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Theatre Sewing

Monday's fittings went really well for the show - there were several tweaks to be made on Snow White, and one pair of shoes that needs to be reordered, plus one of the actors had a plane delay and wasn't there, so unfortunately we didn't get to try out anything on her (and she has three costumes!). I didn't get as much done on Cinderella as I had wanted to before the fitting, so it had too many pins in it, and I didn't want the actress to try it on. But luckily, they've pushed back the promo shoot to next week, so we have all weekend to finish the costumes.

I was able to hand off Rapunzel, Belle, and Mulan to my second stitcher, and my first stitcher has Snow, Frog Princess's 2nd costume, and Pocahontas. I'm working on Cindy, followed by Ariel's tail. We need to try stuff on the Ariel actress before we can work on anything else for her, and we also have the Frog Princess's ballgown, Sleeping Beauty, and Balroubadour (a take off of Jasmine), and we open in exactly one month. I think we're in a good place. 

I have nothing going on this weekend, so I was planning to spend all weekend sewing. But my weight has been up this week, so I've decided I'm going to use some of my free time to try the free 5-day pass at LA Fitness. I've been debating about which gym to join, so maybe this will help me decide. Anyway, other than that, I'm going to see Incredibles, finish Cindy, hopefully make Ariel's tail, and/or start on my 1890s shirtwaist/skirt. Yesterday, I sewed down all the piping on Cindy's bodice, and added trim to Snow's corset, so at this point, pretty much all I have on Cindy is hemming two of her skirt layers, and attaching the skirts to the bodice. Shouldn't be too bad. And on the plus side, all this work I'm doing on the show has already paid for my fall trip to Dapper Day at Disneyland!

I have been deliberating more on my gala gown, though. I just can't get into right now, and I'm wondering if that means I have to change my whole design plan. Luckily, right now all I have is the base skirt, so I might just have to play around with various embellishment options, and see what calls to me. But that will be after I do the shirtwaist/skirt. Maybe by then I'll want to go back to the original design anyway. 

I'll post pics of Cindy soon - I keep forgetting to take them!


My life this weekend

I think my super hectic life is going to get a little easier this week. Which is good, because I have so much sewing to do. I started on Cinderella last week, but didn't get super far. On Friday, though, I did a costume portrait session in my Titanic deck dress during the first part of the day, proceeded to get stuck in horrendous traffic trying to get home (it took me over two hours to go 37 miles), and then spent the whole evening sewing. I was able to finish getting everything cut out for Cindy, and sewed together the base of the skirt and the whole bodice (including piping!). It was a lot of cutting - the bodice is made of 9 pieces (it's an alteration to the Simplicity Frozen bodice pattern, but I added in an extra seamline on each side-front), and each of the pieces consists of a cotton layer and a sequined satin layer flat-lined together, except for the CF piece, which is cotton, satin, and lace together. 

On Saturday, I subbed in to two children's shows, which were located in waaay northern WA. I left the house at 6:50am, and we got back to the Seattle area at about 5pm. The shows were well-received, but that was just way too far. Then I had a fitting with two of the actresses for the show - the Cindy bodice fit almost perfectly - it was about .5" too long at the waist, but that's an easy fix. The skirt was about 3" too long, though, but I hadn't hemmed it yet, because I figured something like that would happen, so that wasn't terrible. We also did a fitting on the Frog Princess, and we had them try on all their accessories (which all fit! yay!). Then I went home and fell asleep on the couch right after dinner. 

On Sunday, I went to an estate sale way out in the edge of Auburn that I thought from the pictures was going to be in a historic house. It wasn't. I bought hangers, but it was otherwise disappointing. Then I went to Joanns and picked up a bunch of patterns for my stitchers, and then I saw a local production of Shrek. Then I came home, ordered what are hopefully the last accessories/notions that I will need for the show, ate dinner, and sewed. I made the necessary alterations to Cindy's bodice, which now just needs the piping at the top and bottom hand-sewed down and lace added to the top, plus some decorative buttons, and I shortened the three skirt layers. I also (mostly) made her bloomers. I ran out of elastic for the knees, and I have to add lace to the knees as well, so I'll be picking up more elastic today. I also dyed Belle's dress fabric, since I remembered at 10:30pm last night that I hadn't done that yet (whoops), but it came out pretty much just right. And I separated out all the fabrics/patterns/notions into kits for my stitchers. 

We're having a fitting for the whole cast today at their first rehearsal, and I'll have both my stitchers there as well, so I can hand off at least a few more projects. I think at this point, there's just 2.5 costumes and a couple of accessories that aren't ready to be handed off, and they open in just over a month, so we should be in a good place. I'm excited to get the 4 large Joanns bags out of my sewing room, too! After I finish Cindy, I'm going to make Mermaid's tail, and then I think I'll do my 1890s shirtwaist/skirt. Other than rehearsal tonight, and a photoshoot for them later this week sometime, I have nothing else I'm committed to this week or weekend. I'm super excited. I haven't had this much time in who knows how long, so hopefully I'll get a lot of sewing done! 

So as to make this a post with pictures, here's a few selfies I took at the portrait session on Friday. I forgot how comfy that dress is. I just hope the shoes are comfortable enough to wear for both the Friday night social and the gala at CoCo, since they match both outfits!

Switching Gears

I put aside the gala gown last night, and decided to work on Cinderella for Disenchanted instead. After work yesterday, I dropped off all the materials for three of the costumes with one of my stitchers, then went to Ross and picked up a few of the ready-to-wear pieces I need for the show. That all took a big load off. When I got home, I started cutting out the patterns and fabric for Cindy. I got her bloomers all cut out (cotton and glitter organza), and her underskirt (satin and glitter organza), but then I had to go to bed. I doubt I'll have any time to sew today, since I'm going up to Seattle to see the Hunchback of Notre Dame tonight (so excited!), but I'm looking forward to working on her more tomorrow.

I think it should go together fairly quickly - I have an overskirt section, arm poufs, and the strapless bodice as well, and I won't be able to actually finish hems and binding until after the fitting next Monday, but I'd like to get the whole thing plus Ariel's tail done before then. And maybe work on my 1890s skirt and shirtwaist a little, too, though I doubt I'll get that far, since this weekend is very full. 



On Saturday, I put the waistband on the gala gown skirt, and marked the hem length. I've also completely scratched the idea of a new corset for it, because there is just not enough time, so I'm going to use my 1870s corset. On Sunday, I was playing around with trims - I cut out some of my appliques, and I also did a test of the silver metallic grid on the ivory matte satin. And I hated it. It was so wrinkly and awful. I think I'm either a) going to have to do it by hand, or b) put the ivory on the skirt before doing the grid pattern, or c) both. So that's annoying and time consuming. I cut out the shapes for the front two ivory "cutaways," and put them loosely in place on the skirt, and they look AWFUL. 

So basically, I'm so not feeling the gala gown right now, and am questioning all my choices. So I think I'm going to step away for a minute. I'm either going to work on my 1890s shirtwaist and skirt for CoCo, or I might assemble an outfit for Disenchanted. I'd love to get the CoCo stuff done. I think it should be a relatively quickish project, and will make my mind a little clearer for the Gala gown, because I won't have so many projects in my docket. 

This is what my sewing to-do list looks like right now:

1890s gala gown - embellish and hem skirt, do entire bodice, make jewelry
1890s shirtwaist and skirt - make entire outfit
Regency red silk dress - embellish skirt and make sleeves
Disenchanted costumes - there are a total of 10.5 costumes. I will have at least 2-3 stitchers on this, and I'm about to hand things off to one of them, but we have three looks from the waist up that are needed for promos in about a week, and then everything is needed by July 11th. And I still have more fabrics and pieces to buy for some of them. Hopefully I won't actually have to do much stitching on them, too, but I'll probably do at least 1-2 of the looks. 

So basically, this is why my brain is going crazy. And looking at my schedule, I should have 13 evenings and 7 full days before the Disenchanted costumes are due, and an additional 5 evenings and 2-3 full days after Disenchanted before CoCo. And that's if I do nothing else besides what is currently on my calendar. Gah!


Harry Potter Trivia

On Saturday, I participated in Geeks Who Drink's annual-ish Harry Potter Trivia event in Seattle. They do it about once every 1-1.5 or so years, and I think I've done it at least 4-5 times, and it's awesome. I consider myself a Harry Potter expert, so it's always fun to put my knowledge to the test. In the past, I think the best we've done is maybe 4th or 5th place. But this year, we won 1st place!!

There were six of us on the team, and all of us dressed up. Three of the team were students, one dressed as Dobby, one as a young Molly Weasley, and I went as Professor Trelawney. I assembled my outfit the week before from the thrift store, purchasing two skirts, a long tunic-y blouse, a sleeveless sweater, a scarf, and a pair of round glasses (from online). I decided the day of to cut down a pair of boots I had that were falling apart, so I cut the leg off at the ankle. I paired all that with long scrunchy grey socks, and a whole bunch of jewelry. It works out well that Trelawney is a Ravenclaw, because I was able to pull out my Ravenclaw necklace to go with all the others. I thought my outfit was completely on point, but alas, I didn't win the costume contest. Luckily, that went to our Molly Weasley, so our table got to have the jello shots (the costume prize) anyway. 

We had a ton of fun, and for winning first place, we got $314 and won the most awesome Sorting Hat cake, made by one of the Quizmasters!

Here's some pictures:

CoCo Progress

Yes, I actually worked on my gala gown! I spent much of Friday and Monday working on it, though considering I spent quite a bit of time on it, I don't feel like I have much to show for it. That said, I had no idea how complicated the interior structure of an 1890s skirt is. I was working with the pattern of the 1893 skirt in Patterns of Fashion, plus lots of tips from Kelsey Patton on the internal structure, and this is what I wound up doing:
  • The exterior of the skirt is butter yellow silk taffeta from Home Fabrics. The skirt back pieces are so wide that I had to piece in the lower corners that make up the CB of the train. 
  • The interior layers begin with a base of upholstery cotton sateen, which I managed to find at one of the big Joanns in the area (they didn't have it at either of the smaller stores I normally shop at). This also was pieced, though I saved some fabric and didn't worry about the piecing matching up like I did on the taffeta. 
  • On the sateen was a layer of hair canvas, which I got from fabrics.com. Hair canvas is 23" wide, but I did mine so that it basically reaches to about 18" up from the floor. That means that by the CB of the train, the hair canvas was actually about 35" deep (aka more piecing). 
  • Because the hair canvas is grey, it would have shown through if I had sandwiched it between the sateen and the silk layers, so it is actually on the inside of the sateen. 
  • Over the hair canvas, I have another layer. Because a) I was out of sateen, and b) I wanted it to be yellow like the outside, I made this layer out of yellow poly matte satin, leftover from the Designer Disney Snow White skirt from last year. On one of the back pieces, I managed to cover all the hair canvas with only two pieces of the matte satin. The other one has like 7, because all of my pieces were weird triangles. Not ideal, but oh well. 
  • Once I had all the layers mounted on the sateen, I flatlined that with the serger to the taffeta layer. If you were to look at the layers from the outside in, you would find silk taffeta, cotton sateen, hair canvas, poly matte satin. 
After all the structure was completed, I made up the placket and the pocket bag pieces, and sewed everything together. I ran out of time before doing the darts/gathering into the waistband, but should be able to do that this week, though I do have at least one alteration, plus possibly theatre sewing to do first. Once that is done, I'll be able to start on all the embellishments. I'm a little worried, to be honest, because the skirt is already really heavy!

Please ignore the super messy sewing room in the first photo. In the second photo, you can kind of see the process of mounting the interior facing over the hair canvas. 

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June 2018



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