Tuesday, May 17, 2011

One of the big parts of my job is making patterns for the costumes. The pattern making is what I get the most enjoyment out of, and find the most fulfilling. Of course, like most things in life, it's only about 10% of the work of making a costume, but luckily the work flows quickly, so I get to go back to pattern making once every 2 months or so.

While working on the dance concert over the past few months, it occurred to me that I had a really good illustration of the range of what pattern making is. I could get into details and try to explain the advantages/disadvantages of draping on a dress form vs. drafting using measurements and rulers, but that would bore you.

Instead I have pictures.

simple costume pattern

Even if you've never sewn before, it's probably pretty clear that this is the pattern for some kind of shirt. A simple tunic to be precise.

But this?

complex costume pattern

This is a dress. And to get a sense of scale, I should say that each of those 8 pieces is nearly as big as I am, and that in order to show the whole pattern I had to lay it out on the stage floor and then photograph it from up in the catwalks above the audience.