Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Speaking of Mr. Dickens.....

Hats created for "A Christmas Carol" presented by Hawthorne Players, Dec. 2007
This was my fancy hat, my first attempt, the feathers cover up a multitude of sins!
Simpler design, fits well, cheap to make, takes a hour to put together, and the new default design for 2009!

Our theatre group is working on "A Christmas Carol". Dates for the performances are Dec. 18-20. We are doing 4 performances, a matinee on Saturday and Sunday, and evening performances on Friday and Saturday.

The group has done this show before, having first done it in 2007. I was costumer for the 2007 show. It was a big job (about 35 performers, most needing at least two costume changes), and I had just come off my task of costuming "The Music Man" with a cast of 55.

One of the things I found about doing a Dicken's show is that the ladies all needed period hats. It was fairly easy to find patterns for these hats, because many folks are doing re-enactments and shows using this style of period clothing. I had never made hats before, but was intrigued with the idea of doing so. As you can see, I got quite into the craft, and made many very cute, colorful and quite lovely chapeaus for my ladies! These were only matched by the wonderful top hats that the men wore!

One of our actresses is a very sought after performer, and she is in many shows during the year. She has a wonderful voice, she is a great actress, and she loves spending her spare time working in musicals. We were lucky to be able to snag her between other gigs for the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat last summer.

When she did Christmas Carol in 2007, she came with her own Dickensonian costume! She is in much demand during the Christmas season working as a songstress doing Christmas Carols for various local events. I was very thankful that she could dress herself for her caroling role, and when she told me what she paid for the hat she was wearing, I was shocked! Many, many pesos! And it is the simplest design! I recreated it the other night for $4 worth of materials and about 1 hour of time! It frames the face beautifully, and fits well. I'd model it myself, but you can get the jist of it from the picture.

From now on, if I need to make more Dicken's style hats, this is the style I'm making! The details of the fancier hats are lost in the translation, and even though they were totally fun to make, they aren't necessary.

My young girls will wear mop caps, and I have a nice collection of those. The actresses who are returning will get their fancy hats, but the newcomes will get the 2009 stripped down, maribou trimmed simple hats, and no one will be the wiser! My men will have several new cool top hats to choose from, and we'll all look fine!

1 comment:

MonkeyGirl said...

I really do love those hats! I am captured in the background of an 'elf' photo wearing one of your beautiful creations!