The DuPage County Historical Museum is currently hosting an exhibit of 17th/early 18th century French clothing until September 9th. All items are from the private…
During the week, when there are no shows going on, actors and most of the crew return to their regularly scheduled lives. Do you know what costumers do?
So, Laura said she was looking forward to a demo on how I made the Frock Coats for 1776. I used a pattern. (What?! Missa? Are you feeling ok??) It’s not that I’m not all about cheating, or being creative, or drafting patterns. It’s just that it easier to a pattern that already exists and change it up. Here’s some ideas…
Oddly enough, I needed 19 pair of Colonial britches to go with my 25 Colonial vests. (Because I had much better luck renting britches than vests, not because I let anyone go pantless.) This is very similar to the trick I used for the Oliver! knickers, but they need a slimmer fit and different length. It goes like this:
I needed 25 Colonial-looking vests for 1776. Because I wasn’t sure that I’d get round to making a coat for everyone, I wanted vests that weren’t faked out in the back, and I needed them to have structure and to be long enough to cover the obviously modern fly fronts on the britches I was making them. Now, you can’t just trot off to the Goodwill and buy a real live Colonial vest. But you can pull off something passable, if you believe that that there are, in fact, user-serviceable parts inside of a jacket….
So I’ve been working a lot lately, which is great because paychecks basically rock. I’m really lucky to have several of the best jobs ever right now – the costume shop, which is the coolest place on earth, and I started doing some backstage stuff for shows that come through the college.
Remember a while back, I posted directions for a Basic Conic Block draft? Everyone was sort of like, wow, missa, that’s great, it explains so much, but what do I do with it? Well, a basic block is used to develop other patterns in a big bad hurry, without all that annoying measuring and math. Today, we’re going to make an ultra-generic-wenchy-ren-faire-been-there-drank-the-ale-SEEN-IT type bodice pattern. You know the the one I’m talking about…. It won’t win you points for originality or authenticity, but it’s a fun little piece to wear.
After years and years of showing the entire internet how to draft patterns to my measurements-du-jour, I’ve decided to start working with a model. There’s a couple reasons… Firstly, I already have more costumes than I possibly know what to do with. I have so many that I’m trying to come up with ways to get rid of them, without actually taking the huge, ego-wrenching risk of putting things on ebay and finding out that my treasured work is not worth a 25$ bid.
Sometimes, you need a knicker, or some other relatively non-denominational short, slightly poofy pantlet with a cuff at the bottom, and you don’t have time to make it from scratch. (Perhaps, for example, you have a cast of 37, and 9 or 11 of them are kids in Fagin’s gang and most of them are too short for proper long pants… Hey, it can happen!) Here’s the cheater’s method: