batman1By now you are probably tired of hearing stories about my mother. But this blog, in many ways, was inspired by her, so if you have to put up with it from time to time. I have talked in the past about my mother’s love for sewing collectibles (most notably buttons) and the like. The reason she was so into these things is that she loved to sew.

When I was growing up, she made most of the clothes she wore, and much of the clothes we kids wore – although much more for my sister who loved the idea of having one-of-a-kind outfits for school.

My mother could make anything, and she did. She could take any pattern and customize it into something unique. Or if she saw something she liked in a magazine she could design her own pattern and make something similar but likely better.

Much of what my mom made for me when I was younger were things like pajamas and bathrobes, leaving the school clothes to the Sears Put-On shop. But there was one major exception… costumes!

Not just Halloween costumes, but costumes for play year-round. My mother made costumes so we could play astronauts and cowboys. She made me a Minuteman costume the year of the Bicentennial complete with a tri-corner hat. She also made me a Santa Claus outfit for Halloween one year – which was great. I went trick-or-treating as Santa which was fun – but a few people thought they were being original when they told me to “come back at Christmas” – including one guy who didn’t give me any candy. (But I am over it.)

My mother also made exquisite costumer for herself, including an amazing Snow White outfit which people still talk about.

But most legendary in our family were the Batman and Robin costumes my mother made for my brothers. I was too young to have any firsthand memories of this, but back when the hokey television show was all the rage, my mother made a Batman (ala Adam West) costume for my oldest brother and a Robin costume for my other older brother.

Apparently the costumes were a huge hit. To the point that my brothers wore the costumes all day every day – at least when they could get away with it. And when they couldn’t go full tilt, my brothers would sport the utility belts, gloves or capes. It is so funny, there are pictures of my oldest brother like on Easter morning in his finest clothes and you can see underneath a flash of yellow – the Batman utility belt my mother made as part of the costume.

These costumes ended up in a big box with all sorts of other dress-up items I used to play with as a kid and I myself often ran around with the hand-me-down cape and mask.

So it was with a ton of nostalgia that I pulled out the original pattern my mother used to make those costumes some 40+ years ago. I was struck by the fact that she kept it and all the pieces to it all these years. Another mid-century artifact found again for a new generation.