Mr Knickerbocker

These are the perfect pants for plays such as Oliver, Into the Woods,  Beauty and The Beast and Mary Poppins, but unfortunately (or fortunately depending on when you were born) these have not been available in the shops since I was a New Romantic (shh, don’t tell anyone and I promise not to share my photos!)

knickerbockers

Luckily for you, they are actually quite easy to make from an existing pair of pants, so here are the steps to follow.  I recommend corduroy or wool (not denim, it wasn’t invented until 1853).

Sewing Method

Here are a few tutorials on how to convert pants into knickerbockers, if you can sew.

http://www.sempstress.org/2009/i-need-knickers-and-i-need-them-now/

http://amie-scott.com/2015/03/11/1751/

Non Sewing Method

If you don’t sew, or don’t want to cut the pants up, you can “convert” a pair of pants by tying a piece of elastic just below the knee (you can use hair elastics) and puffing the pants out a bit around the knee so the elastic doesn’t show.  Tuck the rest of the pants (below the elastic) into long socks.

Basic Makeup

makeupParents often ask me what stage make up is for, and why they have to use it, even on boys.

The reason for wearing stage makeup is simple: the audience needs to be able to see the actors’ faces. If they don’t wear makeup, the audience cannot see your child’s face due to the distance between the performer and the audience, as well as stage lighting at the theatre which flattens facial features and takes away all of the dimensions that allow an actor’s expressions to be seen clearly.

Performance makeup us also part of the costume, it’s the finishing touch.  If you were attending the Oscars, wearing a long evening gown, with your hair in an up-do, and your brand new pair of high heel shoes and then put NOTHING on your face, you would look like you were missing something.  Your face would be overshadowed by your outfit and would look drab.  We NEVER want our costume to overshadow our face.  EVER!  

BASIC STAGE MAKEUP

Base/Foundation (same shade or just slightly darker than child’s skin
tone)—Apply over entire face, blending out to hairline.

Darken eyebrows with eyebrow pencil—Brown for blondes; black or
brown for brunettes

Brown eye shadow—Apply in “crease” of eyelid to open eye. Please
choose dark browns with no purple undertones*.

Brown eye liner—On top of eye: apply liner across eyelid, extending out
beyond eye (wings). On bottom: apply from center of eye straight out to make
a parallel line with upper “wing”.

Dark blush—Apply to apples of cheeks. Dark rose (girls). Dark peach (boys).
NO purple undertones*.

Lipstick— Dark rose for girls playing females. Do not buy a lipstick that looks bright red; it will look unattractively bright and pink on the lips. For Boys and Girls playing male characters: Buy mocha/brown lipstick.

For juniors upwards (and minis who would like to try)- False eyelashes (small  or half-size)

*Makeup with purple and blue undertones causes the face to look ill on stage.

I’ve been a little busy!

It’s been a while since I posted in this blog because it was difficult to find time to write anything, in the midst of costuming 150 kids in 4 casts for Into The Woods, and 2 casts for The Jungle Book Jr.

I finished Jungle Book on a Friday, and started costumes for our alumni/adult production of Hairspray.  I had one month to costume 36 cast members, with most characters having at least one costume change, and some of them having really fast costume changes Onstage!  Big thanks go out to Theatre Ancaster, who helped provide us with some of the more tricky costumes.

I’m looking forward to costuming BIG, and really excited (as in jumping up and down, happy dancing etc) for our next production in the Spring;  Willie Wonka.   This is one of my favourite shows of all time, and I’m a huge Roald Dahl fan, so I’m thinking of going back to the original book for my costume inspiration.  If you are interested in seeing how my costume plots evolve, check out my Pinterest page, as I add my ideas there first.

 

Orange You Glad You Read This Post

chuck3h

I’ve always loved the colour orange, and discovered Jessica’s blog a few years ago.  I love her fabric designs, and her support of a colour which (up until this year’s trend setters), was not very popular!  I have even posted some of my items in her flickr pool of orangy goodness, but I hadn’t realized how much she has influenced me until last week.

Our local youth theatre group is currently rehearsing for a production of “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley” and I’m responsible for coordinating the costumes.  The Lambchop family will all be featuring orange prominently in their costumes (no one else in the entire play wears this colour so that it stands out), and when I was chatting with the set designer about a colour for the kitchen tablecloth, all I could think of was “How About Orange”.

If you’re wondering about the shoes, all the “cool kids” in the show will be wearing them in different colours.  I may have to get myself a pair of orange ones now.

Better Than The Grammies!

This weekend I had the privilege of working with our local youth theatre group to put on the musical “Oliver”.  In 15 rehearsals a show was learned, memorized, blocked and choreographed…an amazing feat in itself.  My children and I have been involved with this group for 5 years now, and every year I am in awe of what this group of young people, aged 4-14 can achieve.  This year was particularly sweet for me because I coordinated the costumes for 2 shows, each with a cast of around 50 kids. (Below are some of my workhouse kids, in karate gis teastained for the production).

workhouse_1

Since September I have enjoyed getting to know both casts and so during the performances I was proud not only of my offspring, but every one of those children on stage. I’m glad it was dark backstage so they couldn’t catch me blubbing.

Last night’s Grammy ceremonies may be celebrated around the world, but these kids deserve all the awards.

“Everybody Wants to Be A Cat”

Since the Toronto One of A Kind I have been working on making dresses for a large (for me) wholesale order, and on the following list:

10 pairs of goose (geese) feet (that’s 20 feet if you’re counting!)
5 pairs of frilly bloomers for goslings (with the help of this tutorial, thanks Miss Chris)
5 mop caps for goslings
3 full stretch velour cat-suits (it was supposed to be only 2, but let’s just say that I’ve never worked with velour before and the sizing was not quite right for one of them!)
2 zoot suits for 2 Hep Cats
1 cravat/ascot for a spiffy (and sneaky) butler
1 poodle skirt with a twist
various costume sizing adjustments.


The dress rehearsal is this afternoon, show goes on tonight….2 months of hard work for less than 2 hours of performance…but I’ll be doing it again next year!

Some things you just can’t fix with a sewing machine

Guy returned from theatre last night in tears; he didn’t get the part he auditioned for. He has been part of a local youth theatre group for 2 years now, and both times he has had a fairly substantial role. This time however he “only has 3 lines, no singing, and loads of dancing” I have every faith in the director’s choice, and know that dancing is the thing he needs to work on most, if he wants to be a “triple threat” (no, I’m not a pushy parent, he just loves theatre arts) but it is so hard to sit back and watch him deal with rejection at such an early age. And he has the perfect hair colour to play the part he auditioned for too!

scarecrow