AIMR 's Adventures in Theater Costumes

That is just awesome!!

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Look at the guys in back, all wearing the coats I made!!!



This is so amazing Linda. What an absolute thrill!


What an amazing post. You are so fab to show us all the things. I once volunteered to sew 4 long dresses for our hand bell choir. Never again!

Congrats on such fine work.

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Congratulations! That’s a large cast - such a lot of work for everyone involved. I’ve been looking forward to see a photo from the production.

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There were a total of 44 actors and actresses. The lead actor had three pairs of pants, three vests, three shirts, three jackets, his duster coat, two hats, and two pair of shoes. In addition, he had to have suspenders for all the pants, a gun holster, and three ties.

Some of the ensemble actors and actresses had multiple small roles and had up to 10 costume changes! They are assigned a person who helps them do a “quick change”. This means almost all the costumes have to have large smooth zippers, big snaps, etc. Many wore two or even three pairs of pants or skirts and just peeled them off.

The biggest issue were hats…many forgot their hats! I don’t think the audience was aware since they had no idea who had a hat and who did not.

The show ends this Sunday…then the work of cleaning, cataloging, and storing all of the stuff begins!

Ironically, instead of making repairs now, we wait to see if the costume is used again…no sense wasting time if it is never used again or if a different sized person uses it. Of course, I want to replace buttons and zippers NOW, but, I have learned to think like a costumer and not a tailor.


I am having so much fun living the “backstage theater” life vicariously, through your posts. The costumes all look amazing!


I got called in the last minute to help out in the last production of 2023, a musical called “The Producers”. There is a movie out by the same name that starred Nathan Lane and Matthew Boderick.

Here are some of the costumes I helped with:

First picture is from the show…I fitted the suit jacket and the smoking jacket for the two stars:

Added epaulettes to a trench coat and replaced black buttons with gold military ones:

I had to do a rolled hem on the chiffon part of a gown because someone borrowed this costume and decided to just cut off part of the train! That is a big “no no” if it is not your costume:

Fitted and embellished a coat and a gown for the lead female:

I added some halter ties to this strapless gown because we do not need any costume “accidents” a la Janet Jackson on stage! :rofl: I also rearranged the little diamond studs.

The lead actress is tiny all over except in the bust, so I had to make the back larger. Notice the huge sport zipper…it is common to replace regular zippers in this fashion to keep any fabric from getting caught in the zipper and also makes changes fast for the actress and her dresser. Ugly in my eyes, but practical and won’t be seen from the audience.

Look at the huge sparkly buttons! A good way to change up a basic coat or jacket is to change the buttons!

I took in the waist with some darts, repositioned the belt and of course, the buttons to add a bit of bling if she is seen from the back.

Finally, I made a pair of bloomers:

I am so glad that our theater is inclusive of all sizes, ages, sexes, colors, etc. There are a lot of women who will be playing the part of rich, previous showgirl roles. I do enjoy making larger clothing to fit. Our goal is to make sure each actor and actress feels unique and special in their costumes.

I still have a couple of things to get done before dress rehearsals Dec 28 and opening night Dec 30! We are taking a break for Christmas but will back at it Dec 26! ha


Amazeballs! You’re so lucky to have found each other, how fun!

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I’ve learned a few practical things: spray clear hairspray around the collar and cuffs of light colored clothing to repel stains from sweat and make-up!

I soaked the white gown in a mixture of Dawn and hydrogen peroxide to take out years of stain…the water was brown…it was disgusting…I think because it was embellished, people thought it could not be washed and dry cleaned it…well, that didn’t work! ha…I figured if I ruined it, I would hunt for another dress in the warehouse!


It’s so cool to see your amazing behind-the-scenes work! You’re learning so many interesting tips and tricks!

I spent yesterday doing last minute sewing for the opening night of The Producers! We were busy doing second act costumes while the first act was in progress! Talk about intense pressure!

I have no idea how many last minute buttons had to be sewn on. I also had to re-attach feather boas, put in a couple of darts, hand stitch down some pleats, sew on 15 swastika arm bands (yuck), and replace a sequined cuff on a jacket…it felt undoable, but we did it! The opening night was a success!

These are the only two pictures I managed to take because I was in such a rush this round:

The lead actor is very active on stage so his shirt tails kept coming out of his pants. The solution is a “diaper” shirt…basically, a male body suit! I made the “diaper” from knit fabric in my stash, using a pair of my husband’s underwear as a pattern for size. Snaps are sewn on the shirts and “diaper”, which someone else did for me.

I worked way too long on one of the lead actress’s black dress. Lots of darts, stitched down pleats, new zipper, brought up the front, hemmed…but it looked beautiful on her!


Gorgeous dress! Ooh, lovely.

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I have to show off the dress I altered, repaired and cleaned…this is a professional picture by Bryan Putnam . The actress is Caitlin Becka , who lives and works in Toronto! She is native to our city of Wilmington, however, and came down to do the show!



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I saw the show last night with the costume designer. After the show, we went backstage to check on the wardrobe person. The director of the play came over and hugged me and said that the black dress I altered and fitted to the leading actress was beautiful and well done! He personally invited me to the after party on Sunday! What to wear…what to wear…so excited!


Hugs, yay!
You could wear a classic black dress but with a showy accessory, like a feathered fascinator, seed-beaded clutch, or a shimmery floor length scarf. OR ALL THREE!

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ooo–I actually have a very beaded caplet I could wear over a black tank dress! Also, a beaded purse…I gave away most of my dress shoes, so I am going to have to see if I have anything…hate to buy new shoes just for this, but maybe there will be more parties, so I need to find versatile shoes…lol…two days to plan…yikes!


After party!! Awesome, you are going to have so much fun! Amazing work on the fitting and alterations!

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So exciting, and it’s so cool that the director acknowledged the quality of your work. Congrats and have fun at the party!

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