My Semester in the Costume Shop

This semester I got to work in the Theater Department’s costume shop. It is run by Professor Kathy Jaremski and is supervised by Sarah Conte. It has been a great experience getting to work in the costume shop and helping make the costumes for this semester’s productions. Having taken the costume design class last semester, I learned a lot that allowed me to actually help make the costumes this semester. As a theater major, we all have to work backstage for a number of productions and I was allowed to work on costume construction – I even got to make a costume piece from start to finish myself.

The department puts on two shows every semester and we usually have one show where we make more of the costumes and one where we buy more of the pieces. The two shows done this semester were the musical “Into the Woods” and a modern adaptation of the play “Tartuffe,” which I was in. For “Into the Woods,” I got to make an apron for the baker’s wife character. In order to make this piece of clothing, I had to first make a pattern for the apron using the actor’s measurements. I used the instructions for making a body block to construct this pattern. (A body block is a basic design that you add your design elements to it and then transfer it to the original pattern so you can start making the garment.) Since the fabric was plaid, I had to make sure to match all the lines together before I could cut it. Then, I sewed the apron together and added buttons and button holes and finished it off to make it look all nice and ready for use.

Along with making the apron, I got to do a lot in the costume shop. Being an attendant there allowed me to help the costume design students with projects when I could and I altered/tailored a lot of costumes to fit actors for “Tartuffe” since all of the costumes were purchased from different places. I really enjoyed such a hands-on job, and I loved seeing my creations on stage!


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