Thursday, 20 March 2014

Introducing Flo

I have stitched and created for a long time now.  Since 1999 I have been a fully qualified Costume Interpreter. "A what" I hear you say, well when you watch any kind of theatrical production on the stage or screen, the costumes will have been designed by one soul, and their designs then interpreted by another team of souls.  The costume Designer is the person who gets a credit at the end of a programme/film/brochure.  The Interpreters or Makers do not usually get any credit, just the satisfaction of making someone look like their character and hopefully aiding in their over all performance.  Oh and we get paid...a bit...but that is another post, I could go into all the differences between working on film(big bucks) or in Theatre(sometimes not so big bucks), but I won't.

Interpreters or makers as we are more usually known sometimes work in a team, a duo or all by ourselves.  If we work in a team the person in charge is called a "Cutter", because they draft and cut the garments, then the makers construct the garment and the cutter then fits the items on the actor and marks up the alterations and hands it back to the maker to finish.  If we work solo we have to do all these tasks ourselves.  In theatre we rarely use commercial stock size patterns, we work from a set of the persons measurements, and either flat draft a pattern (on paper using a set of slightly complicated instructions-if you are a maths whizz you would love this).   Or you can cut "on the stand", this involves a tailors dummy, a piece of cloth, pins and some twiddling.

This is a dress I am currently cutting "on the stand".
  In industry we use Stockman stands.  Solid and fixed size calico tailors stands which we pad up to a specific size using a bit of wadding until it is a replica of the person we are making for.  They are the lovely things they use on the "Great British Sewing Bee", and cost a lot of money.  You used to be able to pick them up second hand when I was a student, but lots of people have bought them to look decorative in their big houses, with maybe a lovely scarf draped across them (not that I am bitter of course).  So  I have finally accepted that I am never to find a bargain stockman, and instead bought myself a "Lady Valet"( I know it is a silly name).  It is not as flimsy as the little adjustable stand I had when I was a teenager.  She is somewhere in between a lovely Stockman, and a lightweight dressmakers stand, and she is called Flo.

Here is Flo modelling another Client's dress.
She is not merely a decorative prop, she has come in very handy and indeed invaluable when levelling hems and cutting a pattern, and as she is adjustable so I can even make her my size, meaning I no longer have to disrobe in my workroom(back corner where I won't scare the neighbours).
 Isn't she lovely!!! 

1 comment:

  1. I love Flo! And I really love the blue Daisy dress in the last pic...