Yesterday my costumer and I began the shopping process for costumes. Oh. My.
And yes, my mother is my costumer, but she is one heck of a seamstress! Let me tell you! She's had plenty of years worth of experience working on musicals, dance competition costumes, drill teams numbers, and much more. She even created my sister's wedding dress AND HAND BEADED the darn lace on it, too!
The woman has got some skills. I only feel bad for my future children as I may never learn how to sew their Halloween costumes or even a basic jumper. But I do have a sewing machine waiting for me to test out and some lessons that I want to get in to after this thesis is over. Look out world! Here comes Julie, Seamstress Extraordinaire!
Well, first the thesis, then I'll take on the world. Costuming a whole show by myself has taught me two MAJOR things:
1) Be open to any possibility--in other words, let your mind explore all options before you poo-poo an idea.
2) Leave no stone unturned. Search through EVERYTHING.
Have mercy. We only went to about four different stores yesterday and still have some places to look at today. I should be culling through the entire state, but I believe we came out with a great deal of good buys with the few places we went.
Most of the costumes I've envisioned have been costumes I've hoped to build. In other words, start from scratch, piece patterns together, and create a masterpiece. Now, that's only possible for a few items so today we're hitting up some of my mother's favorite fabric stores down on Harry Hines. If you are from the Dallas area, you will know that Harry Hines is pretty much strippers row, but they've got some great hidden fabric stores down there where a gal can get a lot of good deals. Just bring your pepper spray. No, I'm kidding...sorta.
What I can't build, I create using off the rack buys. It's often suggested to go to outlets, re-sale shops, and thrift stores for some of these buys. However, we happen to get a good majority of stuff from Target, Ross, and Wal-Mart yesterday for pretty dang good prices. I'll also be raiding boxes of clothes we've cleaned out as a family. Hello! I've got 15 people to costume an entire pirate number for! That's a lot of costumes!
My dad just stared at the mass of clothing items I had spread out this morning. "And this isn't all, is it?"
Nope, Daddy. It sure isn't. I've got to get a few more things or else I'll have naked dancers on stage and that won't be appropriate in the least bit.
"Well, dang. That's a lot of pieces then."
Yup, 15 dancers and six dances. That's a lot of pieces. I'm having to guess on sizes for my dancers which is tricky. I won't get their actual measurements until the first day we meet and that's about twenty days away. Yeesh.
It's all good though. This whole process is teaching me a lot. I'm learning how to fine tune my ideas and how to describe what I see in my head to someone who's not in it--believe you me, that's been the biggest thing I've had to work on this whole year. I see a picture and I want everyone else to see it through my eyes. The story of every artist. That's what makes this thesis so darn neat is because I get to bring to life the images in my head, the show I want to share.
I'm learning how to create color schemes that fit each dance for the mood I want. I'm sharpening my skills for picking pieces. It helps that I am a dancer because I won't put my cast in things they cannot move in. I'm learning how to build off old items or self-supplied items the dancers can provide--also saves my wallet. Yeah, buddy!
Even though I've been with my mom on her shopping excursions for costumes, I'm in a whole new role. No longer am I the dancer or helper giving her my opinion, but instead the director saying "this is what I want." Kinda neat having a say-so in what goes on and what doesn't. It's all my designs, all my ideas.
Here's to hoping for another successful shopping day! Costume Gods, please grant me some breaks today! Amen.