Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sleeve Alterations

One of the great things about working in a costume shop is that we have many things in stock to use but they are not all ready to wear.  We're creating costumes for high school students and by nature they are not done growing yet.  The shoulders and torso are smaller for most young men, they fill out as they keep growing, but their arms are long same as an adult's arms would be.  Lanky is the word that comes to mind.  Men's jackets that are longer are also going to be larger in all elements of the jacket.  Men's jackets that are smaller are, conversely, small all the way around, fine for fitting shoulders and torso, but you end up with stubby sleeves.  The easiest alteration to do is to lengthen the sleeve.

This sounds daunting but it's really not.  You start by removing all the buttons, then pick the lining away from the sleeve hem, press out your 'bonus' fabric, re-hem and reattach the buttons.  Time consuming yes, but not difficult.  Plus, you get to see how the garment is made.  The other good news about costumes is that you don't have to be a Saville Row tailor to get the job done either.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Conrad's Jacket

So I started this a week ago.This is going to be the gold Elvis-ish jacket that Conrad Birdie wears on the Ed Sullivan show. Since Birdie is supposed to be going into the military the 'feel' of the outfit is supposed to be military in nature.  I'm using a McCall's uniform pattern but I shortened it at the waist to make it more American in style and also because I was running out of fabric.
I was going to do a step by step pictorial of making this coat but then people had my camera, then I forgot it one day and before I could get around to doing in-progress pix of its construction it was pretty much done. All that is left to do is have the actor try it on and then attach the rest of the lining.

We wanted the jacket to have an overstated 'Hollywood' feel so we chose a shiny (but not metallic) yellow-gold stripe.  There are five gold chevrons on the sleeves so he looks Rock-Star important but at the same time does not denote any real rank.  The pockets were added afterwards and they and the collar were trimmed with gold sequined gimp.  I had already started putting in the lining and it was a big pain to sew the pockets on underneath.  I don't recommend it!  Conrad is going to have some gold lame pants that will have a stripe going down each leg made of the jacket fabric.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Local Paper Article

Our local paper, The York Daily Record, did a feature piece on our preparations for Bye Bye Birdie.  If you look you can find me ironing there in the background.  Those are my own personal scissors and pins!  Lame that I'm excited about that but I am.

It's really cool that they did a piece on the costume crew.  Usually the focus is on actors so it's nice to get a nod.

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