Costume Making

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So I recently joined an aerial performance troupe, and our first show is a Halloween Themed show in October. My piece is going to be in a hammock (I shared some examples in this post). I thought it would be fun to do a thread about my costume - mostly because it has to be a surprise, so I can't post on Instagram, and I need a way to keep myself accountable. 

I'm going to go with the old-school Bride of Frankenstein: 

bride of frankenstein halloween GIF

And while my costume has to be way shorter than that (think butt-length), I plan on keeping true to the form (minus some glitter on the costume, because performances demand glitter). 

I've already found the hair tutorial, which I will be trying in the next week or so. I'l share how that goes.

Next up (uh, besides actually working on the routine) is for me to sketch out my costume idea and draft out my supply list! I've got a little less than 2 months to get this done and between the hair, the costume and the actual routine, it's a lot, but I know I can do it! 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, so I figured out the hair technique I"m going to use, and drafted a fellow dancer who is also a face painter to help with the makeup. Depending on whether or not we have a friend come over this afternoon I *MAY* do a hair test tonight for fun. 

So now I need to buy a nude leotard and nude tights (I was going to go with a unitard, but after looking at myself inverting, I'd prefer that its not a wide swath of nude fabric 🤣🤣). I've got a white pillow case that I'm going to craft into the "dress" (attaching it to the shoulders of the leotard, like @Sandi Wiseheart recommended). My goal is to have the costume done by Oct 1.

The routine is coming along *OK* - I have the full sequence done, and the first time through to music, in front of a group, it went OK (evidently, I'm one of the first to have the whole thing choreographed). I have a few transitions I need to clean up, and then one move I need to either nail in the next 23 days, or find something else (the something else is also cool looking, but a bit easier). 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, my first hair run. I had no Bobby pins, and my hair was slightly damp. So next run will be fully dry, slightly dirty hair, with Bobby pins and I think ONE more bump-it (I’m wearing two stacked on top of the other).


I wish I’d take one mid-put up, because it was very Amy Winehouse cool, and I kinda want to just wear it like this all the time. 
 Also don’t know why it’s turned on it’s side but 🤷🏻‍♀️


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On 9/26/2019 at 5:42 PM, Sandi Wiseheart said:

I love the hair, @Corrie! I like that you put little streaks of grey in there as well, because Bride of Frankenstein. 😉. You could go a little heavier on the white hair streaks if you wanted to.

I have no idea what a BumpIt is, nor why you would want three in your hair. But hey, what do I know?


A bumpit (mine are homemade) are basically like donut shaped net things you put in your hair to give it volume! I need three to build the height! 

but those gray streaks are actually mine 🤣🤣🤣! I do you think I need to get some white hairspray anyway so that it shows up in the actual show because I’m pretty high up there!

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  • 2 weeks later...

So wondering if this really fits as "sewing" anymore because I'm only going to be "sewing" one thing. 😉 However, thought I'd share my full hair/makeup test. Will do a few more before the show because false eyelashes are HARD:




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Hey gang! 

So we had dress rehearsal today and I got NO photos of my own performance. However, I did get a selfie with one of my best buds, and I thought I'd share to show the full effect. 

Also, I was invited to perform last night at a choreographers showcase. I did a "duet" with the studio owner - she and I handed off our choreography, and then after each dance (they did three - me, one other duet and a solo). I forgot that I liked TALKING about dance, and it was like a revelation to me to see that dance-dancers thought what we did was cool, and worth talking about (and uh, that I LIKE talking about it). 

Anyway, there is a link to that performance, and I'm gonna share it here (I'm the one in the blue hammock) 

and here is the photo of my finished makeup! I'll try to have a full photo of my costume next week (for the record again, I'm the one with the dark hair. :))


Brandis & Corrie.jpg

Edited by Corrie
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Brava! Brava! I love it! @Corrie this is amazing! (I’m watching from my hotel room at Rhinebeck, btw.)

You are so controlled and graceful in your movements. The dismount was really good, smooth and natural-looking. I also liked (not sure about the right terms) the “designs” you created with the hammock/ribbon as you wrapped it around limbs as you did various poses and movements.

So well done! Yay!!!

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18 hours ago, Kim Werker said:

Break a leg, @Corrie! You know what I thought the whole time I watched your video? You are STRONG. xoxo

Thanks Kim!!!! I did great! (I surprised even myself!!!)

re: strength- it’s been a long work in progress, but I can finally admit that I kinda am 🤣🤣

I’ll post some photos in a bit!

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Ok, I did it! It was great!

costume turned out to be more “cutting” and less sewing but here is a look at the final result (in motion). 

and here is a video of the fully performance:


Few things I learned:

1- I want to do it again!

2- I really had to struggle with some creative hurdles. I had times when I didn’t think I was good enough, when I thought about quitting and when I worried that I’d not have it come together. Lots of self doubt. Interestingly, it’s the stuff I struggle with in general (worries that I’m not good enough or that I never finish things). But seeing them through to the end has been a huge confidence boost.

3- as I said before, I didn’t think I’d enjoy the Making as much as the moving - I loved creating a character, figuring out how to stick to it, incorporating in the costume/hair/etc, and then tying it in with the movements (and problem solving a lot of bad ideas at the beginning). I also loved the part where I could change things when a better idea came along. 

the whole thing was a fabulous creative process from beginning to end and I cannot wait for the next show. 




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2 hours ago, Kim Werker said:

I'm so grateful to you for sharing your experience of this from beginning to end, @Corrie! A neato opportunity came along, it was terrifying and exciting, you committed, you struggled, you nailed it, OMG. ❤️

Thanks! I really learned a LOT *and* it put some interesting thoughts in my brain about creating things that aren't products. I'll try to pull them together for a future post. 

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@Corrie: What @Kim Werker said! (I am bleary-eyed so will be considerably less eloquent.)

I, too, thought, wow, she is STRONG when I was watching the practice video. 

I admire what you did: Discovering something that intrigued you, having the courage to sign up and even TRY, which is the hurdle I think a lot of folks (coughmecough) get stuck at.  And even though it was REALLY hard at times, you ended up doing something wonderful!

One of my take-aways from this is that if you stick with something through the difficult bits, if you manage to finish something you can feel good about, then that helps with overall self-esteem. (I don’t know if you said that exactly, but that’s what I got out of it.) 

One of the challenges for my own creative processes has been that I learned a very bad habit while showing up to work as Knitting Daily Sandi. I wrote 3 newsletters a week, and, when a new issue of the mag came out, I would write about the patterns, etc. One approach that I found readers liked was when I chose a pattern from the latest mag to knit for myself, and post about the yarn I chose, mods I made, etc. In reality, what would happen is that I would start these projects, and, because I am not a terribly fast knitter, I couldn’t/didn’t finish things before the next issue came out and the whole process would start again.

I already had a tendency towards not finishing things, and the above process just reinforced that. I think it did become a habit, not finishing things, because just now, I looked back at my photos and Rav projects page, and, wow. I’ve only completed 3 projects in five years:

Hiro (cardigan), completed 2014. I re-knit the collar Fall 2018. 

Ruth’s Leafy Mitts, 2016

Pansy hat, 2018,

I have finished several small spinning projects, but nothing big. 

However, I have a dozen UFOs, at least, in various project bags and boxes around the house. 

I think finishing projects has just become a solid goal of mine. Not to put pressure on myself, but to give me something I can show off!

I’m going to go get my headphones so I can watch your final performance, Corrie!

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First up, it is very hard for me to admit that I am strong. So, thank you both for saying it, because when someone remarks upon it in class, I have a tendency to downplay it, and rarely admit to training 6 days a week and mostly just focus on how far I have to go. 😉

Second, oh boy, @Sandi Wiseheart, can I relate! I don't track Rav stuff very well, but a look back at my instagram shows like, MAAAAYBE I did two scarves and a yarn last year. I've never been the fastest knitter/maker, and I'm SUPER good at getting distracted by shiny objects/new projects. I also had a habit back in the day (the 90s) when I was dancing that I'd enter a choreographers showcase, only to BLOW the number up a week before and come up with something else. In this case, I had to get approval to perform, and so had to submit my song 2 months before, my video 3 weeks before, and then could change elements, but not The Whole Damm Thing. I think it gave me a structure to say "I have to commit to making this idea workable or I am going to look like an asshat." 

It also got me thinking about how structure helps the creative process. Having an outside structure, with just a *few* rules (in this case, it had to have a Halloween theme, we couldn't opt for "pretty" and we had to have song & performance approval by certain dates), was really helpful in lighting a fire under my butt - kind of like the fact that I have Christmas knitting to start soon. The rules were *just enough* to make me do things, without resenting it, but also not throwing my hands up and going "This is impossible!" 

Sandi, it sounds like the one part of your fun Interweave Challenge (something I may have actually followed along at at some point because I NEVER use the right yarn) is the time constraint. Maybe there is a part of that you could redo (and turn into a writing AND making challenge?)

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