When I was younger, October marked the annual craft store trip with mom to flip through the giant pattern books--and narrow down my top choices for that year's Halloween costume. Playing dress-up was fun--but watching mom work away at the sewing machine to create a costume just for me was always magical. From pirates, to pumpkins, to Jasmine, my favorite Disney Princess, each year produced as many fond memories as it did sugar highs. Whether you're looking to start a similar Halloween costume-making tradition with your children or just hoping to make a killer party outfit, here are a few of our favorite sources of inspiration. Of course, if you don't have the necessary equipment, you'll want to start here, with our reports for best sewing machines and sergers. And if you're really behind the ball, invest in a garment steamer to ensure that the pre-packaged costume you buy from the drug store has a more polished look.