Costume Construction: Stitching - Draping

 

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1985 Corset

1985 Corset

This project was a culmination of the hand and machine sewing skills I had developed at Adelphi. The dress form is padded to represent the way that the body naturally shifts to accommodate the restrictions of a corset.

Design for 1890s Ballet Costume

Design for 1890s Ballet Costume

With its over-the-hips bodice, peplum overskirt, and Romantic length tutu, this design is representative of typical 1890s dance costume style. Goache and colored pencil.

Draping the Design

Draping the Design

These photos show my progress from marking style lines, to draping on the dress form, to the fully constructed mock-up.

Independent Study in Period Styles

My capstone project for my BFA in Theatre Design and Technology at Adelphi was completed in tandem with my Honors College thesis, and both dealt with investigating the lives of women theatre professionals of the late Nineteenth Century. For this project, I constructed a corset from an 1895 pattern published in Corsets and Crinolines, by Norah Waugh. I then designed a ballet costume inspired by images I had discovered through my research, and draped and sewed a muslin mock-up for the design. 

Adele Ballgown

Adele Ballgown

DIE FLEDERMAUS Santa Fe Opera 2017 / Costume Design by Zack Brown, Costume Co-Design by Christianne Myers / Photo from SFO Facebook page

Bodice Construction

Bodice Construction

The boned bodice is constructed from a structural layer of cotton sateen, a layer of baby flannel to smooth bone and seam lines, and silk taffeta fashion fabric.

Bodice Construction

Bodice Construction

Silk taffeta is draped over the sateen and baby flannel layers.

Bodice Construction

Bodice Construction

Bodice interior showing piping finishing and adjustability at shoulders, side seams, and center back.

Bust Detail

Bust Detail

Draped and hand-sewn directly to bodice.

Lacing Panels

Lacing Panels

Eyelets set between bones for durability, constructed separately from bodice to allow future alterations.

Adele Ballgown

Adele Ballgown

All construction and alterations of boned bodice and layered ruffled skirt.

Adele Ballgown

Adele Ballgown

All construction and alterations of boned bodice and layered ruffled skirt.

The Italian Singer

The Italian Singer

CAPRICCIO Santa Fe Opera 2016 / Costume Design by Tobias Hoheisel / Constructed bodice and layered tiered crinoline; completed all alterations, finishing, and trim

The Italian Singer

The Italian Singer

CAPRICCIO Santa Fe Opera 2016 / Costume Design by Tobias Hoheisel / Constructed bodice and layered tiered crinoline; completed all alterations, finishing, and trim

Chrisann Sun Dress

Chrisann Sun Dress

Chrisann Sun Dress

Chrisann Sun Dress

THE (R)EVOLUTION OF STEVE JOBS Santa Fe Opera 2017 / Costume Design by Paul Carey / Construction and alteration of cotton sun dress with bodice details and ruffled skirt

Bodice Detail

Bodice Detail

Self-fabric button loops and lace trim

Erika Day Dress

Erika Day Dress

VANESSA Santa Fe Opera 2016 / Costume Design by James Schuette / Lined wool dress with self-fabric details

Collar Detail

Collar Detail

Open lattice created from narrow tubes of fabric sandwiched between collar and facing, and bound in bias strips at other end

Dress and cuff details

Dress and cuff details

Open lattice cuff to match collar; 1930s-style bias hip seam

Stitching

I have worked as a stitcher in many environments, from the Adelphi University costume shop to the Metropolitan Opera, in fast-paced and high-pressure environments where efficient work and a can-do attitude were crucial. I have worked on all kinds of garments including dancewear, contemporary fashion, and period styles. My work as a stitcher has informed my design process by teaching me what can be achieved with different materials, how to design with a long-running production in mind, and how to collaborate effectively with the members of a costume shop. I have also had the opportunity to be the Teacher's Assistant for the Costume Construction and Draping courses during my junior and senior years at Adelphi University. 

 

Included here are highlights from some of my favorite stitching projects from my two summers at the Santa Fe Opera (Stitcher/Dresser Apprentice in 2016 and Staff Stitcher in 2017).

Olivia's Dress

Olivia's Dress

TWELFTH NIGHT at Adelphi University / Directed by Dr. Brian Rose / Costume Design by Sean Sullivan / Scenic Design by John McDermott / Lighting Design by Jon Doncker

Final Fitting for Viola's Dress

Final Fitting for Viola's Dress

Muslin mock-up for Viola's dress

Muslin mock-up for Viola's dress

Olivia's Dress

Olivia's Dress

TWELFTH NIGHT at Adelphi University / Directed by Dr. Brian Rose / Costume Design by Sean Sullivan / Scenic Design by John McDermott / Lighting Design by Jon Doncker

Final Fitting for Mourning Dress

Final Fitting for Mourning Dress

Muslin mock-up of mourning dress

Muslin mock-up of mourning dress

Maria's Skirt Suit

Maria's Skirt Suit

TWELFTH NIGHT at Adelphi University / Directed by Dr. Brian Rose / Costume Design by Sean Sullivan / Scenic Design by John McDermott / Lighting Design by Jon Doncker

Final Fitting for Maria's skirt suit

Final Fitting for Maria's skirt suit

Muslin mock-up of skirt suit

Muslin mock-up of skirt suit

Draping

I was the Draper for Adelphi University's production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, with costume designs by Sean Sullivan. Working from the designer's renderings, I used draping and flat-patterning methods to draft the three ensembles pictured. I also worked with the costume shop on the construction and alteration of the dresses. 

 

Awards: Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas Award for Allied Design (KCACTF 2015). 

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Bodice Construction

The boned bodice is constructed from a structural layer of cotton sateen, a layer of baby flannel to smooth bone and seam lines, and silk taffeta fashion fabric.