Sunday, 28 February 2016

A Tale of Two Elsas

Soooo, continuing my sharing of the panto costumes, these are the costumes I made for the baddie - Ratifa the Queen Rat - and Fairy Bowbells.

These are both actually the same dress (I decided to go for a good vs evil theme), and they are both in fact the Elsa dress, previous incarnations of which can be found here.

Not much to say construction-wise.  I made the baddie costume using some wine/burgundy taffeta for the skirt and underlining of the top and some black lace for the top and sleeves from White Tree Fabrics.  I ummed and ahhed about adding the cape, but decided against it in the end and thought that if I had time I would make a separate cape (I never got time!).

The lady that was playing Queen Ratifa requested some thigh splits in the skirt of the dress, and I was only too happy to oblige and take my scissors to the dress while she had it on.

It was a simple make, but I have made what feels like a million Elsa dresses, so I pretty much knew what I was doing.  I left the lace hems unfinished, but did hem the skirt.  I then recruited my eldest niece to add black sequins along the hem, splits and neckline, as well as up the centre back seam, and that was that dress finished.  Not sure Queen Rat was too happy with it, but I think I was pretty much past caring by then - I liked it.

Then it was on with the fairy costume, which was originally going to be a silver version of the baddie costume as I had just enough silver sequin fabric left over from my disastrous Sophia top to do the main part of the bodice.  But then the lady playing the fairy bought gold shoes, so a rethink was required.  I couldn't get the gold version of the silver sequin fabric as, at the time Guthrie Ghani had sold out, so I had to think again.

In the end, I got some foiled organza from Boyes, foiled with some lovely gold hearts, which I used for the overlay on the bodice, the yoke and the sleeves.  I used some gold satin for the skirt and underlining of the bodice.  Again, I left the cape off and I added sequins along the bodice/skirt join with sequins all over the skirt (which my helper, Elaine did for me).  Finally, I added some gold ribbon around the hem of the sleeves.

check out that invisible zip insertion
I know that the fairy did not like this costume (I admit it wasn't my favourite, but neither was it what I had originally planned), as she decided to only wear it for the finale (thereby ruining my good vs evil idea) and buying her own costume.  Karma did come back to bite her in the butt, quite literally, when she sat on make-up in her lovely white costume that she had bought (and which I had magnanimously sequinned up for her, like the nice person I am) and got foundation all over her backside (it was not a good look!).

So anyway, that is those two dresses.  I will be back in a couple of days with a costume that someone actually liked . . . .

In the meantime . . . .

Happy Crafting!


Thursday, 25 February 2016


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Monday, 22 February 2016

He's Behind You

Sooo, as you may or may not be aware from previous posts (I can't remember if I have mentioned it), some fool put me in charge of the costumes for Addingham Panto this year, which starts tonight, and which is Dick Whittington, so now that that is all done with, I thought it high time that I shared some of my costume making escapades.  Those who follow me on Instagram or Twitter would normally have seen my designs months ago and seen the progress on the actual making over the last few weeks, but I got told off for posting my work in progress, so I seem to have disappeared off the edge of the earth.  Don't panic - I have not, and now I will share some of my costume makes and have a good ole moan about the experience, until I get told off again that it.

First up - it has to be Mr Richard Whittington himself.  This was the first design I did.  In the script Dick was a Yorkshire Lad, so what else could I do but tweed and a flat cap?!  Really, there was no question about it was there.

I was told that Emma, who was playing Dick, was not a fan of her knees (I hear ya sista!), so I designed a costume with a waistcoat and some 3/4 trousers, pedalpushers if you will.  However, when I saw Vicki, our elubrious director, she had convinced Emma to go along the route of traditional Principal Boy with some dancing skins.  This was a simple alteration - lose the trousers, lengthen the waistcoat, or so I thought . . .

Anyway, then I had a total mare trying to find a pattern for the waistcoat - women's waistcoats it seems are not en vogue at the moment.  Luckily for me I had a brain wave when I was ordering the pattern for the Dame's Finale costume - that jacket, in a smaller size, would be perfect for Dick, with white cotton sleeves instead of the jacket sleeves.  It would also make an all in one top making Emma's costuming much easier for her.  So, I ordered Butterick 4954 in a smaller size aussi. 

THEN I had to find some tweed-type fabric . . .  tres easier said than done.  THEN, the lovely Marilyn, publicity lady extraordionnaire, who I lobe uber and much (most of the time), told be me she needed Dick's costume to be one of the first for publicity shots etc.  aaaaarrrrggghhhhhh!!!!  Anyway, after much internet searching, I found some tweed-patterned fabric on the website of the lovely Minerva Crafts website, and bonus, I had a money off code too.  I hope the budget people at Panto (I'm looking at you Jon!) appreciate my money off coupons for everywhere and my liberal use of my student discount!

So, I then had to twiddle my fingers waiting for the fabric to arrive.

In the meantime, however, I had bought some fabric to make Dick/Emma's finale costume . . . but then I decided I didn't actually like it, so I got on with some other costumes. 

Then, at the first available opportunity (work really gets in the way of my sewing), I went to purchase the fabric I was originally going to buy but changed my mind about in the shop and bought the other I then decided I didn't like.

This was a black velvet, but I had ordered some more black velvet to make the chorus finale costumes, which never arrived, so I had to make use of the velvet I had bought to make Dick's costume.  This meant that I had to go down yet another route, and in the end I used some black taffeta and decorated with lots and lots of sequins (well, what is a panto without sequins).

This 'tunic' was fairly straightforward to make.  I cut a straight size 14 and made no alterations whatsoever, and it fit Emma perfectly.  I lined the tweed version, as it was quite  a loose weave, and I wondered whether it would go a bit see-through under the stage lights, but left the black version unlined.

I gave both versions white sleeves (cotton for the tweed and satin for the black) and added some ruffle with lace to the black version, which took me forever!

When trying on the tweed version, Emma didn't like the pleat detail ruffle-type thing that the pattern has you insert at the back, so I took this out and never bothered adding it in the black version.

Finally, the buttons in the tweed jacket are some genuine Burberry buttons from my stash (a detail I think only I appreciate) and  the buttons on the black version are some 'knots' from Boyes, which I just liked. 

Anyway, I enjoyed making this up and I like the finished product so much that I kept the pattern (I didn't claim the pennies back for it) and I think I will make myself a light going-out style jacket for myself.  There is some lovely jacquard-y fabric in Boyes at the moment.  Hopefully it will still be there come pay day . . .

I'll hopefully be back in a few days with some more costumes.

In the meantime . . .

Happy Crafting!


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