I’ve spent the last few weeks making costumes for the local Musical Society. I do love making stage costumes. Demi-character costumes are a lovely mix of stagewear and dancewear. The character has to be self-evident but it cannot overshadow the choreography or the dancer. This costume is meant to evoke the feeling of poor mistreated Cosette before Jean Valjean rescues her from the Thenardiers.
We chose dark browns for the bodice and the skirt and ivory for the chemise and petticoat. The bodice fabric has a light gold thread through it. It gives no sparkle but from gives a little texture to an otherwise flat colour. The skirt fabric is just broadcloth.
This bodice joins at the shoulder and allows a faux chemise and sleeve to be easily added. They could be removed to give the costume a different look.
I don’t like ragged hems to just be cut into triangles or dags. I try to make them look like they have been made ragged through wear. Scissors are my first attack, then I rub the fabric together and then run it underfoot on concrete!
I have piped the bodice with black broadcloth. The chemise was then sewn in the ditch to the bodice.
The broadcloth lent itself so well to my distressing techniques. There are 2 layers of brown broadcloth mounted on a basque like a romantic tutu. The ragged petticoat underneath adds definition to the skirt line. The ragged lace is mounted on a muslin petticoat and then sewn to the bottom of the basque.
The sleeves are loose to the elbow and have the ragged lace attached.
And here is the costume all put together! This costume could also work for a Cinderella or Little Match Girl demi. With a romantic skirt added and different sleeves she could even be Giselle!