Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Costume Commission for Beauty and the Beast

I just met with the costume designer for Mt. Hebron High School. They are doing Beauty and The Beast for their Spring musical. I’m making 2 costumes for Belle: the pink dress she wears at the castle and the show-stopper yellow gown for the final scene. I’m also creating 8 sets of silverware and a pie server. Maybe some more, it’s still early in the production and I usually get asked to fill in missing pieces here and there.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

More Intern Adventures at the Sewing Design Studio

My interns are hard at work on their pillows and are beginning to really understand the importance of a good pattern. I'm hosting a holiday par-tay for them tomorrow afternoon. I’ll bring in some home-made cookies and other goodies along with holiday cheer. We should have a good time before I send them off for holiday break.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Training Interns in Fashion Design

My interns are learning the importance of accuracy and patience as they work on the design project I gave them. They are to design a 12 x 12 inch pillow but it has to have at least 4 pieces on the face side. From there they have to develop the pattern pieces adding seam allowances, matching notations, grainlines...all the minute but important parts of bringing a design from the page to 3-D reality. Once they've perfected their patterns, they're going to actually make the pillows...and they get to keep them!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Party Trunks!

One of the great things about running a costume studio along side the bridal and fashion studio is that I have a huge closet to pull from. For your next kid's party, try renting a trunk full of costumes for the kids to play in. Give me a theme and I'll deliver a trunk full of fun costumes that will let imaginations take over!

For example, I recently got a call from a mom whose daughter is having a Royal Princesses themed party. I'll be filling the trunk with princess dresses, crinolines, and tiaras.

So much fun!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Indian costume for Peter Pan is finished and has been picked up! Julie, who will wear it in the show said she was going to be the best dressed Indian on stage! Just what I like to hear!

Show opens next weekend at Laurel Mill Playhouse, Main Street, Laurel and runs until December 19th.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Laurel Arts Extravaganza

I am so excited! I'll be one of the artists participating in the Laurel Arts Extravaganza - just in time for holiday shopping!

This is a juried event so everything is hand-crafted and the artists' products pre-approved. Best of all, the proceeds will benefit the Laurel Rescue Squad.

Come see me in the old PG Office Supply building at:
342 Main St, Laurel MD 20723 (next to Laurel Board of Trade)
December 10, 2010 (5:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
December 11, 2010 (10:00 am – 5:00 pm)

For more info contact Gail Reinhardt at the Laurel Board of Trade at 301-483-0838. Or RSVP at!/event.php?eid=165758556788297

Monday, November 22, 2010

Fashion ER

Just got 2 calls for sewing ER services.

The first is a bride getting married on Friday. Her corset needs a last-minute alteration by Wednesday! My friends at Bra-La-La sent her here since I’ve done this type of alteration before. So glad to be able to relieve some stress for a bride.

The other call is for an Indian costume for Peter Pan. I'm letting my imagination go wild on this one! The Laurel Mill Playhouse is mounting this show and it opens next week!

Even under pressure, I love creating things and making other people's lives easier.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Halloween Babies and the Sound of Music

I just got back from North Carolina where I spent the weekend being a grandma to my adorable new grandson, the Halloween baby! Of course he's the most adorable baby ever!!

I left my studio in the biggest mess ever as I literally finished the costumes at 7:30am last Friday after 2 all-nighters so I could deliver the Sound of Music costumes before leaving to visit my son's family for the weekend. The costumes weren't actually due for a few more days, but I so wanted to see the new baby I moved the deadline up and made it happen. Once finished, I ran home, packed, and hit the road.

What I'm not looking forward to is all the clean-up--piles of scrap fabric everywhere, patterns to sort out and file away, floors to vacuum.... Oh, well. Part of the job and it was totally worth it!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

It's Not all Glamour in the Costume Business

I had fun helping old and new clients pick out Halloween costumes. They're all back in the studio now and being laundered before being put away.

People always think of the glamorous parts of costuming—silks, sequins, sparkles, and sheens—and don't realize there's a lot of behind the scenes stuff. TONS of laundry and HOURS of stain removal, folding, ironing, and repairing. Proper cleaning and maintenance greatly extends the life and look of costumes and clothes alike.

Costumes come back to me with tares and even blood stains—both real and fake. Believe me, I've seen it all. So, if you have a stain removal issue, call me!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Adventures of the Interns at the Sewing Design Studio

Things are moving along and picking up speed as my trusty interns, Brittany, and I pump out costumes for Sound of Music. We'll fit the principals' costumes on Thursday.

My interns learned the intricacies of pattern sizing and tracing this week as they prepped the uniform patterns for the Von Trapp girls' dresses. They learned to use a serger, too!

We reviewed and discussed their design projects this week. They're learning it's not so easy to bring a 2-D design from a sketch on paper to a 3-D reality. They have to show the front and back views of their designs and then come up with a materials list. The final step is to describe in detail how it will be constructed.

In all, a very interesting day! But then, nothing's ever dull at the Sewing Design Studio.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sew with a Pro

My next Sew with a Pro class is Saturday, October 30th, 10am-noon!

I wanted to take a moment and give some more detail about this series of classes. Sew with a Pro is open to both adults and teens.

It's hands-on, interactive program designed to either:
  • build a solid foundation of sewing skills and confidence for beginners or,

  • build on that foundation for more experienced sewers.

Beginners will be assigned projects appropriate to their skill level after practicing some basics. Experienced sewers are encouraged to bring their own current apparel or home decor project. They're also welcome to work on a class assigned project.

Each lesson begins with a short informative demo on a single technique or topic and handouts reinforce each concept. Creativity is encouraged at every step as a way to personalize each garment.

With an ongoing registration process, students can join the class at any time and choose which 4 weeks work for their schedules, so the 4 weeks don’t have to be consecutive. If a class is missed the student will pick up where they left off. Students have the option of purchasing as many 4 week blocks of class time as they need.

Adults: Saturdays 10am - noon
Teens (13-18) Saturdays 1- 3 pm
Tuition: $275 for each 4 week block and includes all materials except garment projects

Bring a friend to register with you and get a 10% discount on your tuition!

For those of you who are new to the studio, all machines and equipment, as well as most materials needed for the projects, are provided to students. The only additional expense is purchasing your garment project pattern and fabric. You will be informed as to what pattern and type of fabric will be needed for your class when you register. It is suggested that each student bring a notebook and pencil.

All classes include discussions and demonstrations on appropriate fabrics, stitching techniques, proper measurements, and creative options to add personality to the garment. Pattern adjustments are made as needed for each student to insure a well fitting garment.

Advanced registration is required for all classes.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Costumes for Two Stage Plays Progress on Schedule

The "Sound of Music" at Seton Keogh HS progresses. Met with Pam who’s helping with costumes so now I have the complete run-down of what they need from me. Musicals always have larger casts so there’s a lot more costume work, especially in multiples. Dramas have different types of challenges.

Speaking of dramas, I'm also deep into costume selection, fittings, and alterations for the "Miracle Worker" with Synapse Theater. Show opens October 22nd and runs thru October 31st at Slayton House in Columbia. The challenge here has been that I was called in so last minute on the costumes. Thanks to my trusty Interns and Brittany by my side I think we can pull this off and have costumes ready to go by the beginning of Tech Week on October 17th. After all, what's drama without a little drama?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Synapse Theater Presents The Miracle Worker and I Learn About the Cult of Rapture

Synapse Theater’s production of the Miracle Worker opens October 22nd! I love this show so I’m excited to be the costume designer for it. For the past 4 days I’ve been fitting actors into costumes borrowed from Port Tobacco and from my business’s costume closet. This is going to be a well dressed cast!

As much as I enjoy playing in aubergine silk, I love costumes too.

That makes my recent commission for a Cult of Rapture costume all the more interesting. It’s not in silk, but the adult sized costume for this little girl will be aubergine! Remember what I said about aubergine being the new black? Anyway, I’d never heard of the Cult of Rapture before this week, but the project should be fun!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Things are Never Boring at the Sewing Design Studio

During the first week of school I took on three student interns, one each from Reservoir High School, Springbrook High School, and Pallotti High School. My fourth, from Oakland Mills High School, joined our little club this week. These girls are all seniors looking forward to colleges and careers in fashion design. I have big plans to teach them sewing, designing, and how to run a business as we work together this year.

I ran them ragged day before yesterday removing trims, sorting costumes, laundry, prepping alterations, putting costumes back in storage. But, it's all done and proves many hands make light work. Bet they never considered this as a part of a design career!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Return From Reality

These last few months have been both “character building” and a wake-up call for the inevitable realities of life for me. Family issues have kept me traveling and unfocused. For better or for worse, things have calmed down now and I’m ready to dig back in to my business and my passion.

The timing couldn’t be better, either. With Halloween less than a month away and several shows nearing completion, I’m happily playing in fabric again! This fall, that fabric’s color is auburgine. I have two custom dresses in that color, so if anyone asks, auburgine (eggplant) is the new black.

Details to come. It’s so good to be back.