Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Unexpected Guest

Set for "The Unexpected Guest" by Agatha Christie

Michael, the unexpected guest comes upon grieving Laura, who just found her husband shot to death. Michael decides that beautiful Laura needs an advocate, and so cooks up an idea of how the murder can be explained.

Beautiful Laura tricks Michael into continuing to lie to cover up the real murderer.

Grand Dame Mrs. Warwick discusses with Laura and the house servant Benny details of the murder and investigation.

Crazy son Jan Warwick talks to Benny, saying he wants to follow in his step-brother's footsteps, and "shoot things"!

The entire cast of "The Unexpected Guest", taking their bows! The dead man, Richard Warwick resurrects with his gunshot in his head to take a bow! (Extreme left)


SewWhat? has been busy again, thereby explaining why there haven't been any posts for a while. Anyone involved in tech week for a play knows it is a week filled with lots of last minute details, lots of running around, lots of sewing for the costumer, and luckily, ends up with a nice opening night performance and audience.

The costuming for the play was easier than most, because the sewing part of it was smaller than other plays I have done. Of course, I dressed beautiful Laura, with her darling Barbie Doll shape! That was the most fun of all, especially with her second blue plaid dress! Vintange pattern, Butterick, from 1957. Her other dress was also vintage Butterick, from a few years earlier.

I also made Benny's dress, some nightwear for all, and then the rest was found at various thrift stores, or people's closets. Luckily I found a beautiful vintage dressing gown for the "dead man", fit him perfectly also! I guess the whole thing was a series of lucky finds, because they really all looked good.

Monkeygirl loved Laura's blue and white shoes, and put in her own search for a pair just like them. The fabric for Laura's blue dress and Jacket was found after a frantic search at three fabric stores for the right fabric at the right price. No way was I going to spend $200 on one outfit! Luckily, I found this silk for $4 a yard! And I was very pleased with the results.

Now to the confessional. I sew well, but fit people not so well. I made the purple dress for Laura from some fabric left over from last year's show, and it worked out OK, but the shoulders didn't fit her. So, I decided I had enough fabric to remake the entire dress, and I did, and it fit her perfectly. Then, my usual night chore after the performance was to iron the ladies garments. On Saturday night, the iron got too hot, and I burned a spot in the blue jacket! Luckily I had enough fabric to remake that piece of the jacket. What a dummy I am!

I learn from my mistakes, and lucky for me, nothing is irreversible. I've learned some things about fitting, about not sewing things up too fast without try ons, and about sewing slower and more accurately. My results have been better as I go along with the projects. I get less stressed by the jobs, even though the biggest job I did was my first job as a costumer for a very big cast. I think my reputation as a costumer is getting around, because in January, I am doing 4 shows during the same time frame!

I do love this hobby. People want to know how much I make doing it, and it only comes in satisfaction of a job that is appreciated. I've gotten very high compliments from several people whose talents in theatre I really admire, and the fact that they are complimentary of my work is like getting the Academy Award.

Edith Head, move over!


Ty'sMommy said...

Beautiful work! I noticed your reference to various vintage Butterick patterns. I don't know if you'd be interested or not, but I've recently come across a few vintage dress patterns from someone I work with. Don't know if these would be useful to you but I could scan the covers to show you what they are if you'd like. Just let me know!

MonkeyGirl said...

I still need to go find the shoes - I know where to go, I just need to make it over there without M&M's in tow!

sewwhat? said...

Ty's mommy--I'd love to see the patterns you are talking about. When I get ready to costume a 20th century show, I go to the pattern archives, which show the lines and details from the decade. I love these new vintage patterns from Butterick, I buy every one when they go on sale for 99 cents. Vogue has some beautiful ones also, but they are much more expensive. That's a hard bullet to bite when you are buying on speculation that you will need it in the future.
My mother made me a beautiful Vogue pattern dress when I was in high school out of purple wool. She was an excellent seamstress! Oh how I wish I still had that dress for my costume collection!