Is it really time to start thinking about Halloween costumes already? Oh yes...especially if you're going to make your own, or have one custom made. While it may not take long to make the costume, sourcing the materials is not always as easy as making one trip to your local fabric store. Plus, there are other things to think about such as wigs, make-up, shoes, and accessories.
If you're a newbie to sewing, you may find yourself working with specialty fabrics that you've not used before, so you'll need time to do a little research on "how-to". Do yourself a favor, make sure the project is within the scope of your current skill level by doing that research before you purchase the pattern, and fabric. Open up that pattern envelope, and have a look at the instructions before you buy it so you don't have any unpleasant surprises half-way through construction.
If you're making costumes for kids, consider the size carefully. Is the child going to need to wear something underneath for warmth? If so, you may need to make the costume a little bit larger. You also want to consider safety issues as well, not the least of which is if you're using a dark fabric, you may want to add some reflective tape or elements.
Of course, thrift stores, and garage sales are a great place to look for accessories, and even elements of the costume itself. Is that dress the perfect fabric for the vest, or skirt you have in mind? You may even get lucky and find something close enough that a little tweak here and there will get you just what you were looking for with just a little bit of sewing.
And don't forget to check the dollar stores -- you'd be surprised what you can find there. Along with all the other little goodies too numerous to mention, I've found t-shirts, curtain panels, and pillow cases -- a king sized pillow case is a good amount of fabric once it's cut open.
So get that thinking cap on, and start planning your Halloween costumes now.