This was a great and HUGE performance by Rose of Athens. It was their first at the classic Morton Theater in downtown Athens, and for a cast of 12 or so…there were over 60 costumes! The theme was classic Shakespearean dress with a sci-fi futuristic twist. My collegue, Jennie Alvernez was the lead costumer, but with such an overload of designs and limited budget, I signed on to help out. My main project was the witches. 7 total, but each one had to have at least 2 growing variations of red accents (as the play progressed, the characters fell deeper into evil madness). The play turned out amazingly and I have to say the witches were my favorite part. Choreography by Becca Woolbright and live percussion/spooky sounds by Patrick Ferguson made their dances eerily cool. The hitch to the witches costumes was making long dresses that could be crouched, jumped, and crawled in….did I mention the ROA actors are a very active crew? I did not get my own photos of the gowns in their finality, but here they are in action.
The close ups and more shots of the whole show are found here:
What I basically did was some repurposing of thrift store dresses!
Each of the 7 witches had to wear black tee shirt and leggings under their costumes for quick changes into soldier or other costumes (by quick, I mean less than a minute!). I started with some plain black velvet long sleeve dresses, a few black hippie skirts and plain black skirts. Each one got a bit of the sci fi aspect and the red accents with nifty additions like reversable red to redder leather corsets, sheer gauzy elastic red underskirts, or belts and little red accents. I made most of these dance-able by slitting the sides to the upper thigh, or by slitting the whole skirt all around in some cases. The belts and corsets all closed with heavy duty industrial velcro which made for easy on/off. They all incorporated lots of black tulle and the main witch, Hecate featured Purple to signify her lead role.
I did not originally make these costumes, but I will be recreating them for future performances. These were on loan from the Springer Opera House for Rose of Athens’s Summer performance of Winnie the Pooh. All I had to do was custom tailor them for each character and find a suitable outfit for Richie, who played Christopher Robin. After every performance, the heavier costumes like Kanga and Roo needed mending, so when I recreate these, they will be as light as possible!
I had a special request for a repeat customer to design a cool bride of Frankenstein costume. For being such a well known lady, she had a very short appearance in the movie…something like 28 seconds? Her costume was not so special either, so this was a fun project for me being given creative design. The original was long and boxy and just drapy fabric with wrapped sleeves. Her hair is what really makes the outfit, so I wanted to make something that would stand out a bit more than just a white dress…I started with a sketch, got approval, and started to play around. I knew a corset would spice it up, so decided to use just a sweetheart cut and make it out of burlap with unfinished edges. Hand stitched faux stitches added to the “sewn together” look. Under this goes a simple tank dress with layers of vintage sheer cottons and gauzes with a shorter hemline and varying lengths. The sleeves are sheer white with cream ribbon wrapped and sewn. These will have elastic at the top. Hopefully, I will get a photo of the customer in full costume, but here are the shots.
I never knew how much of a following this costume actually had until I started doing some research on a custom order for it about 5 years ago! It is recreated from the unforgettable scene in Return of the Jedi when Jabba the Hut has Leia chained up as a slave. It is definitely a daring costume…not sure if I will ever have the guts to wear this one myself, but many gals out there can pull it off. I offer it in appx. sizes 2-8 through the link to the right.
My version of this recreation is hand sculpted to fit out of a flexible rubber clay and wire. Each piece is detailed, carved, shaped, bent, and painted by hand, so no two bikinis are alike. There are a few other versions of the bikini found online, but seem to be made of resin which does not have any give to it and are made from a cast, each one uniform. By adding flexibility to the costume, I hoped (and succeeded) to add a bit more wearability to the getup.
I WILL be doing a picture tutorial for this costume very soon. It is really not as hard as it seems and with a willing model, some artistic sculpting talent, and LOTS of time.
There are alot of pieces involved in this costume! 2 side hair clips, a pony tail clasp, arm band, bracelet, choker with chain, bra top with accents, skirt plates, sidehooks, fabric panels and bra cups and shoes! I do not at this time offer the matching boots, but a pair of ugg boots will suffice until I can perfect the boot toppers.
From my research, from the acutal movie, there were a few different versions. There WAS an actual metal one, but it was only used for still shots. The ones used for action were more wearable. I use a tan suedeclotoh usually for the fabric in the bra cups, and a silky maroon fabric for the skirt panels. The rest of the costume is the rubber clay sculpted around a wire base for stability. I use a wonderful antique bronze colored paint to give it the metallic look. As this costume takes me about two weeks working full time on it to a month of steady work, I am MORE than happy to pass on info on how you can make your own. I can only handle so many orders of these!
I could go on with research and pictures of this costume, but for now decided to just detail my version. It has come through several redesigns to get it more screen accurate and might go through a few more, since each one is unique.
All you ever wanted to know about this costume can be found at www.leiasmetalbikini.com .
Purchasing information can be found at www.miala.net
My first version of this was done in 2002. It was pieced together from several different patterns and I must admit was not bad for a first try. After 7 years now, my patterns have been perfected for most sizes, and the costume is finally as screen accurate as I insist on! I base my costume on the CBS late 70’s version of the tv show and have had countless discussions with customers on the little details (like which side of the belt the lasso of truth attaches to).
I am a big fan of Wonder Woman and this is by far my favorite costume that I do (so far). I use a high quality satin for the bustier and cape. All of the accents and accessories are a nice gold leather. The briefs, I choose to use premade stretchy ones for a great, smooth fit. All of the stars are cut and sewn on by hand. Each one of these costumes takes about two weeks of steady work to complete! Based off of three generally sized patterns, I alter the general sized one for a custom fit for the customer.
For more information on this costume, please visit my website listed in my links to the right.
I am so excited to finally have all of my costuming ideas and progress in one place! I will hopefully be archiving my past creations slowly as well as keeping up with all my new designs as they come along. I work with my local theater, Rose of Athens, as well as have an online store, ebay, etsy, and a retail shop! I inted this blog to be a how-to as well as a showcase for all the amazing designs my customers and I come up with…
As for the personal stuff, I am in my thirties, a mom, a costumer, and a store owner. I learned to sew from my grandmother when I was 15 and grew up in my parents antique store. I have an appreciation for historical fashion, a slight interest in modern high fashion, a love of sci-fi and fantasy, and a slight obsession with corsets and antique lingerie.
Since most of my costumes are inteded for sale, I use only quality materials and try to produce heirloom creations that will last a lifetime. I often make costumes for myself or just for fun as well, including a growing collection of rentals for the retail shop.
I look forward to getting started here and do welcome your comments and questions!