Hi my name is Eva Winger. Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed in costumes. At the age of 5 my mother resourcefully made me a queen costume out of taffetta orange curtains, and my love for costumes ignited. By the age of 8, I was sewing clothes for my dolls with a penchant for historical gowns and hats. By 14 I was sewing special occassion dresses for myself, culminating in my Senior Prom Dress.
During college, I tucked away my sewing machine and pursued Biology. After graduation, I enjoyed a career in the pharmaceutical industry. When the family came along, I stayed at home with the babies.
Being at home, creativity burgeoned within me. I spent time inventing children's products, licensing one and presenting on a TV show called "Invention Hunters" which aired on Food Network.
As my babies grew into girls and went to school, I learned that education had evolved since I had attended. One new advancement is historical learning which is further enriched with dressing up clothing in historical context.
Learning through living history seemed like a real good idea to me--a way to bring children back in time. Wow, I was impressed.
But hold on a second, did I hear you correctly? I have to actually make costumes?!
I could not help but be overcome with anxiety (along with alot of other parents) with the announcement of each new class project such as Walk Through the American Revolution, Greek Symposiusm, and Roman Parade.
Circa 1975, me, age 4 Halloween. Beaming with pride and loving my costume made from orange curtains.
With all that we juggle with as parents, who has the time to find materials and cobble together something their child would be proud to wear?
My first assignment for my 10 year old daughter was George Washington. Honestly, I did not look forward to it. I was alreadly spread thin and my sewing skills were rusty. How could I live up to what other parents would create?. (I was always jealous of this one mom who decorated the best sugar cookies!--I was not a sugar cookie kind of mom.)
I wanted my daughter to feel what I did when I wore that queen gown my mother made for me: -proud, luxurious and legit. At that point, I realized that I needed to throw myself into the costume 100% or just not do it.
I put my best effort forward into creating an authentic outfit. And yes, it took me a long time, but the process was magical for me when I touched the red velvet I put on the lapel, when I created buttons out of golden cord, and when I ruffled the sleeves of the white cotton fabric. For me, this was art.
After gleaning compliments and requests to use this costume year after year--even after my daughter left the school--my fire for costuming reignited. I went on to create many more costumes for my daughters and then friends, and eventually a whole suite of costumes for a school play.
I was complimented but equally questioned--"What are your going to do with that costume now?" which was typically followed by aother question "Why don't you rent it out?"
And Costume-Take Out was born!