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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Elephant's Graveyard Costumes and Jodhpurs tutorial !

I have been super busy all week sewing costumes for The Elephant's Graveyard.
There I am in the credits!

I have the costumes  about 80% complete and tonight was the first run through with the cast wearing some of the pieces I have made for them.
This play has a lot of sewing involved and I am learning a lot working on projects I would never make for myself or the girls.
This is the first time I have sewed menswear and I actually enjoy it.
There is a crispness to it.
I am so grateful for being able to get paid to do something I love.

Ringmaster Costume

 I am really happy with how these jodhpurs turned out. There were no patterns available that I could find so I altered a pattern for some high waisted mens trousers.

I used McCall's 4745, a civil war uniform. 
This pattern is perfect because it has a high waist. I shortened the legs  and and drew the exaggerated hip found on jodhpurs, narrowing the leg at the bottom. It's really a simple thing to do and you don't need to search for jodhpur patterns for hours like I did!
This is how I redrew the pattern for the jodhpurs. Just widen the hip and narrow the bottom legs, Shorten the legs too.
Marshall Costume

I used Simplicity 2895 for this vest with welt pockets.
I also made the black frock coat pictured for another character but I haven't taken a photo yet. 
I may have to make the shirt for one of the characters because we can't find anything in his size 52.
This was the first time I made welt pockets! I was so happy that I could do it. It was one of those sewing techniques that always scared me. They aren't perfect and I still need more practice.


 I used a Reconstructing History pattern for this high waisted skirt still being worked on. It doesn't look like much of anything yet. I tried to dye it brown but the dye didn't really take. I'm going to try again and add some sort of embellishment to it. I had to work on this pattern quite a bit to get the pattern adjustment for a full abdomen. You have to raise the waistline at the center front. I am learning a lot about fitting different types of bodies on this project.

 Here is the actor in my vest. He still needs a shirt and pants. The actress is wearing my muddy colored skirt.
My inspiration photos:

This costume was fun to make. It looks like one of those striped bathing suits from the turn of the twentieth century.

Our strongman is a big man and the director wanted him to wear some shorts over his bodysuit for modesty.
To make the bodysuit I connected a shorts pattern and a tank top pattern from Simplicity 2330, narrowing the pattern a lot for using a stretch fabric. I used the same pattern for the shorts too.
Simplicity 2330

I added a ruffle to my clowns' jacket because it was a little too short for him.

Here are my clown and strongman at rehearsal. The clown still needs a hat and I have to make some shoes for the strongman.

A few more costumes,  the steam shovel operator, the railroad engineer, ballet girl, and strongman. The engineer is wearing my husbands striped overalls and Big Mac jacket!
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  1. You're doing a fabulous job with the costumes, Justine! It's really neat seeing them all come together.:)

  2. Wow, this is quite a project! Glad it's coming together, and I look forward to seeing the final garments. Good luck!

  3. This looks way to fun.. Great job

    1. Thank you. i have a lot more sewing this weekend and then I will be done!!

  4. I love seeing these costumes; what a fun challenge. Especially love the strong man outfit (since i made a strong BOY outfit for my son recently!) :)

  5. you must be so proud! What an amazing job you have done. x xx

  6. Your costumes are just turning out so beautifully!!! Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :) :) :)

  7. I just love seeing all your costumes! They are turning out wonderfully! I was a theater major in college and did a lot with costumes. I don't have time now at this stage of life, but I would love to eventually get involved doing costumes like this for our community or high school theaters. Until then I will live vicariously though your blog posts. :)

  8. amber - dusty luckJuly 12, 2012 at 3:12 PM

    Love the costumes & blog! But I'd say it's a shame to cover up the strong man costume with those shorts. It is so cute.


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