The Nifty 50’s: Bring it on, Danny & Sandy!

Halloween, this year, has come and gone, but there are little reminders all around our home that continue to make me smile.  I love this time of year, especially the warmth of the season’s colors both inside and out.  And, although most of the trees now look barren and cold,  their leaves long ago blown away in the blustery Nebraska wind, it also serves to remind us that nature will again come full circle in the spring.

Inside our little home, a yellow bungalow, fall is most evident.  From wooly, hooked rugs, made by yours truly, to an abundance of pumpkins and crows and twiggy vines; it’s a comforting place to sit a spell.  Not a fancy place, mind you, but cozy.  We love the old character of our 30’s, stick-style bungalow, and we’ve tried to restore as much of it as we could to its original simplicity and splendor.

And speaking of old things, I worked hard to recreate an oldie, but goodie, for Emily’s Halloween Dance a few weeks back.  She and her guy-friend wanted to attend the Jr-High Halloween Dance as a “couple,” and they needed ideas for costumes.  The “Bride of Frankenstein” was suggested by many, as she was sporting those lovely stitches through her eyebrow (this story from a previous post, “Series Points & Sutures: All in a Good Day of Motocross!”), but alas, she declined.

When I searched the internet for “couple costumes,” I was a little put off by the suggestions that came up; definitely not what I had in mind for my teenage daughter and her friend.  I did find the idea of Sandy Olsson and Danny Zuko from the movie, “Grease” to be both clean and fun, however.

After all parties involved agreed to the “Grease” theme, I went online and searched for “affordable” costumes.  I was pretty disappointed to see how much the costumes were selling for, and feeling more and more hopeless when I couldn’t find any of them in their sizes.  In hindsight, I can see this was a good thing, as it forced me to get creative.

I felt if Emily were to be the “cheerleader Sandy,” we could make it work.  And since my mother-in-law does lovely work with a needle & thread, I was certain she would make the long, red felt skirt for Emily.  My job would be to create a school emblem for the front of a sweater, and also some T-Bird lettering for the back of a leather jacket.

It took some thinking, and a trip to a bigger city for some red and white felt, but soon after, I was making progress.  I carefully sketched out the emblem and the letters for the project, cut them out of felt, and proceeded to iron them on with fusible interfacing.  I didn’t iron the letters onto the leather jacket, however, I used adhesive-backed felt for that; it worked like a charm!  I also added a red felt collar to the sweater; I thought it was a nice touch.

Emily & her friend looked SMASHING for their dance.  I had big plans of taking them both to the event that evening,  snapping a zillion pictures; but unfortunately, I came down with a bug and had to stay home.  My dear husband took them instead, and bless his heart, he tried to get a couple of photos for me, but this is what he came home with…Are you dizzy yet from looking at that?  Sorry, it was all for the dramatic effect :-).  He tried, but I’m afraid those big paws of his are “all thumbs” when it comes to handling my camera.  Thankfully, all was not lost.  “Danny’s” mother snapped a few photos  before they left his house, and as you can see with the one below, they were a little more in-focus.

Remembering back to the Jr-High dances I went to, there was always that awkward silence, and nobody really danced.  We all dressed up to… stand around in groups and “talk” about dancing, and like I said, it was awkward!  Emily told me she and her friend actually did dance, and they had a wonderful time.  They even won the “Best Couple Award.”

So as I hang up these costumes and store them away, I’m reminded of all the fun we had putting them together.  Buying them would have been more expensive, and I would have missed out on the fun of getting in touch with my artistic side.  It brought me joy, and a sense of accomplishment to be creative, as well as reminding me how much I miss being crafty in this hectic life of ours.  I’m definitely going to make it a goal to start some winter projects, and enjoy the free time (when I have it), creating something fun.


10 thoughts on “The Nifty 50’s: Bring it on, Danny & Sandy!

  1. I had a good laugh over the statement; “big paws of his are “all thumbs”!! You have to give CF credit, he’s loves his kids and he does all sorts of things for you!! The costumes looked great… you can be proud of your work. Just look at you now, Baby Sister! You seem to have gotten in touch with your creative side… what with writing a blog, sewing, hooking, and cooking! Always creating, designing, and thinking.

    I can’t wait to spend a few days in that cozy bungalow of yours… some dollops of snow, and a blustery wind would be a nice touch! I think I’ll order that for the next trip north!!


    • Thank you, sister! This was a fun project to work on, and quite rewarding when I look at the photos of Emily & and her friend dressed up for the dance; they made a sweet couple! And I look forward to you making that trip up north, we’ll be sure to have the house overflowing with the sights, smells, and sounds of Christmas by then (with any luck you’ll be here by New Years 🙂 ). I don’t know about the blustery wind though; are you sure you wouldn’t prefer a “dusting” of snow, and maybe “no” wind? Ha, like there’s much chance of THAT here, LOL!


  2. Excellent post, groovylove! My grandmother made many a costume for me when I was a kid in those very 1950s. That is my excuse for being a non-blogger; and that is my self-perceived lack of creativity. I owe you some correspondence and I haven’t forgotten. The holiday weekend got quite hectic with family and I was unable to get caught up but this coming week will be more peaceful. It’s still coming!


    • Thanks so much, Louis!! My mother-in-law made several of the costumes our kids wore over the years, and I always knew it brought her such joy; now I can say I understand why. I appreciate you kind comments so much, and it’s so nice to see you coming back for more of my ramblings :-). Hope you and Kristen had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I look forward to hearing from you when you get the chance, have a great week!


  3. I think the Danny/Sandy idea is brilliant, and you really pulled it off. The thing that scrares me, though, is that I don’t think your Emily has more than a year or two on my Audrey, and the thought of her going to dances… oy! I mean, it was just yesterday she was in 2nd grade! How is your daughter’s injury?


    • Which caused me to wonder – will the peaceful, mellow Sid suddenly have the urge to lean a shotgun on the door jamb? Perhaps “Louis the pacifist” is glad he had no young daughters!


    • It IS scary, Sid; realizing our little girls are growing up and (dare I say) getting close to dating boys? I’m especially concerned about the day I have to hand over the car keys to either/both of our kids, and trust that they will return home safely. I don’t think the worry ever ends as a parent. On a good note, Emily’s injury is healing nicely, the scar fades a little more every week, and she doesn’t seem a bit concerned about; thanks for asking :-). Always great to hear from you, Sid; have a great week!


    • Thank you, Denise! I’ve discovered I love this new creative side, I wish I’d tried it years ago. Isn’t it fun, and rewarding, to make it rather than buy it? Yes, fun memories!


  4. That’s easy for you to say (BIG GRIN). My talents are more in the area of fixing things – electrical, some plumbing, carpentry, etc.


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