Monday, April 9, 2012

Costumes on the Brain!

My latest adventure in sewing was making a few costumes for a passover dinner play called The Lamb at our church.  The play was seen last week on 4/5 and 4/6.  There was a 4-person team of us that took on assessing costumes we borrowed from another church and what needed to be made by us for this year.

This was the second annual showing of this play.  Last year we borrowed all of the costumes from 3 churches.  So, our plan, starting this year, was to borrow from one church and then make what we needed--whereby, eventually we would have our own set of costumes eventually.

I have never made a costume in my life, but was ready for the challenge.  I ended up making the costumes for the main character of the play and the person who played his wife as they were the 'host' family of the passover dinner.  I also made some for other character who didn't need anything fancy.  I'll show you a few pics from the actual play.  It's a rather big production, with actual stage lighting.  The main stage consisted of the host family table on an upper part of the stage, with 4 tables below that.  Each of those tables had a host couple.  People from the audience were invited to sit at the tables during the play and partake of the dinner which was very authentic--the food that was made and stages of eating each type of food and the explanation of what each represented to the Jews.

The photo above shows the character Martha (standing right) in a blue costume.  I made that one and also made the undergarment of the main character Rueven who you can also see in the photo who is standing on the left.  I don't have any close-up photos of this costume, but I trimmed the bottom of the sleeves in a somewhat narrow gold ribbon.  The hemline is also trimmed in a different ribbon with brown and gold.  Both costumes were made from the same pattern, but altered to fit the character.  The main host family had to have clothes that were more expensive looking than the rest of the cast.

The photo below shows the 'Upper Room' where Jesus and his disciples were staying at the hosts house.  The lighting would change when focusing on this part of the stage versus the lower stage.

I did take some close-up shots of the Martha costume which you can see below.  Like I said, I used the same basic pattern pieces for all costumes--Simplicity 4213 which are patterns for passion plays.  These are unisex patterns.  I made an XL for the lady who wore it.  I made a size M for the Reuven character.

Front views and back views are below.  My husband is hold them for me.  I added the gold rick-rack, as well as the back opening with ribbon as a closure.  I really didn't enjoy messing with the facings which also called for interfacing.  But the stitching didn't look good to me when I was done with the front facing.  So, I took it to my dealer, who used to sew costumes for theaters, to find out what I could have done better.  She told me next time to use bias around the neckline and not even bother with the facings.

Close-up of back view:

 As you can imagine, this fabric was horrible to work with--a polyester, pre-wrinkled fabric that really liked to ravel.  So, I can now strike this off my sewing bucket list, I guess.  I fully expect next year to go a little more smoothly and maybe not have to make as many.

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