Monday, October 31, 2011

Make Do

When you have to sew a large quantity of costumes, like I do, with a deadline, like I do, improvisation can be your best friend. For myself, for paying customers, and for my brothers I sew period correct clothing, but for performances I don't always have the time or the money to sew the right way. Thrift stores and donations are my supply stores; coupons and creativity are necessities. Here you see before you a wool suit coat, probably from the 1990's and too large for any of my family members. Rescued from languishing in a dusty closet, it is ready to be transformed to a new purpose.

Chop it up.

Cut out the sleeves and the collar. Hack it to pieces. Vent your anger at the people who gained weight between costume fittings, and those sour individuals who don't like their costumes. Forget your mountain of waiting projects and scissor that thing apart.

Take your traced, borrowed or stolen but certainly not bought pattern of a nineteenth century man's waistcoat and place it where convenient. Make it fit. Save the front seams and buttonholes if you can.

At the end of cutting you should have the all the parts for a basic, not entirely correct waistcoat- an easy way to spice up any man's wardrobe. You may have to add some lining to the back piece, if you take out the usual polyester lining like I do. Take off the plastic buttons and buy some metal ones at Hancock's when they go 50% off.

This is how I sew. Shocked?

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