I AM in the process of writing a BIBLE of sorts on the subject of “Costume Rigging” simply because NONE EXIST that I can find! If you know of any please DO TELL! We are a secret society of costume riggers who work in theater, entertainment and performance quick change and we even know some tricks that can be used in fashion when you need to alter a rented, borrowed or vintage garment in a temporary way so it can be restored to its original unaltered state.
What is a rigged costume and what actually goes on backstage during a “quick change”?
Here is one answer… http://dictionary.tdf.org/rigged-costumes/
A Basic Fake Closure for Quick Change Video
Inserting a “Ballet Elastic” to tighten a neckline, waist or other area of a garment that needs to be more fitted…http://www.thebellydanceshop.com/costumealterations.php
Here are some images of clergy collars I costume rigged for a short Ken Barr film entitled “Hallowed Ground”, I actually got IMDB Film Credits on this one!! I simply created a stiff white band and stitched it into a black button down shirt I made into a “dickie” by cutting away the arms and bottom front and back of the shirt. I stitched everything together so all the actor had to do was put it on like a bib!
On Miley Cyrus’s Bangers Tour, I costume rigged some gloves that had decorative trim to match her pants… This was done by stitching the gloves to the cuffs, then cutting away the extra fabric. Now instead of putting on the gloves, then the cuffs over them, it could be done in one smooth move and removed quickly.On Taylor Swift’s Red Tour, I removed the fashion zippers from purchased dresses and replaced them with wide tooth zippers. I also replaced the existing tiny hook and eye closure with a wopper popper or giant snap. The upper part of the dresses were also replaced with a different bodice.
Putting in a croth gusset is also a frequent alteration on dancer costumes that need some room to move and jump around without blowing out the crotch seam… note to performers, never go commando unless you want to risk having your junk make a public appearance!!
Last but not least, Here is one of my own posts on how to Costume Rig Shirt Cuffs into a Jacket to reduce bulk of layered garments I posted on Instructables.com (if you’ve never checked out Instructables, it is an awesome site for the “how to” on all kinds of cool things!!!)
Here are some of the other how to’s on cool costumes you can find on Instructables!
Here is a list of some basic supplies you will need to make costume rigging alterations:
- Velcro – DO NOT use the stick on kind if you are planning on sewing over it, it will gunk up your machine!! Use velcro to close shirts and other garments converting them to quick change, then resew the buttons to the surface for show. You can also use it in many other places for super hero quick changes!!
- “Wopper Poppers” ie: Giant Quarter size snaps can be used to make quick change a breeze when velcro isn’t practical, sew these on with Silamide thread or use 4 strands for best results.
- Elastic – which can be used to take in necklines, waistbands and other areas of a costume that are too loose or need to be temp fitted to one actor without permanently altering the costume. See the link on how to do a “ballet elastic” alteration above.
- Wide Tooth Zippers – Don’t ever try to use a fashion zipper on a quick change costume, you will blow it out most immediately!! replace them with wide tooth zippers that color match your costume, try online at www.wawak.com for a good variety.
- Wardrobe Tape – A MILLION Problems can be fixed and wardrobe malfunctions avoided by using double stick wardrobe tape, you can buy it from wardrobe supply companies, on ebay or even use toupe or wig tape in a pinch. If an actor gets a blow out on stage, keep a good supply of tape, giant safety pins and a needle and thread for emergencies. I keep a pack of it in my purse, it also works great in fashion, to fix that peek-a-boo boob gap in a tight fitting shirt, keep a neckline in place, I even use it to stick fabric swatch to my notebook, when I meet with clients!!
- I write about costume rigging all the time here, on my blog or you can email me at Gina@PsychoSeamstress.com for more help, tips and info!
Please feel free to SHARE your Costume Rigging Tips and Tricks! I will be happy to add any links you can find to this blog post!
If you’d like to assist me in bringing The “Costume Rigging Bible” from Concept to Completion, Please Contact ME!!
Here’s the link to my Indiegogo campaign!
Please Support and Share my Indiegogo Crowdfunded Book link for “Costume Rigging Illustrated” with all your wardrobe, theater, costume, touring and cosplay friends!!!
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