Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Apparently, one year when I was pretty young I told my mother that Halloween was my "High Holy Day." I'm not even sure if I knew then what a high holy day was but celebrating it to the max has definitely resolved itself into a personal tradition. Now that I work in a costume shop, I knew that this year I had to pull out all the stops.

For the first time maybe ever I decided to go with something scary:

Remember this? It's a literal mash-up where author Seth Grahame- Smith inserts a spooky zombie tale right into the original text of Pride and Prejudice. HI-larious! Here's how my costume came together:

1.) Bought a pattern for a Regency period dress. Ripley helped.

2.) Made the dress.
3.) And then...... I pretty much destroyed it.

I got to learn a little about distressing costumes during our recent production of Sweeney Todd: it's really fun! For Sweeney I got to get into the heads of the characters... think about how they lived and how their clothing would wear and show age. In this case, my "characters" only real motivation was "braaaaaaiiiiiins..." so I got to do whatever I wanted. (That's brown and red rit dye, lots of tearing, some sand paper and some brown acrylic paint.)

Then for the make up:

I know pretty much NOTHING about zombie make up so my friend, Maggie, agreed to help me out: she'd taken a stage make-up class in grad school and was excited to get out her kit again!

The key ingredients for awesome zombie make up? Liquid latex (for the peeling effect) and fake blood. This stuff was edible and tasted minty! Fortunately for anyone I hugged hello during the course of the evening, it also washed out with water.

All that was left was for me to find some brains... and maybe a wealthy husband.

Picture 122

(Check out the rest of my halloween photos at my flickr! And lots and lots of halloween photobooth photos, too!)

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Theater Magic

So I learned a little something about theater politics while working on The Sound of Music (our most recent production at Drury Lane.) Because the show was so huge, the costume shop rented a package of costumes: hypothetically, there should have been a couple of each costume for each of the principal characters so that we could fit the closest to our actors. Unfortunately, the package we rented was in a pretty horrible state of disrepair. In addition to the crappy previous stitching blunders, in turned out that we were short a couple of key items. Here was the issue: props are props even if they are fabric... even if it's fabric that has to match the costumes. Anyone seen The Sound of Music? Remember the curtain clothes? Of course you do. It's a story staple. BUT: curtains= props and curtain clothes= costumes. WOOPS. We ended up spending a LOT of time and money to buy the fabric and make the clothes ourselves. (Also? There is NO WAY Maria could have sewn those outfits overnight. SRSLY.)

There are a LOT of children in that family. Especially since they're double cast for our production. DIRNDLES, you guys. Weeep.

Also in that scene is a reference to fabric that is given to Maria for her to make her own dress. Guess what? The dress, we had. But the bolt of fabric? Not included in the package. Enter: Nora, textiles superhero.

RIGHT??! One of those things I'm kinda proud of. :0) Just a little bit of theater magic.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Sew Your Own Hoodie Class in Action!

** Yeah... I spend most of my time at Lill St. Here's another blog entry for them!**

We're already a couple weeks into the fall semester and my Sew Your Own Hoodie class has dived headfirst into their projects! Here are some photos of the students making paper patterns from their favorite hooded sweatshirts! After the paper patterns are done, we'll use them to make design/size alterations so that each seamstresses hoodie will be a one of a kind masterpiece!