Monday, 8 June 2009


I have been very busy buying fabric, raiding charity shops and sewing, but don't have a quilt block to show for it. Can you believe I've been dressmaking? It's not been outfits for myself, but costumes for a play. Our local group are taking a play up to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. This festival lasts for the month of August in Edinburgh (Scotland) and hosts 1,000 shows a day, with 2,098 different shows over the whole month. Ours will be a production of 'Our Country's Good' by Timberlake Wertenburger, and is about convicts in Australia in 1789. We are hiring the officers's uniforms, but somehow I found myself volunteering to take charge of the other costumes.
After some research, I have decided that full skirts with petticoats underneath, and then bodices with blouses underneath will be accurate enough. Here is the first bodice I made - to fit myself. This is the front view,

and here is the back. I managed to get one of those eyelet tools, and am quite pleased with the way they've turned out.

Here are Becky's bodice complete with tailor's tacks (I never thought I'd be glad to know how to do those when we did them at school!), Jackie's top waiting to be sorted out and Sally's bodice cut out and ready to go.

Nicky's bodice has to be able to be ripped open at the back on stage, to reveal the scars she received when she was flogged. Any ideas how to achieve that?


Sew Create It - Jane said...

Hidden Velcro? under a faux ripped edge? That's my best suggestion.
I bet you will be pleased to get these sewn up and I hope you'll show us the finished dresses. I used to make all kinds of medieval costumes many many moons ago and I just remember the yards and yards of fabric that you need to handle when sewing those big skirts. Good Luck :o)

black bear cabin said...

for repeat performances, the velcro is a good idea...though ive sewn myself into a garmet before and then pulled it open when it was time to take it off and it pulled open nicely without tearing. :)
i love making costumes, so i will enjoy seeing the finished product?
good luck!

Joyce said...

I'd go with the velcro too. It can be well hidden and is easy to rip apart.

loulee said...

I hardly need to say it!

Lynda said...

I'm really grateful for the ideas, but the problem with the Velcro would be that it would make a 'Velcro noise' and be visible on the back of the garment after it had been ripped. The whole point of it is that the audience sees her back, so the bodice would be open at the back for that part of the scene. Does that make sense?

sewkalico said...

No Ideas I'm afraid, but just catching up with you and love all your dogs!

anne bebbington said...

Yes I'd go along with Jane - velcro as it also makes a very satisfying sound effect a bit like fabric ripping - Edinburgh Festival - how exciting! :o) Just another thought - what about press-studs?