Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Homage to an Unknown Seamstress

I've mentioned before that we received a number of boxes of Scrooge costumes from a church in Florida; some in '04 and the rest (the ones they couldn't find in '04) in '05. It's sort of a long story, but our senior co-pastors had been on staff at that church years ago when they did the production, and when the Florida church sold their old building they sent us the costumes. However, they didn't just send us their Dickens things...they sent EVERYTHING. Some of it was really...wow...not useable; some of it we still haven't quite figured out, but this jacket turned up apparently in those boxes and I would love to know who made it:

It's quite old; the lining used to be grey and it has multiple small places where the moths have chewed it, but it's an amazing jacket. Look at the collar detail...the tab pulled through the bias outer strip:

It also has pockets incorporated w/the shoulder princess seam:

There's also a small cuff (turn-back) on the sleeves. I'll guess it to be about a size 12-14 ...it's too big in the shoulders on me, but fits well everywhere else. Does anyone recognize the pattern? I expect it is a Vogue design, based on the tab and the details, but there's really no way to tell.

I've used it on stage once...on a manequin for one of the Uplink sets, over a lime green sheath dress (we do have some odd stuff in those costumes). It's not really useable, due to the moth holes, but I really don't know if I can put such a nicely made piece out in the trash...I'm far too impressed by the beautiful work someone did on it a long time ago.


  1. That is a beautiful jacket. It's hard to tell from photos... are you sure it's "home" made? Might it be vintage? It does have a bit of a late 50's/early 60's look to the shape and details.
    By the way, I never had a chance to respond back when you were wondering about becoming the costumer for your church, but I wanted to say to you...
    The things you said in your post about the way costumes need to serve the purpose of the story and to add dimension to the characters... *that's* a costumer talking! You have the sewing and design talent, but more... you have the understanding of the art of costumes. You will do just fine in this.

  2. I'm convinced it's made by a home seamstress...although I guess it could've been custom sewn for someone. There are no labels or traces of labels inside; I'd think even a custom seamstress would've put a label in it somehow. You can't tell from the photo, but the button holes are bound; very nicely, too, I might add. But the clincher is that there is just the barest peek of a thread of a tailor's tack visible in the inside corner of one of the pocket openings. ;)

    Re costuming: This is my week to clean the costume storage area (more on the blog about that tomorrow). At least there is a little AC in the attic at church...

    Maybe I should take in my camera again tomorrow and take pictures of some of the 'you would't believe this!' garments that are up there...

    Thanks for the encouragement, BTW. I still haven't really 'officially' moved into that spot yet, but it's coming...

    Scrooge auditions are in about 6 weeks.