Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Jack, the hearty laughing sailor (Sleuth costuming)

Jack's done!  I put shoes on him last night, stapling them onto his legs. Hey, you do what you can do, right? They're my daughter's old Busch Gardens work tennies. They look like something a sailor might have worn. I also cut his neck off about 1-1/2 inches, so he doesn't look so giraffe-like, and during the run of rehearsal last night, his head didn't fall off, so that's also a good thing. I stapled the rest of his clothing in place to the column, the wall, and pressed his legs a little closer to the column. I think he's ready for prime time now.

I took the hem out of Sgt. Doppler's pants, but they still are way too short, so it's back to the drawing room on them. Under the lights, the "tweed" looked awful. Too polyester looking. Jim is going to try to pick up a pair of darker gray slacks and we'll reimburse him. I've provided two pair and they both sucked :)
The clown suit is primary colors. It needed some pockets, so I cut some pockets out of primary color striped fabric and stitched them on. They look like they were made just for that suit. Got that done yesterday. Also, the clown's tophat is now fixed. It has elastic to hold it on, thank goodness. That was a chore!

For the Sleuth to-do list, I have the monk's robe to make out of a bathrobe. I stole rope from the theater last night to serve as the belt for the monk's robe. The fat suit for Doppler has to be made, but I have it fleshed out in my head now, so know what I'm doing. We played with makeup last night for Doppler. I think I have a good feel for what we're doing. I picked up some gray eye shadow last night to do some creases and eye sinking with. And then there's the smoke machine. Argh. Tonight I'll play with that a bit and see if I can get it to work right. Oh, and the smoking jacket - David/Andrew Wyke found a great scarf that is like the spectral opposite of the brocade in the jacket and he's using that for his ascot. It matches like a dream.

And next - Alyson's log cabin quilt. I need to get back to that as soon as I can and finish it. I'm really into it, but had to set it aside to finish costumes for Sleuth.

Onward! Stitch, stitch, stitch.

Updated 05/19/11

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Black and White

I didn't do any theater stuff yesterday, but I did work on my Black and White Cathedral Quilt. I should take a few pictures to show, but haven't done that yet. It's a project I've wanted to do for years and it's finally coming together. I have two of about six rows done. I'll be working on it for months on end.

Today, I won't have much time to sew. Work, post office, theater are going to take my time. I'll work on Alyson's quilt a bit tomorrow. I'll take in progress pictures of that to post. This is the second of who knows how many I'm making for her. It's the Log Cabin Oops I spoke of below. It's gorgeous, though, in an ugly fabric kind of way. You have to be creative with the colors of fabrics she gave me - all her grandparents' old clothes.

The photo is a quilt that I made for her. Closeup pictures of that one can be seen on TeeShirtMemories.com in the photo section. I did that one with quilt-as-you-go technique. The Log Cabin will be pieced and then tied. I'm not sure where I'll go with the third one I make for her. I might do simple triangles, or something else altogether. Most of the fabrics are super stretchy, so they do better on the muslin backing.

(Note: TeeShirtMemories is no longer with us and the photo mentioned has "disappeared" for now. 05/19/11.)

Theater-wise, I have a monk robe to make out of an old brown bathrobe and need to put the elastic on a top hat for the clown to wear. It's happening, though :)

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Log cabin oops

I'm working on a lap sized log cabin quilt for one of my teeshirtmemories.com quilt customers. It's five rows by five rows, each row with five blocks. I had done two rows before I started last night to finish the other three rows (15 squares). I have one block on my board next to the sewing machine to make sure I get placement of colored strips right. I got to the next to last color and realized, ooooops!, I had put all 15 of these together wrong. So, I put on my "what the heck do I do now?" hat and decided the three rows in the center would be the oddball rows and the two rows (one on top and one on the bottom) left over would be the "correct" rows. No way in hades I'm taking three rows apart or doing them over. Well, we'll look at it like this - the best weavers and quilt makers in the world carry on a tradition believed to have begun with the American Native Indians - leave an intentional mistake somewhere in your work so that it reminds you of your humble and not perfect-ness. So that's what I'll do. This is my intentional mistake. :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Sewing for Sleuth

I'm costuming Sleuth for the Williamsburg Players. I'm remaking several items of clothing and making a puppet and smoking jacket. This is the smoking jacket before the hand sewing. I'll be finishing it in a day or so.

The character Andrew Wyke will be wearing this jacket in the first act.
With the costuming comes making or gathering some disguises for the other characters, Milo and Inspector Doppler. I'll post pictures of those later, but suffice it to say, it's been fun. We're reusing a KKK costume I made for "The Foreigner" last year. Most of these costumes for disguise were premade, but I had to remake a few items to turn a robe into a monk's robe, and on and on. It's been fun.
I've also made a puppet of sorts - Jack Tar, a sailor who laughs a lot. I'll be working him from backstage. Here's a quick picture.

The smoking jacket is brocade that I picked up on eBay and the pattern was a robe pattern. The black fabric is a tablecloth that I found in one of the dressing rooms. Jack is wearing an old turtle neck of mine, his body is a child's clothing form, the shoulders are made from a pool toy (noodle) as are the legs and arms. It's all held together with postage tape, clothes hangers, and tie wraps, and a lot of "please stay together!" He's wearing a wig under the sailor cap, and you can see where I painted his styrofoam face before he was dressed. His hands are gloves that are stuffed with polyfil and his shoes are socks stuffed with poly. The pants are a pair of my daughter's old pants from The Gap and the shirt over the turtle neck is a genuine sailor shirt.

There's more to do for this show, but this is the start!