Custom Style

Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

More Costuming “Glamour”

So I was in the middle of (and making decent progress on) lots of my own projects last weekend when the phone rang. And suddenly my schedule is completely different! That’s the life of a freelancer.

I was offered a job helping the costume designer for Shakespeare Dallas’s fall show – it’s a modern dress version of “that Scottish play” (aka Macbeth for those of you unfamiliar with theatre superstition). It opens in just three weeks and between the two of us, we have to come up with around 75 costumes. Ahh, the joys of low budget theatre!

Luckily, we have some costumer friends at The Dallas Theater Center and the University of Dallas who let us pull what we could use from their costume storage places. So we have spent the week digging through piles of clothes & shoes and then lugging it all back to our space.

Shakespeare Dallas also has some stock of its own; unfortunately, it’s in an old warehouse with no electricity or water. Ahh. The joys. Of low budget… theatre…

I was rather shocked that there was so much in SD’s storage! And sadly, it’s not exactly ideal conditions for costume storage. It was a bit depressing to see so many items (including bolts of fabric!) exposed to the elements knowing that they would eventually become unusable.

(I would like to apologize for the following crummy cell phone photos – no electricity and bad lighting make cell pics look even worse than normal and I cleaned them up as much as I could.)

So we walked into SD’s storage warehouse and it was a bit of a scavenger hunt:

Shoes were in bins somewhere behind all of this.

I started pulling shoes and the designer went sifting through the racks of costumes in the far back corner:

The racks of costumes.

My biggest goal was to find matching pairs of shoes – they weren’t all attached in pairs and it was dark. I pulled a bunch of shoe bins out of the dark area and closer to the door and began pairing them.

The laces of many pairs had been knotted together on the ends – one of my biggest pet peeves! This meant that they tangle around other pairs in the same bin and are impossible to pull out without grabbing a giant clump of shoes all at once.

I retied the pairs in bows as I extracted them from the bins.

If a pair of shoes is tied in a single bow, it is easier to untie, can be picked up with one finger, and doesn’t become tangled with other pairs in a bin.

After I pulled a bunch of shoes, I joined in the search through the racks for clothing:

I have no idea what the yellow thing on the left rack is, but it reminds me of Big Bird.
Maybe it’s from a Sesame Street version of Shakespeare, hehe.

I’m glad we only spent about 2 hours in the hot warehouse before we stuffed everything into the car and took it back to the theatre space. Ahh, the joys of… yeah.

I will be making a few simple things, and fittings are coming up next week – I hope most of the costumes we pulled will fit the actors!

And to make up a little for the not so great photos, here’s one of Wensley when he went to work with my husband earlier this week:

Hey, Dad, the computer is boring – let’s play!

Apparently, this wasn’t a one-time thing and he likes to migrate from lap to desk.

11 responses to “More Costuming “Glamour”

  1. agirlinwinter September 1, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Nah, still sounds more glamorous than what I do for a living! Your dog is unbelievably cute.

  2. Karen September 1, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Flexibility is a great trait to have – and obviously you have it as a free-lancer! Thanks for more peeks behind the scenes!

    • Brooke September 1, 2012 at 12:47 pm

      I just wish it wasn’t always feast or famine when it comes to jobs. Glad you like the peeks – I’m getting better at remembering to take photos when I’m just mindlessly going about my work!

  3. Athene September 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    I am totally stressed out just from looking at this! I would have given up as soon as I saw that warehouse. 🙂 eeeek.

    • Brooke September 3, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      hehe – I’ve actually seen other costume storage places that are just as bad in their own ways. The worst thing about this was the almost non-existent paths through the stuff – I had to climb over a few scenic pieces here and there. And it was just plain hot because it’s summer in Texas.

  4. Justine / sew country chick September 3, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    This reminds me of the theatre where I work sometimes. It’s so hot and there are even fleas! Thank god they pay me because there is no way I would do it for free. Hope the costuming turns out! You have your work cut out!

    • Brooke September 4, 2012 at 7:37 am

      I was a little worried about mosquitoes because I had heard the warehouse roof leaks and there might be standing water. With all the West Nile cases around this area, I really didn’t want to deal with that. Luckily, they either weren’t around or my citronella wristband actually worked because I never saw any flying bugs. =)

      I did see a couple of birds inside the warehouse though… They even left a calling card on at least one of the costumes we pulled.

  5. thevintagetraveler September 16, 2012 at 11:20 am

    What an experience! I hope you were able to pull it all together in time.

  6. Pingback: Lint Balls of My Life… Plus a Little Giveaway! | Custom Style

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