Monday, March 04, 2013

Poppies, Poppies...

So, I have my first assignment...I am on the Poppy team.  The lady who is the team leader perused the web last night and came in  today with a printout of the photo of a lollapalooza of a poppy costume.

It so happens to have been taken from the website of a lady who makes floral costumes for art pieces. 

The poppy is on Jenny Gillies' website cover page, you MUST click through and see all of the costumes that she has made.  Ooo and ahh over them, then click back to the cover page and have a look.

Our director and the costume mistress both were smitten with that.

So, the question is, how can a handful of high school costumers come up with something passably close?

My job is the pattern drafting for the skirt and possibly a bodice, as our costume director does not want strapless costumes; we will likely have a simple fitted back-zip bodice on the top with a large bustier/cummerbund type deal with all the wavy black/gold pieces...although ours will probably be green, not black.

In looking at the skirt, it appears the underlayer is...or can be approximated with... a circle skirt w/a scalloped hem, possibly over a crinoline; the second layer, though, is 5 dart-shaped petals supported underneath by netting and possibly some wire.  We are in agreement that the fabric should be poly taffeta.

Once the skirt is assembled, I'll work on the bodice and then the petals for the hat and then I will move on and leave the painting and detailing to someone else.

So, tonight I have to come up with a paper model of that darted petal.  I'm going to do it from an 8x10 piece of paper first, then I'll see what I can do about enlarging it.

Gonna put those math skills to work.

And, of course, I am going to watch the comments for any suggestions! :-)


  1. Wow, her work is astounding. I love the "bug" dudes, too. But sorry, I have no suggestions for you that you would actually find helpful. Good luck, tho!!!!

  2. Ohhh, you have set yourself a challenge! How much fun it is going to be - Jenny's work is just brilliant. I couldn't even begin to imagine where you should start...J

  3. It's not exactly right, but Simplicity has a range of kids costumes based on Disney's "The Fairies" range. Some of those have petal skirts with darts down the centres. You may be able to look at them for some ideas.

  4. Horsehair braid is useful for stiffening edges (hems), or down the middle of a petal. I'm thinking a lot of spray starch for the petal fabric, to give it body under the lights. Or paint of top of the fabric, for stiffness and to create the sense of dimension. How many poppies are in the cast / chorus?

    1. We have six poppies; I'm underlining w/ nylon net for stiffness, and the petals will be painted for dimension by someone who actually has artistic skills. I *will* have all the pieces for the first prototype skirt cut out before I go to bed tonight...I think... We may end up with floral wire under the dart if it needs more stiffening, and we will be using more net between the petals to hold the top layer up. We have red crinolines from a previous production for the foundation...hallelujah.. Couldn't find any red tafetta; best we could do was satin-back shantung. It's a little heavier than we'd like, but, well, ya gotta go with what you can get your hands on...