When I began this blog several years ago I had the desire to share some of the struggles and successes my volunteers and I had with our costuming attempts. My first show was “given” to me, without warning, about eight weeks in advance . . . that was “Beauty and the Beast”. I learned a lot, very quickly, but often wished I had other costumers to brainstorm with, share ideas, and ask for advice. My blog was an attempt to share what I had learned, both successes and failures, to (hopefully) give some ideas and help other people in their costuming adventures.
Costuming large-cast, low budget musical theater is a unique genre. Common themes include not enough money, not enough time, not enough volunteers, and yet, amazingly addictive when you see the kids up on stage, becoming someone else, and growing in unexpected and wonderful ways. The creative process is also addictive . . .what can I make from this lampshade? Where can I find the cheapest fabrics? How can I put my unique stamp on a production that has been done thousands of times before?
The internet world opens up all kinds of resources–youtube videos, tutorials, blogs, pinterest pages. Sometimes you absolutely CAN’T find what you need, and sometimes it can become overwhelming and you begin to doubt yourself and second guess what is “good enough”. I know a begin to obsess over details when I start reading historical re-enactment blogs, and I have to remind myself that my costumes will be viewed from at least 30′ away by people who have no care whether the jacket is made from natural fibers or doubeknit.
Over the past few years, and through the writing of this blog, I have met some wonderfully creative people. A common theme I hear is a desire to share ideas and projects, but, writing a blog is time consuming, and so, emails and comments became our way of “chatting”. Many of us have joined sewing or costuming groups, along the way, but they often are more cosplay or reenactment oriented, and the techniques and attention to detail used to make one costume over many months is a very different world than the techniques to create/pull together 150 costumes in 6-12 weeks.
And so, out of this desire to share, chat, and learn, I have created the Costumecrazed “Sewing Circle” group on Facebook. So far we have been sharing our past work, our upcoming projects, some (AMAZING!) pictures, resources, and suggesting solutions for problems. If this sounds like a group you might enjoy . . come check it out. Whether your are new to this sort of costuming, or an old-pro, we’d love to you!
(This is a “secret” group . . you can find the group and request to be added. Once you are added, then you can add other people.)
I look forward to meeting more of you!
2 thoughts on “Introducing the Costumecrazed “Sewing Circle” on Facebook”
I first discovered your blog when we were costuming Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella for our high school in Brookfield, Wisconsin. I can’t tell you how invaluable your ideas and tips have been to our costume team.
We are currently working on costuming Disney’s Newsies for our fall musical and I was going through some photos of the costumes we did for Cinderella last fall. Literally, thousands of hours went into creating the fantasy-look ball gowns that our director envisioned for the show. And I can’t even count how much time and effort went into creating the transformation costume for “Ella”. It would have been “Impossible” without your blog.
I would love to share the video clip of Cinderella’s transformation dress and some of the ball gowns we created for the show.
Thanks so much for creating this blog and this invaluable resource for costuming and creating amazing costumes on a budget.
We love everything about this site!!!
Ann Marie Rosenbecker
Thank you for your sweet comments! That is exactly why I started this blog, and I’m so happy it was helpful. Newsies appears to have the potential to be much less costume intense. My sisters theater will be doing it next year, so I’ve watched the Broadway recording with a costumers eye, and it seems to be much easier. I remember when I saw a live touring production, The main character had a blue shirt on, and wore it throughout the entire show. Since I tend to favor lots of costume changes, it was eye-opening that how much, as an audience member (sitting quite a way back) I appreciated that continuity to help my identify his character among all the cast members (who were dressed much the same), when facial features are a blur.
I would love to see your Cinderella pics and video. I have a couple ideas . . I would certainly love to explore sharing a “guest blog post”. If that interests you, we could work something out via a Google doc, and I’d be happy to post it. You could also join the Facebook group–we do a lot of sharing of shows there.
There also is a Costumecrazed facebook page which we could use, you can find me on facebook, or, I could send you my personal email.
Really looking forward to seeing what you did! Making these crazy costumes really is a labor of love that a person does just for the joy of it.
Thanks for your comment,