Thursday, May 8, 2014


After months of hard work it is finally finished.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

She's finished!

Had my final fitting today and added all the closure and trims and hems. So she is completely finished!! I'm so happy with how it turned out!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


This is just a quick snapshot of the vest almost finished in te real fabric. It's on a female dress form so it looks a little odd. I'm waiting till the next fitting to finish off the hem and shoulders in case I have to take it all apart sinves it's fully lined. I also finished the pants just have to put closure on them but that can happen after the fitting. I don't have a picture of those but they came out really well, I know sorta want a pair for my self.

First fitting of Mock Ups

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What happens when you spend 11 hours in a costume shop?

You can barely see
 the markings 

You miss daylight completely, or and you get a lot done. I started off the day working as an intern for a
few hours which meant I got to continue on that bodice for The Rover. It now has sleeves and little epaulets attached. It's done for now until the next fitting, then we can add the little tabs to the sleeves. I basically spent a good chunk of time tracing and trying to find a marking tool that would appear on the interfacing fused onto the fabric. I found that you can see yellow tailors chalk really well, but when I ironed it went away so then I proceed to tried like 4 other things, yellow wax pencil, white wax pencil, white tailors chalk and finally just settled on the pink water soluble marker, it was the easiest. I put everything together, the sleeves are out of a very nice white eyelet fabric, It looks very nice with the wine colour.
Bodice with sleeves and epaulettes 

After that was all put together I took a quick break to eat food, that was the only time beside 10:30am that I saw daylight. When I got back I went to work on my project, I was looking over the schedule in the syllabus and was pleasantly surprised when I realised I am already a week ahead of schedule. This week I'm suppose to be working on but the Male mock together, when I'm actually finished and starting on the female. I also was laughing because did his Howard, I'm gonna use the wrong word thing. It say that I should "start switching fabric", it took me a second to figure out what that mean, he means I should start swatching fabric. Oh, Howard.

The only thing I had left to do on the male mock up was just put the sleeves on the coat, and make a collar. That took like 30 minutes, I already had to sleeve cut out. But, the collar was a little tricky to get the right shape, its not the best picture of the collar in the render. What I realise is that lapel shape needs to be changed and once I did that the collar looked in place. Now that male is done until we get Zach in to fit him, and then it will all have to come apart again to make adjustments to each pattern piece before we cut out the real fabric.
Bodice pieces all traced

I move on to start cutting out the female, I have all here pieces into paper patterns now. There all a weird looking, thats what happens when you drape, thinks aren't as straight and "normal" looking as when you flat pattern. I was able to get everything cut out, Howard wanted me to test the front skirt first before I cut to out. It a shape that you wouldn't expect the skirt to be, so I cut on out to test and it still works the way I originally draped it to. I then proceed to cut two out, I didn't feel like cutting the underskirt or the back of the overskirt out yet since those are really easy and I know there going to work. So I decided to start to put together the front bodice and over skirt to make sure the piece all fit together. At the point how came singing into the shop, he is also slowly trying to convince me to wear the girls costume to graduation in May, which is just really funny.

 He keeps saying how he wished we could have started doing these years ago with me, which if I knew actually what I wanted to go into 3 years ago I totally would have. I think I had an idea of where want to go after college better then most people, I've always know I want to go into theater and work in costumes. Which is pretty specific, I took me till this year to realise I want to go into theater and work in costumes and work in the construction and management end, which is super specific. It was nice to hear him say the this by doing this and having these skills I'll get more jobs, which is what I've know along, but it was nice to hear a professor say your good enough to be employable, especially in theater.
Hi Mary!

After that all happened I start to but gathering stitches around my whole bodice, the whole thing is gathered around. I then sorta flatlinned it to and under little bra piece I made that give the garment its shaped. After all that gathering I'm really starting to like tailoring more and corset making, you get sick of gather after a while. After all the gathering and one it was flatlined to the under bodice, I attached to the waist band. I then went on to the skirt, I decide to put pleats in the skirt where its all gather at the hem. Before I put the CF together I had to put those pleats in, those are what gives the hem that unique shape. Once all that was done it was time for more gathering stitches, I put those along the waist line where they needed to be. There are two different amounts of gathering on the skirt so I had to make sure I had less gathering at the CF and more towards the sides. Then it was time to attach the skirt to the waist band. And then I had the whole front half of the girl done, oh did I mention I did all this while wear one of the mini top hats I made for The Merchant, I look adorable. Tomorrow if I get time I think I'm gonna either do the under skirt or the back.
My lovely German Couple

Monday, February 24, 2014

A little detour from project

Everything flatlined together
This is't related to my independent study, I decide to take a little break this weekend from it. But today I did actually get to put together that bodice I mentioned before. I was actually surprised as to how much I got done in just one after noon. Remember I said that I had retraced and cut the fabric out, but nothing was put together. Well it was in that same state when I started today, everything cut out but nothing together. So I started by flatline all the fabric (the pretty outside fabric) with the under coutil fabric. If you don't know what flatlining is its when you lay everything together and top stitch around the edges so that they lay flat together. I did that to all the pieces, there is a CF,  2 SF, 2 SSF, 2 SB, and 2 CB so in total there is 9 pieces to the bodice, and remember that is doubled because those are cut out of the coutil, and then the real fabric. Once I got everything flatlined, I put my seams with a 1/2 inch seam allowance together, which was the CB to SB, SF to SSF, and SSF to CF. I then serged all the seams together and serged the edges of the CB separately and the SB and SSF seams separately since there seam allowance was more then a 1/2 inch. The reason those down get serged together is because if the fit needs to be adjusted, you would either take it in along those seams or let it out. Thats also why there is more seam allowance along those seams.

Inside coutil, with boning tape. Everything is serged and
stitched together, but no cording yet.
Seam allowance is costuming is different then in commercial garments. If you buy a commercial pattern the seam allowance is going to be 5/8 inch. Commercial patterns are not made thinking that multiple
people may be wearing this in the future, there for they don't need to be as easily adjustable. In costume you want to put extra seam allowance in, because after the show is done this costume will go into of stock and could be used 20 years down the road, for another actor. Costumes have a long and interesting live they must constantly be evolving from show to show, that is why in costuming things are constructed differently then in commercial or fashion wear. It doesn't mean one way is easier they just emphasise different things. For one in costumes an important part is what type of closure is being used, does it need to be a historical closure or a closure for a quick change. In commercial/fashion sewing that isn't as important, the more important question would be if its aesthetically pleasing.
Cording before its attached to bodice

So back to the bodice after I serged everything, I stitched the SB and SSF seams together . I then began to cut bias tape for the cording that will go around the neckline and around the waist. Cording or piping is a common way to finish off edges and can also be use to add a decorative touch, if you use a
Bodice almost finished with cording around
neck and waist
different pattern or add it to outline seams to make them stand out. In this case we are finishing off the edges, so it was cut with the same fabric. You make cording by cutting 2" strips of fabric cut on the bias. The bias is when the fabric is cut at a 45 degree angle across the grain, when fabric is cut on the bias it has a stretch that allows if to bend easily around curves and shapes. Your then take a cord and fold the fabric around it, like a hotdog in-between the buns. Using a zipper foot you then stitch as closely to the cord as possible to incase it. After I did all that I serged the cording for a finished edge. I then stitced the cording around the neckline in the front and back. I had to slit the side seams a little bit because I forgot that the cording goes on those pieces before they are stitch together and I put the cording at the waist and stitch back up the side seams. I then trims the extra seam allowance on the bodice to be even with the cording's seam allowance, so it look nicer on the inside. I made sure to clip around the edges along to curves so that it would lay flat and then pressed everything down and to the right side. Once everything was press I went back and top stitch around the neckline and waistline to make sure the cording lay flat. I also forgot to mention before that I had but all the boning in the bodice before hand. After I did all that there was nothing left for me to do, I just put the shoulder seams together, but the bodice is going to have some off the shoulder sleeves. But I havn't been told what fabric those are going to be cut out of so I have to wait to put those on. I also don't know what kind of CB closure this is getting so I wasn't able to move to that step yet, but thats ok because I didn't expect to get that far this after noon anyway so hopefully I can finish it by the end of the week. Which I think is completely do able.

What's nice about this is I didn't have to worry about patterning or fitting anyone I just go to put it together. It a relive when you just get told here sew this together and thats it.
Back view you can see that there
 isn't a back closure yet
Side veiw