Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Costume time again

This year I'm making costumes for Pygmalion. Due to be finished in two weeks, when I shall see them on people properly for the first time, for the moment I'm fitting them on my lovely dummies: adjustable dummies are the biz when fitting costumes for many ladies of different sizes and shapes.The costumes look very different once they have a person in them- people are softer and bendier and have arms,which makes a huge difference , in particular to the evening dress with no sleeves, you have to imagine bare arms in long satin gloves and a matching green ostritch feather fan. The horrible old corsets we were using finally fell apart after Charley's Aunt two years ago ( hurrah!), so I have invested in lovely new corsets-photos of them on ladies later, they don't really work well on dummies! So far I've finished costumes for Eliza- before you ask, there isn't a racing scene, that is My Fair Lady, in Pygmalion it is an Afternoon Tea scene, so we have an excuse for lots of lovely lace.I was lucky to find a couple of period pieces in the costume store that fit Eliza, so she will be wearing some of the real thing...lucky girl.

There is a hat to go with this outfit- best seen on the wearer.

The evening dress has a frill of antique lace around the top- carefully hand sewn to keep it in good condition, nothing hangs so beautifully as proper period lace.

The flowery corsages need to be sewn into position properly on Eliza whilst wearing the dress so that they cling to her figure rather than stick out as they do now, she has another matching one for her hair.

The second lacy outfit also features a period piece, she will have a white hat with arum lilies and a lilac trim to go with this- she is on her way to her Father's wedding. I will probably change the cream sash for a lilac one.
And where, you ask yourself, is kitten Rita while I'm doing this sewing? I had to play many games to get her tired enough for me to start using thread without disturbance. She's safely asleep with Fred.


  1. What beautiful dresses, the colours are glorious. Did you make them all from scratch? In close up the lace is fabulous.

  2. Mostly stuff from jumble sales /the costume loft modified.Life is too short and it is way too costly to make them all from scratch....and finding good fabrics is very difficult, so old evening dresses and any real period stuff in good enough condition I can lay my hands on are the basis.I always make costumes so they can be easily altered to fit more than one size/easily altered to change period or details.Now I've got a decent stock of costumes I can cannibalise them.