Fabric, fabric everywhere but not a drop to sew

Greetings all,

I am the head costumer, Lauren, and I am looking forward to working on this show.  I’ve been sewing for 20ish years and doing costumes for staged productions for at least 5ish.  I started sewing in Girl Scouts to get my sewing badge but craftiness is in my blood and that was just an excuse to start learning.  In high school and college I did a lot of anime cosplaying and also joined the SCA for a while.  Right now, I’m a stay-at-home mom and mostly sew for my daughter.  Right this minute I have a She-ra costume I’m working on for her that I’m adapting from a Tinkerbell costume pattern by Simplicity.

Yesterday, I went to Joann Fabrics to start buying patterns and look again for fabrics for Gertrude and Ophelia’s dresses.  There was a sale on Vogue patterns and there was one in particular that I really felt I could modify into a wonderful dress for our Gertrude.  The problem I run into time and again is finding the right FABRIC for a costume.  The choices are so limited, especially if you’re looking for something in the wrong “season.” In this case we are looking to do a multi-colored effect and it also needs to look pretty opulent and flowy.  Special occasion fabric is there year-round so I didn’t think I was going to have a problem finding something for this dress.  Each character is going to have a color associated with them and Gertrude’s is red.  I found Scarlet, Tango Red and Bordeaux in their Casa Collection special occasion fabrics (also on sale, luckily for longer than the patterns were) and they would all go great together in the final dress… if only they had the right fabric styles I needed in all the colors!

fabric aisles

So many choices, but are any right?

I looked online and they don’t even have the Scarlet color at all on their online shop, and apparently you need to buy 2 yards minimum online and I really only need 1 yard for the bordeaux in the same fabric type that I can get the scarlet in at the store.  Budget is tight and I don’t know that I can use that extra for something else.  So what am I to do?  Scarlet and bordeaux need to be the same type or the dress will not look right.  Will I pick a different color?  Will I check other online fabric stores for similar colors in the correct fabric type?  Will I dye something? Or will I learn to weave my own fabric?  Stay tuned and you may just find out.

-Lauren (Head Costumer)


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