Sunday, May 17, 2015

week 18 begin again

This is the time of the season where you find youself dazed after pushing through with that last show only to find that the pressure suddenly ceases and you wonder what happened. It can feel like racing towards a brick wall and then hitting it in full stride! Hey you made it!
This is also the time when we try to get the understudies fit and start on another show or three.
Here's what is on the table this week-
Slightly tidier! 
I haven't really sorted my patterns out completely as I needed to make a suit mock-up for a fititng this week. I rarely have to make really modern present day suits and when I look at a modern rtw suit jacket just to check out details, I am often astounded by things. Armhole size for instance. I am accustomed to cutting a small and high armhole. I don't think it is excessively small, but in comparison to modern rtw it is. Of course I am cutting one offs to fit an individual -not the masses- but the modern Brioni jacket that I got to look at after the fitting had an armhole that measured 60cm for a 40R size. That was 7cm bigger than the armscye measurement on my pattern. It was also very broad across the back maybe almost 18 inches if I recall correctly and the shoulder point to shoulder point measured 18 1/2 inches, yet the fronts measured a scant 15 inches across. Very interesting.

Most of the fabrics have been returned to the cage, the dresser bags- which consist of repair kits of fabric, buttons and trims have been made up and delivered to the heads of the maintenance crew. I also had meetings for the two other shows that I need to start right away, and while doing that I will be dealing with 7 outstanding understudy fittings and building a Naval frock coat. 

Speaking of the Naval frock coat, I cut directly into fabric for this, and the whole team took part in getting it basted together for a fitting. I have never built anything for this actor, so I was a bit apprehensive about cutting right into fabric but I did it anyway. 
Here it is after the fitting.
He is a rather portly gentleman, and the stand isn't padded out for his belly, so this photo isn't a great indication of fit. 
I had to lift the skirt at the waist where you can see the pins, (it was falling in towards the body slightly) and I took in the side back area about a full 1/2 inch on each side of the body, and 3/4 inch at the waist. It needs to fit tighter than you might imagine because he will wear a belt (and sword) and as soon as a belt goes on and is fastened tight enough, you almost always need to snug up the fit at the waist. 
I need to flare the skirt a bit more, and adjust for the CB skirt overlapping slightly at the hem. I also need to adjust the run of the waist seam slightly to hide the seam underneath the belt he will be wearing. We debated about leaving the waist seam at the bottom of the belt which is where it lay in the fitting, indeed in some references there is a visible button beneath the belt, but that was a bit later in period.
What else?....Oh I misinterpreted the lapel shape so I will change that and the sleeve flashes are a bit big, so a slight reduction there too.
Now to rip it down, mark the alterations and get it trimmed and finished.

We are all a bit tired at this point in the season, but we have a long week-end to rest and gather our wits about us as we head into the build period for the later openers.

Today, I was hoping to go to the lake and do a bit of beachcombing and wandering about, but it is raining! nevermind, sometimes that is the best weather for it, so off I go....


  1. From which period is the naval coat?

    1. The show is set in the 1830's. Like everything we do, the design is an interpretation not a reproduction. I mention that because sometimes people write in about how certain elements are not historically exactly reproduced.

    2. That must be tiresome. I imagine they're sitting in the audience with a small telescope mumbling about the wrong number of buttons on such a coat for 1834.

    3. Yes, although sometimes it matters - if the show is portraying a living person or an iconic figure that requires that level of representation. its a balancing act sometimes, but we aim for our work to support not distract from the show.