As of 12pm on Halloween, Lena did not have a costume, and the party started at 5pm. At the store earlier that day I had looked half-heartedly at costumes, but the crafter in me said, "You have to make a costume! Even if it's a brown paper bag... you've got to make something! Come on!"
Back at home, I dejectedly searched for "last minute homemade Halloween costume." (It's not a fun search to make.) Eventually I settled on this cute snail costume even though I secretly suspected Lena wouldn't wear it. I don't know many 1.5-year-olds who will keep a hairband on their heads or a "backpack" on their backs.
As a last ditch effort, I pulled open my fabric drawer and saw this cute blue-and-white gingham. All at once the pieces fell into place. Dorothy! "I have a white blouse that would work... and a basket she can carry with a stuffed animal inside to be Toto... and I can put her hair in pigtails... and she has maroon leather shoes that will be a bit of a stretch, but a) I just couldn't put red glitter on them even if I owned some and b) they're so stinkin' cute that no one will care...."
Now the question remained: could I make her a dress from this piece of fabric?? I stared at the fabric and then studied photos of Dorothy, and very quickly the whole idea came together. I pulled out my sewing machine and shears, cut up the fabric into a few simple rectangles, and started sewing everything together. In a couple of hours I was able to craft something that fit her, even despite the fact that the only thing she wanted to do with the measuring tape was put it around her neck.
I'm proud of it! At any rate, it's better than her Halloween costume last year...