Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Moment to Breathe

I had been costuming an opera that had it's opening night tonight. Finally. I thought that I'd never be done.

First off, the music director has the belief that big body = big voice. It doesn't always work that way, but there is never a shortage of large opera singers. Let us just say that our leading ladies had 45" waists. One of them was 5'2". Yeah. The music director liked to refer to them as "larger than life". Did I mention that the time period was the 1930s? There are very few large women in that time period. Ergo, clothing doesn't look right, nor is there anything that large already made.

The grand total of all that I made (and in just over 7 days to boot!):

-- 5 dresses (2 styles, one for each lady and one for the understudy before I realized I could shaft her)
-- 2 men's button dress shirts (and had to draft a pattern)
-- 3 little girl dresses
-- 2 choir robes (under and over-robes for 2 characters)

... y'know, looking at the list doesn't seem particularly large. Lemme tell you, when all my assistant created was 4 A-line skirts (and it took her a week to make them!), it makes a girl frustrated.

Also, the damnable machine in shop had a computer in it -- it knew I never had a button-hole foot to put on it. So it refused to make button-holes. So guess who had to handstitch all the button-holes? Yep. Did I mention that I didn't have any zippers? Just buttons? Yep.

All of the LL's dresses were based upon one of two patterns that we bought, the choir robes had NO pattern (who needs a pattern for a T-tunic?), the little girl dresses I made up (and had fun doing so), but the men's dress shirts I had to draft the pattern based upon measurements that I had, and some that I didn't and had to guess. :-P Joy. Also, the book I was using DIDN'T actually have a template for shirts -- just jackets -- so I had to modify it from that as well.

I am weary and happy that the show is pretty much done. I'll stick with it for the rest of the run, to see if anything destroys itself (the vintage clothing for the chorus keeps disintegrating...) but other than that I'm done. There was to be a black-tie affair apres the show, but I have zero energy for gussying up and being NICE to people. Gah. I should be there, but the amount of prep work that would have required... and it's raining as well. Not my idea of a fun time, although free food would have been involved. Le sigh.

Hopefully I'll be able to get back to regular postings within the week.

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