Thursday, February 23, 2012

Little Women

Fabric, fabric, everywhere--fabric coming out of my ears.
This, plus a bit more, is what 100 yards of material looks like.
Found at a fabric market that I've frequented since moving here, it cost about $300 altogether, and this was the first year that I didn't buy a single scrap from the cheap piles (which are basically heaps of ragged, torn, stained, unwanted pieces of yardage). Moving on up! I tried to pare down the costume list as much as possible so that we could invest in more quality materials.
Then, I did another thing that I skipped for previous shows...I washed it all. This takes a significant amount of time when the circumference of one's washing machine is the same as that of a dinner plate. Also, it's very difficult when some pieces are thirty feet long and need to be hang dried because I don't have a dryer. It's a long and arduous process. Basically took two whole weeks to buy, wash, dry, iron, fold, and organize. I want these costumes to look better than passable, but we'll see what happens. I'm not the best at choosing textiles and have a hard time visualizing the final affect. Plus, there's a lot of trust that goes into the process, because I give the tailor the fabric and a picture and she does her best to recreate the look without even using a pattern. That's skill.

During Willow's nap this morning I was working on gluing swatches to my pictures to help the tailor stay on track with which fabrics belong to which dresses.

This year, I probably invested over fifty hours in researching for costumes. This is actually standard. It takes a while to find pictures of costumes that I want to be made, and sometimes I find great looks but horrible pictures. Usually what happens is what I want is unrealistic and I have to constantly remind myself to be practical.

Willow woke up from her nap and wanted to 'help' by taking everything OUT of the suitcase. I should have done this task the previous night, but was too tired and unmotivated/undisciplined. So, this morning I walked out into our living area and saw the mountains of fabric--I experienced a lot of groaning and grumbling because I realized that I would have to personally cart the materials to school. If I had finished the night before, then Adam could have taken them with him to school.
I was wondering how I would be able to do this on my own since I would have to carry Willow too. Also, it had snowed several inches during the night and the road wasn't shoveled. It was quite a traumatic experience, actually. I bundled Willow up, put on my own coat and mittens, and then looked at my pile of stuff. I had a suitcase that weighed about fifty pounds and a big IKEA bag that was stuffed with 15 yards of fabric. I picked up Willow, slung the bag over my shoulder, and started hauling the suitcase out the door. The real fun began when I got outside. The suitcase had a hard time 'rolling' over inches of snow and ice. I slipped once, but was able to recover my balance before hitting the concrete (scared myself!). I am known to fall often. I was grumbling and griping because this was a horrible experience. I could barely hang on to Willow because we were bundled up so much, I only had one arm for her, and she's over twenty pounds. Thankfully she was very still and not trying to get away from me or throw a tantrum. Somehow we made it towards the complex gate. I knew I had to get that far, and then the school bus would pick me up. I had to stop every ten seconds to readjust and give myself a break. I'm out of shape. As I neared the gate, a Chinese man actually stopped to help me! Wow, I always love it when this happens because I'm used to people gawking or criticizing my efforts, but not really lending a hand. He was my angel at that moment. He helped me to the gate, and then I stood there in a little bit of panic. The bus wasn't there. The bus is ALWAYS there when I arrive. And if it's not, that means that no one is going to pick up (i.e. they forgot). How was I going to get to the main road (quite a distance more) with all this stuff, through all the snow. My body couldn't take it. I thought about turning around and going back home, but I didn't have my key (ah!). So I stayed a few more minutes--finally the bus pulled up and I was so relieved. The driver helped me get all the stuff into the vehicle and it was smooth sailing from there.

The tailor came, and a friend/colleague from the school helped me to translate my ideas to her. We had half of the cast measured for the costumes--we were missing quite a few people though, so we will have to have a second day for fittings.

I'm excited to see what the tailor will be able to come up with. This has the potential to be a great costume play, but as I am not a very visual person and have no claims on fashion design, we'll see what happens.

This is the awesome couch that has been purchased for the play. I went out and bought it last weekend and was able to bring it to school via helpful friends. Isn't it amazing?! I can't believe that we were able to afford such an awesome set. Like I said, we're moving on up.

I don't necessarily have more 'time' for theater this year since being a mom is a lot of work. But I think I have a tiny bit more presence of mind. Little Women has been an enjoyable experience for me so far and I'm really glad to be working on it. I love the cast, and am excited for all the potential I see in every aspect.


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