I was recently asked to design and make some costumes for The Divas' school dance troupe.
This was the prototype. This one is not perfect, and the subsequent costumes were finished properly and had other accessories added, but this gives the general idea.
A Geisha Girl Ballerina look was requested, and this was the idea I came up with.
A red tulle tutu, covered with a Chinese Brocade overlay which purposely doesn't quite meet at the back. This is to give the illusion of a bustle and is enhanced by the addition of a bright red, oversized Japanese Tissue Lame` bow. I manufactured the bow by simply drawing a half metre length of the Lame` through a brushed bronze buckle with inlaid diamanté. A fluffing of the bow and neatening of the tails was all that was required to make a rather gorgeous, doll like embellishment.
The teacher and the students were thrilled with the costumes, which elicited gasps of admiration from the audience when all 22 of them marched, in doll-like fashion, on to the stage.
I love making costumes, and I never thought I would. In fact, when The Diva started dancing at the age of 2 1/2, it was the one thing I vowed I would never do. I was happy to hand over the money for someone else to do all that fiddly stuff.
But that was back when Mr A, who has Cerebral Palsy, was still living at home and my days were a blur of work, home, Mum/carer duties and chauffeur duties, as well as tutor, confidante, and sometime sports fan, whilst still fulfilling many of the same roles for The Diva. There was no time for anything as frivolous as making costumes.
Mr A has now been living independently for 3 1/2 years, a milestone we only registered recently when filling out some fairly routine paperwork and what a whirlwind it has been. He's as happy as the proverbial pig-in-mud, he has a fab team of carers and things pretty much run like clockwork.
The Diva is older too, and can fend for herself in many areas that would have required my time and energy way back when, and I find myself with time to dream and imagine.
So this is my creative outlet. Costume design and making is not bound by the same rules as day to day garment sewing, and you can really let your imagination run wild. It's a lot of fun.
I don't know what the next project will be, but I'm looking forward to the challenge.
Is there something you've vowed you'd never do, and then found yourself doing and loving, somewhere down the track?