Saturday, January 26, 2013


So, anyway. Here I am, at 10 weeks pregnant, shopping for fabric. I had brought the true Brawny Man with me to lug all the fabric. Actually, it's because of Adam that these fabric trips even happened. I needed to have all the fabric by a certain date. Two weeks before that time, I still had nothing--so Adam found a babysitter and pushed my lazy butt out the door. I just say..."I'm pregnant! I don't want to go to the market". But that's what happened, because that's what needed to happen, and it wouldn't have happened if Adam hadn't made it happen. Haha.

How do you take a sick, hormonal woman fabric shopping? Well, usually, you don't. Or at least, you shouldn't. What happens is that she isn't on top of her game and forgets to have her costume idea documents printed during the week. So, you have to bring the iPad, which makes her feel self-conscious because then the market vendors think you're loaded and wont give you the best price.

The other problem is that she can't make decisions. Put her in a building with millions of meters of fabric and she will become clueless. Mr. Brawny Man, do you know how to make these decisions?

Problem Continued: said pregnant lady doesn't know how to sew herself. She just has experience telling other people to sew (such as her mother). What is her understanding of fabric? Hmm.....

So, there's all these looks to achieve which require many different kinds of materials--and this results in a million decisions. This equals pregnant lady's worst nightmare. She would much rather be lying in bed with her book, not haggling in a foreign language about things she has no idea about.

Can you see me? 

Apparently, I'm that pregnant-hormonal-lady because I'm sounding pretty melodramatic right now. Actually, I had a lot of 'fun' at the market. I especially enjoyed spending money that will get reimbursed. We've come a long way since Secret Garden. I remember going to Nan Er with Christa my first year (when it was in a different building) and looking for all the cheapest fabrics. This means buying material that has been heaped in piles on the dirty floor. It was ripped, and stained, and less than appealing. But it was fabric, and we needed costumes. I think I spent only a few hundred kuai on fabric for several dozen costumes. Christa showed me how to do things the cheap way, and I'm so thankful for that! Because that first year we had absolutely no budget. The drama program was a spur of moment thought and sprang up mid-year.

This year, we have a budget. Plus, a huge bank of previously used costumes from 3 other plays. Plus, profits from last year's show. So...we can afford nice fabrics. We spent 4X as much money this year, and there is not an iota of stress matched to that fact. The first year, I used all my own money and kept my fingers crossed that we would sell enough tickets to reimburse my account. Well, we almost sold enough tickets. Was it worth it? In my mind....yes!

And even thought I was being a bit melodramatic earlier--I love costuming. It's so much fun to research for period shows and put together costumes that will look good on stage are feasible with our budget and available sewing talent.

On the other hand. I'm so glad the bulk of my costuming responsibilities are over. We still have fittings (which  I hope will be a success! There's always some nail biters in the mix), and then ironing, and such.

This guy is my new best friend. He was so helpful and gave me some awesome deals. I think I bought 50% of our fabric from him. He got really into helping me select colors and textiles. He was so nice--like a friendly market grandfather.

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