Monday, July 31, 2017


This past weekend, I attended something called Costume College, held in Woodland Hills, California.  For those not familiar with the area, its basically the Los Angeles Area.

That is why I didn't get my usual weekend warm-ups posted.  I got absolutely busy and did not get a chance to post.  The picture is of me, in my attire for the ball.  Everyone shows their work by wearing costumes.

I costume in my spare time.  Anyway, during one of the conversations, math came up.  The lady I spoke with explained the pattern for her current outfit was only available in a smaller size.  The store had sold out of the larger sizes, so she had to add 3/8th of an inch all around to make it fit.

I've had to do it but the other way.  I've had to subtract 1/2 inch to make everything fit properly. Many costumers write down tons of different measurements such as the length from the back of your neck to your waist, distance across the shoulders, etc because most patterns are designed for specific measurements.  I have one shoulder that is slightly lower than the other due to playing French Horn for over half my life.  I know a female who has larger upper arms due to heaving batteries.

In addition, many pieces of clothing are designed using some basic shapes.  For instance, those circular poodle skirts from the 1950's are based on a circle with a place for the waist.  Unfortunately, most fabric is not wide enough to cut out a single circle.  I use circular skirts when I belly dance so I've had a lot of experience. I am lazy so I use a string and piece of chalk to draw a fourth of a circle on a folded piece of cloth to get half the skirt. I do it twice, cut out the wait area, sew, put in zipper, and hem. 

Another type of skirt can be made out of two rectangles the width of the hips for the front and back.  This straight skirt uses elastic to gather the extra material around the waist while the rest of the skirt falls straight down.  I often leave slits in each side to make walking easier.

Furthermore, I use two rectangles as a starting point for making harem pants or loose hang about pants.  I use two wide rectangles, one for each leg, cut out the crotch part, sew it, put in some elastic and I am set. 

Ethnic clothing is often put together using rectangles, squares and other shapes to create the dresses, shirts, skirts etc because cloth was woven on narrow looms.  Japanese kimonos originally used material that was no more than 18 inches wide so the clothing created had to take this into account and the most efficient way of doing this was through the use of shapes.

Tomorrow, I'm going to look at the use of shapes and clothing from a different point of view.  I hope you liked today's material.  Let me know what you think.