Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Yay! Let's talk about me! (i.e. play and costume ramblings...and sorry)

Yeah, the self-draft/rub-off/draped project is currently draped over the back of a chair, because Gennie is wearing GREEN this month! Congratulations to me, I was cast as Fiona in our production of Shrek: the Musical (Decatur High School April 3, 4, 5 - please come if you're Tennessee Valley adjacent!). One of the great joys of a show is costume discussion - we have a connection to a summer stock up in Michigan and are renting most of the pieces. They showed me pictures of this other Fiona, who was probably two inches shorter and a hundred pounds lighter, and then tried to tell me, oh, but the dress is stretchy!!....yeah, sure, it is... So I'm making my costume - HUZZAH!

Embrace it - the rest is all links. This is a PLANNING entry.

I'm a little anxious and very excited - of course, I want to be sure I look princessey and beautiful, so The Fit is paramount. That said, I could not find the pattern I wanted, so (deep breath), I'm mixing and matching pieces for the green dress I wear for most of the show. Two patterns and a self draft, plus an alteration to one of the pattern pieces' construction... (DEEP BREATH)

Here's what's happening: it's essentially a four part costume. I'm taking the princess (teehee) seamed sheath that I just finished and making the bodice from that, ending at my natural waist. Not that it super matters, because I'll be wearing this vest the whole time. Now, don't tell, but there's a fun little bit (COMEDY!) at the top of act two where the long princess skirt (also from the Butterick pattern) comes off to reveal a cute little tap skirt for the big, Sutton-Foster-induced tap number (COMEDY because I can't dance, let alone tap). So I'm doing a circle skirt - or more likely a dirndl, so as to avoid flashing the audience on spins - that will be attached to the princess seamed dress top, and the skirt will be altered so that it snaps (a series of three huge, industrial strength snaps), and cut a little wider to be sure I don't have leg-peek and ruin the gag.

The fun part of all of this is the fabric choices. I found a perfectly wonderful stretch panne in flag green, that has been (super linty, but) ideal to work with. It has 40% stretch, so it will be very comfy, and is nice and lightweight so I won't be hot and melt my makeup. The dress bodice is made up in this, and my plan for the moment is to cut the outside of the big skirt in it, so that I'm all velvety. Then, I found this WONDERFUL 80s era hunter green taffeta with gold glitter shot through that I plan to use for the vest and the lining of the skirt (both for body and so when I open it up, it's like POWLOOKHOWSPANGLY). (PS - the lady that runs that store is wonderful - sent me swatches for free and responded near-immediately to my annoying questions.) If that all works, and if I can lay hands on another yard of the panne (fingers crossed), I'm going to do the tap skirt out of the panne and sew a second layer of something sequined/glittery/otherwise garish because, again, COMEDY. One of my priorities is that whatever I end up making the tap skirt from needs to be washable, because Febreeze makes me gag and I will not spend all of show week in a stinky costume. Oh, and the vest - it will also be from the glitter taffeta (because of course it is) and lined with a soft lime green satin that I happened to have (let's not talk about my super random satin stash, please) and then outlined with this deliciously gaudy trim.

So that's the green dress. I know it sounds like a lot, but at this point, the only thing I'm concerned about is the vest (and making sure I attach the sleeves on the right side). It's boned, and will be extraordinarily close fitting, and I'm terrified of both of those things. I'm rather overjoyed, though - I pinned the pattern to Gennie over the dress bodice and I don't think I'm going to have to grade it, which was a wonderful surprise. Since it has to be laced up anyway, it's okay that the front doesn't fall exactly on my centerline (I'm about a quarter inch off, though it's perfect in the back and my side seams fall correctly).

The other thing is my wedding dress. Yup, I get to blog about making my own wedding dress...but mine doesn't have to be finished prettily and will be made from the seven yards of dirt cheap white poly satin I have in my stash (I told you, I don't want to talk about it). SPOILERS, if you haven't seen the massive hit movie from 2001. So the big transformation only happens at the end - I will rush offstage during the wedding scene and be painted green by several willing volunteers, and finish the show in ogre form. So the priorities with this one are: WASHABLE. Because there is no way I'm coming away clean from this. It also needs to be fairly high-necked, so as to use less paint (hey, it's community theatre and makeup is EXPENSIVE) and so that I'm not scrubbing green out of the decolletage every night. I actually have a whole musical number to get changed from the green into the white, so no pressure on that front. I'm thinking that I'm going to basically make the princess seamed sheath again (I know, but it's SO FAST and already fits) only with an a-line full length skirt, and then maybe add a collar? So they don't have to paint the back of my neck. Or maybe I can unbraid the wig at that point? While I have all of Freak Flag to change into the dress, I have about 90 seconds- and that's a generous estimate - to be painted. I'm not sold on a collar, though. While I plan to flip my vest inside out and wear it over the top of the dress, I'm still going to be a giant ball of whiteness up there, and that makes me nervous. If I can't do a scoop or a v neck, how do I break up all that WHITE? Maybe I can do a shallow sweetheart...One thing I'd love to do, were I made of money - in the original production, they put her in this fabulously 80s poufy-sleeved number, which is obviously not the part I would want, because gross, BUT: they covered the skirt in four inch white fringe and it is FABULOUS. Hmm. Maybe that's what I do. Not spending money on fringe, fabulous or otherwise, but do the center panel overlaid with gold - lace or sequins or something. It's a thought. But first, have to get the green finished! I shall put the sleeves on Wednesday before church and start cutting out the lining for the vest - I'm positively bigcited! (It's officially stolen, Amy G!)