Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Costuming 'Coincidences'

One of the coolest things about doing the costumes is the little coincidences that seem to accompany the process. For instance...

The very petite lady who had the role of Angel Two (the Present) made a drop-dead gorgeous costume for herself last year, but that family moved to Memphis. So we needed a whole new outfit for the fairly tall lady who has the role this year, as not only would last year's costume not fit her, it was the personal property of the lady who made it. Dear Director decided to take current Angel Two around to thrift stores in search of an old wedding dress that could be the basis for her costume. Now, we received a shipment of costumes from a church in Florida who did this prodution 15 or so years ago (there's a long story behind that, too, but I'll save it for another day). In that shipment was one wedding dress and veil. One. Well, the thift store shopping trip hadn't happened yet, so it was worth a try, right?

It fit our Angel Two as if it had been made for her. A lovely (ahem) late 70's dress with long drapey sleeves. I'd also been requested to make a green velvety cape with fur trim for this character. In the shopping trip to the fabric outlet in Tennesses, I managed to find (for cheap!) a poly robe velour that feels icky but has a really rich green color. Looks good with the dress. However,the dress itself still needed some, um, *something* to make it look a little less overtly bridal.

Now, last year someone had purchased a goodly amount of dark green and black floral trim that hadn't been used, being too dark on the costume for which they'd purchased it. I dug that out and held it next to the velour for the cape...dead match. I pinned it all around the sleeve edges, then along the lace trim on the bodice and the front of the skirt. I had enough, with a wee bit left over. And it looked GOOD. The only other thing it wants is bit of sparkle and it'll be exactly right.

So, I carefully removed the white lace trim from the edge of a sleeve in order to sew the trim on; the lace was rather bulky and I didn't think the Kenmore would manage sewing the thick trim over the bulky lace. No sooner did I have the lace off of one sleeve than a brainstorm hit...I had another dress for one of the Fezziwig's guests that was a very plain magenta satin. Nice lines, but no oomph. I took the lace from the sleeve and, starting at the backwaist, overlaid the princess seam, took it over the shoulder and down the princess seaming on the front, around the v-point at the front waist, and back up and over the other side. I had three little flower motifs left over when I got back to the back waist seam. Perfect. And that little bit of lace made a huge difference.

Just two dresses out of several with similar stories. This part is fun. :D

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