Sunday, November 20, 2011


designed by Richard Hudson
Cut and basted up in fabric for first and only fitting
The finished product- unfortunately these didn't make it onstage- cut by the choreographer before they were shipped! Oy!

I was thinking about how interesting and informative it is to do multiples of the same garment.

I don't often run into situations where I am making multiples, at least not usually more than two in the case of an understudy. I also usually deal with figures that are all over the place in terms of sizing, so if I have to make a second costume for an understudy it is usually because they won't fit into the original one.
The ballet gave me the opportunity to draft the same thing in different sizes but for bodies that are very similar. It was a good test of my draft for that particular style of doublet, good practice being consistent too.

In terms of the sewing, it was also interesting to do 6 of the same thing. We naturally gravitated towards each taking on all of one task, which made the work progress much more quickly.
I had help with the cutting- Lela pitched in to cut all the pieced skirts and cuffs- I figured out the sizing of the triangles and wedges for each size of skirt, and made patterns on cardstock with seam allowance included so they could be pieced without having to mark anything. There were about 180 pieces to be cut for the skirts and another 150 or so for the cuffs, so we made a good team once we had it figured out.
Denise figured out a way to secure the tassels from falling apart- and that is such an important thing to do for the dancers safety! then she hand sewed all 288 of them to the sleeves, in the grid pattern that I worked out and Susy marked.
Silvia made most of the body alterations, all the collars and applied them as well as all the underplackets. Susy made all the pieced sleeve cuffs and applied them to the sleeves.
After all the patternmaking was finished, I sewed all the belts for Lela to apply, and the sleeve detail bands for Susy to apply and sewed hooks and snaps onto the fronts.
It went surprisingly quickly and thankfully Susy and Denise sewed all the sleeves in (that is one of my least favourite jobs, I confess). We were just like a well oiled machine, we worked really hard to get these done for the deadline, as they had added two more to the four that we were originally making.

Anyway, we were very pleased with them, we enjoyed making them and the ballet my use them somewhere, sometime in the future.

I am off on a teaching gig for the next two weeks, so posting may be sparse, but teaching always brings up new and interesting topics to think about.


  1. That's some really impressive work, wow !

  2. Thanks! We really enjoyed making them and I love the colour palette! It's too bad that they won't fit on a stand very well, oh well!

  3. Love the jacket, creative very colorful and the tassels are my favorite!!