Thursday, 24 March 2011

Dance Waves: Dress rehearsal

That was a hectic day.  I arrived in London at about 10am, where I was joined by Jodie.  We made our way to her house where we sorted all the costumes into separate bags labeled with each child's name.  We then made our way to the rehearsal, which was at Queen's Park School in north London.
At the rehearsal a section of the school hall was given to each group of characters, so the parents were able to find the bag with their childs name on, and dress them themselves.

For the most part the bodysuits fit very well.  I'd worked with average measurements for each size so some were slightly too tight or too loose, but a perfect fit wasn't necessary for a project like this.
The only major fitting issue was with Kaaianu, one of the tightrope walkers.  I'd drawn up the XL sized block especially for her and another girl, butu it was still far too tight across the torso, causing the neck to stretch out towards her shoulders.  This meant I would need to insert some gussets either side to give it some ease.
The other issue at the fitting was some of the seams ripping.  When overlocking them together we hadn't thought of reinforcing any of the seams that get the most pull, and as a result there were a few holes appearing in the inner leg/crotch and armhole areas of some of the costumes.  In all I gathered about half a dozen costumes to take back with me and reinforce.
A tear also appeared in the front of Jade's costume, so this needed repairing too.

One of the tightrope boys complained of his ruff itching, which I'd expected, but hadn't had time to sew a more comfortable fabric binding along the neckline before the fitting, so this needed to be done.  The weight of the pom poms on the clown hats were making them slip, so we agreed to add on elastic ties to secure them under the chin.    In addition there were a few minor things to be sewn, such as putting a pompom back on its hat, and sewing up a thumbhole that had ripped open, but these could be done there and then.  One of the tutus was too large and kept slipping, but we decided that just securing it with a safety pin would be sufficient.

Once all the kids were in their costumes and rehearsing, we got to work on sewing the ears onto the elastic that Jodie had bought.  Galina's mother also helped us out by sewing the remaining horse ears onto the ponchos.

Since we had agreed that I would only be putting aside one day the following week for finishing the costumes, in order to get started on the 2nd half of my sdp unit, we divided up the work between us.  I was in charge of repairing all costume rips, and in altering Kaaianu's costume.  I would also be doing the ruff bindings, and getting the lion ears made up, which meant buying some felt, and extra elastic, as we soon found that Jodie had underestimated how much she'd need.  Jodie would finish off any of the other ears we didn't get done that day, and add elastic ties to the pom pom hats.  We actually made a mistake, as we'd forgotten to get all the clown unitards back after the rehearsal to add on the pompoms until it was too late, and they'd all left (all costumes that didn't need changes were to be held on to by the parents for the week), so that meant ditching that part of the design.  Of course, it meant less work, which is always a bonus, but it was a slight pity.

And now for pictures:

Tightrope walkers!
Lions & tigers prowling across the stage.
A couple of obliging tightrope walkers trying on the monkey ears for us.
Monkeys in foreground, clowns & tightrope behind.  All the animals will have ears for the actual performance.

Trapeze artists striking a pose.

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