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.
simple colours with a little texture
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.
Suzanne’s Dieckmann’s peasant bodice
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.
distressing the lace
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!
pinning in faux chemise
I have piped the bodice with black broadcloth. The chemise was then sewn in the ditch to the bodice.
I love the lines on this 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!
Julia’s Quick-change costume
I received a message from a friend asking could I make a waitress costume for the Musical “The Wedding Singer” that could be changed to a wedding gown onstage in 2 seconds! Sure … I can do anything. This picture is just a bit of a teaser because I can’t put the video on this blog and you’ll have to go to my FB page so see the transformation. It was fabulous watching the costume change on stage … the audience was mesmerised. The first time I saw it in dress rehearsal the AD and I just skipped around clapping and laughing like a couple of crazy laughing clapping people!
Singing competitions will often ask for a costume to assist people with their characterisation.
Costume for Andreas for the short Film “The Botanist” by Alex Giles. Costumes were meant to be evocative of Victorian times but accuracy was not paramount. Andreas is assisting Archer hunt for the “outlander” Isla who is being sought for her blood. It was hard to bring myself to ravage the costume to make it look like Andreas had been travelling rough but the Assistant director and I got to it with dirt and rocks on the first day of shooting.
Costume for Merry Weather, chief Barmaid in the short Film “The Botanist” by Alex Giles. Costumes were meant to be evocative of Victorian times but accuracy was not paramount. Merry Weather looks after the other barmaids and exudes a little more gravitas. Tybalt Prince of Cats photo-bombed the picture.
Mrs Mayor needed a red and blue suit to match her husband’s costume that had been sourced from Wardrobe. So here she is with a 1940s style jacket and a cute little skirt. All the Whos were dressed in red and blue.
Kitty Corset – a bit of fun
This was a bit of fun to try out a new corset pattern. The top fabric is a newsprint pattern of cat stories over black coutil. Doesn’t quite fit the decidedly uncurvy mannequin.