The costuming is all being designed and sewn with as much historical accuracy as you can aspire to within the confines of the theatre (quick changes, actors playing multiple rolls etc.). I lent Mrs C all my 40s patterns and my mid-century fashion books and she’s been calling me up and asking about covered buckles and zips (yep, totally accurate for the 40s). And she asked if I would be able to help with the sewing – so I said I would do the wedding dress.
I’m using one of Grandma’s 1940s patterns:
Isn’t it gorgeous? Perfect early late 40s/early 50s styling with that sweetheart neckline and princess seamed front! The pattern still has my Grandmother’s alterations, so I know she made it up.
I’m making it with longish sleeves, and in waltz length.
The actress who will be wearing it isn’t a 30″ bust, so I’m having to resize it just a bit.
Want to see the fabric?
Yes, that is totally polyester tablecloth damask. It’s actually very pretty sewn up, and perfect for on stage, where you really want something with shine and texture and much less subtlety than I usually go in for. I think it was a brilliant idea of Mrs C’s considering how slim the costuming budget (nonexistent) and how often the dress will need to be washed.
I still teased her and told her it was the most dreadful fabric I had ever worked with. I hope she still loves me!
Lonely Hearts opens next Tue, the 17th, at Bats Theatre (yes, the one Peter Jackson just spent a bunch of money saving). And if you really love musical theatre you can come to a special fundraising preview Sunday the 15th to hear a few songs from the show, a few other pieces and (I think) even Mrs C, who is a pretty amazing singer in her own right.