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From the Tailor's Corner

posted by Costume Shop on Mon, Sep 15, 2008
in Costume shop

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Now that Yellowjackets is up and running, it's time to turn our attention to Joe Turner's Come and Gone. The Theatre is lucky to have a fairly extensive collection of men's costumes from the turn of the last century, which means that most of the menswear for this show will be pulled (taken from our already-existing stock), purchased, or rented.

Berkeley_Rep_costumes

However, we'll be building the children's costumes, mostly because child actors are double-cast (two children share the role and alternate performances). This means we'll need to have two of everything for them--and it's easier to build their identical costumes from scratch than try and find duplicates ready-made.

Also, after looking at the costume renderings and the actors' measurements, we are guessing that we may need to make a suit for one of the actors rather than try to find or rent it. This is where the fun begins. Normally I would start to draft this pattern, but since we have some lead time, it's a great opportunity to let my first hand, Nelly Flores, learn my tricks of the trade. So, armed with brown paper, an L ruler, a pencil, an eraser, and my favorite drafting book, Regal's Garment Cutter, I will set her loose to draw lines, plot points, and connect the dots--all the while, letting her know I'm here to answer the inevitable, "what does it mean when it says, 'Apply the strap measure to points 20 to 21 and 27 to 32?'"  I love that question.

Oh, sorry, I must leave you now--I'm hearing that whimper of confusion from the corner.

Stay tuned for more tailoring fun when we turn pattern to muslin.

Photo: The costume warehouse, which holds hundreds of costumes, for all eras and sizes, is one of our first stops when we begin deciding how we'll construct a show. (Photo courtesy of kevinberne.com.)

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