Today in Costume Land

It's not like I haven't been doing anything.  I've been hired by my old college theater department to do some costume stuff for a couple of their shows this semester.  

But before we get to that....

Look what I found in the costume shop.  I thought this was pretty cool looking... This is a skirt that was hanging around that I really liked all the embroidery on --- not big on the sequins but I like the idea of it... So I snapped a few pictures and these will go into my inspiration folder for Prince Diamond.... (See the previous post about that.) 

I also wanted to show you all an example of layering fabrics... here you can take two fabrics and lay them on top of each other to make a new fabric... I've used this technique on the dress for Lust from Fullmetal Alchemist and on the Bodice of the Water Faerie.... both can be seen in my Gallery.  In the pics below, you can see that a sheer pinky, plaid organza was laid over a yellow satin... To use this technique, all you do is cut out each pattern piece from each fabric, then lay them over each other.  Then you can baste, zigzag, or serge around the edges to make the two separate pieces into one, which you then sew like normal.  

 Finally, here's what I've been working on these past few weeks.  The play is called The Government Inspector and it's a comedy about the government of a small Russian town during the Romantic/Victorian era.  The town officials are all corrupt and they're all paranoid because a stranger has come to town, and they think he's a government official come to bust them.  In actuality he's just a guy.  So the town officials are giving this guy the rockstar treatment and the Mayor's wife is trying to set the guy up with her daughter, etc, etc,.. I caught the first act of dress rehearsal the other night and the show is pretty funny.  

Anyway, there is a set of twins in the play and they're the town gossips.  Basically, they're the reason why the officials thing the nobody guy is somebody... So I made the costumes for the twins.  The pics below show one of the costumes and since this costume was made for twin characters, I had to make it twice.

Now when you're costuming a stage show, your costumes should help tell the story.  In a ridiculous show like this, the costumes are going to be loud and crazy and colorful.  This is why there's a very large stripe print on the trousers mixed with a paisley on the coat.  That's also the reason I made the coat tails short... to help emphasize the roundness of the characters... By the way, the twins are supposed to be rotund, so our guys are wearing fat suits.  

I will update this when I have full costume pics available so you can see the whole thing put together.  They are ridiculous and funny.  I'll put some of the other costumes up as well... There's a dress that the mayor's wife wears that incites another character to ask her "Why are you dressed like a lamp in a whorehouse?"  Needless to say that dress is awesome!  I'll post pics when I get them.

So, about the coat.  It's made from a funky paisley upholstery... and by funky I mean it was a weird fabric.  It was woven but it almost acted like a knit... like I said... weird.  I used Burda pattern 2767. (It's the same pattern I used for Bill the Duck)  Except this time I kept more along the lines of View A.  Only I altered the front pieces to be pointed at the waist seam.  I left off the bottom front pieces and I combined and simplified the side bottom back and the bottom back... I also shortened those.  Lastly I raised the stance at center front.  Remember I wanted to keep it wide and boxy.

For the trousers, I just did a simple 4 piece short pant with elastic in the waist and at the hem just below the knee.

One of the nice things about costuming for college theater is that you're on a crazy limited schedule and an even more limited budget.  You're also afforded the luxury that no one will see the costume up close... (well in most theaters this holds true)  So you can get away with skipping things like linings, which I did with these coats.  Or you can cheat by using elastic  in the waistbands of trousers instead of doing a proper waistband.  If you make small errors, as long as they're not noticeable from a few feet away it's okay.  Granted, the costume still has to look good onstage, but it doesn't need the amount of perfection a costume would need if you were entering it into a construction event at a convention. 

 Well I hope you enjoyed today's adventure's in costume land.  Here's a sneak peek at what's coming from the next show.

Fat Suits and Candy Bars,



  1. Once again Jason I am awe-inspired by your awesomeness! i am really excited to see the Prince Diamond cosplay completed.


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