Oberon’s Crown

As some already know, Sparkle Jane (daughter) dances ballet.  Each spring her company puts on a large show.  In the past I have helped with costumes in a variety of ways, but my specialty is headpieces.

Ballet headpieces are a tricky thing:  they have to look good; they can’t be heavy; they have to stay on…you get the idea.

This year they are performing Midsummer’s Night’s Dream.  Oberon, the fairy king, needs a crown.  But he is a FAIRY king, so it can’t be just any crown.

DSC00431The creative process is cluttered and a little messy looking… (don’t you love my salad bowl doubling as a form foundation)

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Give me enough lace, spray paint and hot glue and I am bound to create something.

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It has elastic built in the back to help the fit.

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Hopefully it will hold up to the dancing also.

Yay for another finished product.  Now I can mostly rest easy until the performance. Unless something else comes up. 🙂

The Alterations Shop Is Open

Daughter, Sparkle Jane, enjoys participating in school theater.  This year she is in the Music Man at her high school. It is all very exciting as the preparations are finalized for opening night next Friday. One of the biggest challenges each year has been costuming–small school, small budget, limited help, etc.

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So, I offered to come today (Saturday) and be the alterations shop.

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Twenty costumes and five hours later, they are ready to go.  Most of it was nothing big–tighten this button, add a hook-and-eye, take in this waistline, raise this neckline, etc.

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I wish I had more pictures, but I was busy!

Grandma Duty

This morning my daughter-in-law married to Number One Son came over with the boys and we made Halloween costumes.  Daddy is a plumber, so this year they are the Mario Brothers.

I should have taken “before” pictures, but these started out as 4 t-shirts.  The small shirts (red and green) were each $2 at the thrift store.  The overalls are made from mens XL t-shirts (turned inside out to hide the print) at $1 each.  The logos and buttons are felt from my big pile of junk. Not to bad for $6 and about 2 hours of work time.

It was so much fun!  Too bad thanksgiving isn’t a costume holiday, too.  Then I would have an excuse to do this again soon!

Dancing The Night Away

Homecoming!  The first big dance of the year.

Daughter is 16 and now dating.  While she has attended occasions before, she can now go in the company of a very fortunate young man.  Of course, such an important event calls for a new dress.

We hit the thrift stores and Daughter came up to me very excited waving, well, part of what could be called a dress.  It was $12, but the bodice did fit perfectly.

However, it was strapless and had a bubble skirt. Please forgive me if you personally love bubble skirts, but I have never found them flattering.

“But, Mom,” pleaded daughter,  “The color is perfect and we can tear out the skirt and build sleeves and we can make a petticoat and it will be very ruffle-y and perfect and I really want it,  PLEASE?!”

So we took it to the counter.  It was marked “x2” on the tag, meaning that there should have been a second piece–maybe a scarf or jacket?  The second piece was nowhere to be found, so would I take it for $8.  Sure. Oh, and that color tag is half-off today, so your total is $4.

OK–I am feeling better and better about this purchase.

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Daughter went to work right away tearing out the skirt.  She was right.  There would be enough leftover fabric to build the rest of the top.

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In my big pile of junk there just happened to be (if you believe in coincidence) a piece of matching blue tulle.  We built a very ruffle-y petticoat.  Just as she dreamed of.

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We were trying it on for about the tenth time Wednesday night when disaster struck.  The zipper TORE.  Not the fabric next to the zipper.  The zipper itself.  We both wanted to cry.  But,  instead we went to bed.

A good night’s sleep later and things looked brighter.  Plus I was pretty sure I knew how to tear out and replace the zipper in this particular dress.

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No, it wasn’t much fun.

But, it went back in better than I expected.

We took the fabric cut off the skirt and constructed a top.

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Daughter very diligently stitched the sleeves in by hand, the only way to really do it right.

And we were done.

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Today, her friend came over to do hair and make it all fancy.

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And she is off to dance the night away.

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All’s well that ends well, right?!

Trek Outfit #2

Here is Daughter’s second pioneer trek outfit.  We know real pioneers crossed the plains with only one outfit, but it takes at least two for a modern pioneer to take a three day trip.

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This is another $4 combination:  the skirt is a thrift store makeover for $3; the top was 50-cents at a garage sale this past weekend; the apron and bonnet are again donated fabric from my big pile of junk.  I did, however, have to buy some more interfacing.  That was about another 50-cents.

I will share pictures of her all dressed up sometime soon.

 

Trek Outfit #1

We continue to prepare for the pioneer trek.  It is traditional to wear period-suggestive (not period authentic) clothing.  We’re glad the pioneers were tough, but I am grateful for modern sewing machines, elastic and, when on the trail, tennis shoes.

Truly, the dressing up is part of the fun and really helps you get in the spirit.

Here is Daughter’s first complete outfit.

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The shirt came from a yard sale, but it is Eddie Bauer linen (AND, a terrific color).  The skirt came from the thrift store.  It was a size much-larger-than-Daughter, but we took in the waistband and it is nice and full now.  The apron and bonnet are hand-me-down pieces from the fabric stash.  I really like the eyelet.  Total cost:  $4.
All pioneers should be comely and thrifty, don’t you think?

Black and White

You may remember that Daughter has been in ballet for many years. Young Son (yes, the tall one) joined her a few years ago as a “lift partner.”  (SIDE NOTE:  He recruits other young men to help by asking them what they do on Thursday night and would they like to “work out and pick up girls?”  Gets them every time.)

Sometimes I help with costuming.  Usually it is just for my own children, but this year other help was needed.  I did serious renovations on the costumes for the two lead dancers.  I don’t have any pictures of that process (I am terrible about taking pictures in the flow of creativity) but I do have pictures of another part of the effort:  Headpieces.

It is traditional for the Black and White Swan Princesses to have headpieces that usually involve crowns, feathers and a “beak” that goes over their foreheads.  These items are very expensive, at least $200, but easily $400, each.  Yikes!

With only a little shopping and a lot of help from the big pile of junk, these headpieces were created for about $25 total.  Not bad for materials.

Hopefully the dancers will be pleased.