I couldn’t be happier that I’d gone for it or more thrilled about how it turned out. Then, a few finishing touches of the binoculars (what she pretends is her magic power), bug earrings Sam fashioned for her (and pierced her ears for), bold blue eyeshadow (purposely with the finesse of a 12-year-old), lots of time with a blowdryer and hairspray to get my short bangs locked into place, and the proper socks and shoes… I was the spitting image of Suzy (apart from being 12 and lopping off my hair, that is).

When it was all said and done, besides our good friends, onlyΒ  a few people we saw that night recognized who we were. Andy was asked if he was Davy Crockett more than once and I was even asked if I was a pilgrim (I cannot make this stuff up, folks). But we loved them and it was worth it for the few people we didn’t know who approached us and told us how, how perfect the costumes were.

On Andy: Coonskin hat: homemade with furry fabric from Hobby Lobby, Glasses: Walmart, Shirt: His grandfather’s from 1951, Brooch: Homemade from vintage jewelry, Pants: The Gap, Shoes: ASC

On Molly: Dress: Made from Simplicity pattern 3833– Dress A (collar and cuffs freehanded) from JoAnn Fabric, Earrings: Homemade from plastic bugs, Socks: Walmart, Shoes: Urban Outfitters

It may take longer, but we sure do love homemade costumes. Check out some of our friends’ below: Daryl from the Walking Dead, a cactus and Fifty Shades of Grey. Did you make a costume this year? It was worth it, right?


26 Comments on “Moonrise Kingdom Halloween Costumes”

  1. meghanalfano says:

    You totally look like Suzy!!!! My boyfriend and I did the same thing πŸ™‚

    xo, Meghan

  2. Wendy says:

    OH MOLLY πŸ™‚ This is perfect! I had NO idea who you were supposed to be, but after reading this and seeing the actual pictures you nailed it! I so enjoy your posts….they ALWAYS put a smile on my face! I didn’t make costumes this year, but my favorite one was when Logan & Lexy were Legos….I will have to send you a picture sometime. THANKS for sharing!

  3. yesilikethat says:

    OH MY GOD this is AMAZING. Can’t express how much I love this and how awesome the dress is. It’s perfect! And your shoes are perfect! I am also loving the furry hat.

    I wish I’d done something this cool for Halloween – we didn’t even go out this year as my boyfriend has been working non-stop 😦

  4. melissa says:

    Haha i love this! super cute! I love how detailed everything is.
    p.s. loving this blog of yours keep it up πŸ™‚


  5. Jo says:

    Really cute photos!

  6. Michele says:

    Fantastic costumes! All the details are perfect.
    If you could just get Bill Murray to come hang out.
    Did you catch the Harper’s Bazzar fashion shoot starring Bill Murry and Kara Hayward? Must see!

    • Thanks so much! Yeah, unfortunately Bill’s schedule was already booked for Halloween. πŸ™‚

      Thanks for mentioning the Harper’s Bazaar shoot, too. I hadn’t heard about it until you mentioned it, but just checked it out. Really cool!

  7. arbine says:

    OMG! Love these costumes! Still have yet to watch Moonrise Kingdom but I’ve always been a fan of Wes Anderson movies. Have a lovely day! πŸ™‚

  8. I hope you don’t think I’m a crazy person … I’m wondering if I could borrow your Suzy Bishop dress. My husband and I are attending an Oscar Night party dressed as Sam and Suzy and I’m having a hard time finding a dress. I’m a size 8/10. I would be happy to pay for shipping both ways and would even include $20 for your trouble. I write two blogs: One is a parenting blog for the Hartford Courant and the other is done to help promote my children’s book. Feel free to Google me. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Teresa Pelham

    • Hi Teresa, sorry for the delay! My only concern is that once the pattern-sized dress was too large, I essentially tailored it exactly to my body without a whole lot of wiggle room, since the fabric is pretty heavy. I typically wear a size 2 or 4 (Measurements are 33/26/36), so unless someone is also lacking in the bust department like myself, I’m not quite sure how well it would fit anyone else. That said, if you’re still interested, feel free to contact me through the form on my about page and we can work out the details through there via email. And if not, best of luck finding a dress that works!!

  9. coffee stains says:

    This is so great! What type of fabric did you use?

    • Thanks! Not exactly sure, but I know it wasn’t the ideal type to use for the project. Almost of canvas-like and pretty thick, but the best color match JoAnn’s could give me on short notice from the Clearance section πŸ™‚

  10. Holly says:

    First of all I just found this post and your outfits are amazing! I was wondering if you could tell me where you got your dress pattern from? I would very much like to make this dress myself for Halloween and yours is the best that I have seen so I would like to know how to get hold of the pattern πŸ™‚

  11. Blair says:

    My boyfriend and I are trying to do it this year and I can’t find a dress. I don’t suppose you’d make me one?

  12. Amanda says:

    Hi! I came across your post looking for a dress like this and managed to find the 3833 pattern out here in little old New Zealand. I noticed you said it was too large, can I ask how much you would have sized down if you were to make it again? It does seem to list one’s size vs measurements waaaayyyy bigger and I would love to not have to make too many alterations πŸ™‚
    Any advice is appreciated!


    PS. Your costume looked amazing! Nice work!

  13. I always upcycle my costumes and turn old clothing into costume pieces. This year I went as Edna Mode from The Incredibles, but nobody got it, so I am going to a nerd convention (Florida GeekFest) as Boo from Monsters Inc, which I was going to use for a canceled costume party. Next year, I am going as Tiny Belcher, who I look like and act like an older more mature version of, from Bob’s Burgers

  14. I LOVE your blog and how well your halloween costume turned out! spot on suzy bishop!! do you still have the pattern that you used for making this dress?

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