I used to sew. When the boys were little, I’d make their Halloween costumes. Mum sewed EVERYTHING. Quilts, blankets, clothes, and more. I wasn’t going to compete or even try to do what she did, so I didn’t. She’d send patterns for costumes and sometimes fabric and I’d make them. The pumpkin one Little Bear has on (he’s 4, maybe) was supposed to have stuffing, but he objected. Strider got so mad when people asked him if he was Batman. He was a BAT! (then there was the year he was about 12. He wore a black cloak and carried a staff. Few people realised he was Allanon from Terry Brooks’s stories.)
As Strider grew up, he was in theatre. From the age of 13 to 18 he was in 13 different productions. Many were plays needing costumes not found in closets or thrift stores. So, I sewed and created.
I didn’t know when he was in ‘HONK!‘ that I’d learn to love making hats.
Music Man was a great deal of fun! We adapted modern dresses to fit the period and sewed a few and I made some amazing Titanic hats. The blue one at the bottom and the pink one are the only two I have left. The flamboyant blue feathered one was for Eulalie Mackecknie Shinn (the Mayor’s wife). It was given to the girl who played that wonderful character after the play was over. (she said it fell apart..my two are still in VERY good shape!) I wear mine every now and again. Getting into a modern car with one is not very easy. And if you happen to have one of those automatic seat belts you can almost decapitate yourself quite easily!
I made tails for a comic murder mystery. Little Bear later wore it to recite The Gettysburg Address. (I also made the vest for this one…that was more work than I thought!)
Then, Strider was in a number of plays that really needed something outside the norm.
He was younger in the first photo, but I enjoyed that one! His cape is attached at the shoulders and he wore underarmor-like tights and shoes from a Shakespearean play. The other photo shows Strider as a Sultan. His headdress has a mirror in the center. When kids in the audience were not paying attention, Strider would bend his head so the mirror flashed on them. He also had a GIANT wooden sword in this play. (The Craftsman created all the weaponry for the High School plays. Swords, daggers, tommy guns, and a rather clever blunderbuss, using a funnel) The Sultan’s cloak was used in a couple plays. So flamboyant and grand. Except for the glitter. It was a huge piece of black fabric reaching the floor, with gold swirls all over it. Strider could make it flow when he walked or pull it close, it was as magnificent a prop as his beard for this play (frisked up, it was an angry beard. Smooth, it was a calmer Sultan).
Then, he was in two classics. First is a very low budget version of Lumiere and a super fun version of the Lion from Oz. (The Craftsman did arrange it so the hat’s candle would light up. There was a battery switch in Strider’s vest pocket) The gold leggings Strider has on were a huge hit. The gold sequin tails were a pain in the butt to sew, but I also made him a nicer silver version for his Senior prom because he asked(See below). I was pleased when the director wanted the Lion’s outfit to be more like something from CATS!. Strider was worried til I made the pajama pants similar to the Sultan ones. Being a bean pole, he didn’t want to prance around in skin tight stuff..although, he did when he was in ‘The Clumsy Custard‘ (the turquoise outfit with the cape).
One of the things I have learned is that I can sew simple costumes. Real things are much harder. Costumes don’t need more than dark sturdy threaded seams and small discrepancies can be overlooked. I have made quite a few pillow cases for graduations and weddings, a couple of skirts for myself, but for the most part, my machine sits idle now. I don’t mind. Maybe I can get the glitter out of it!!