Romeo and Juliet – No Do-Overs Allowed

The Such Stuff Players will be performing Romeo and Juliet on April 14-16, 2015 and the costuming crew is in the final stretch.

We’re on a tight budget. For about $200 dollars we have to clothes 25 actors, some in multiple costumes. So we often reuse or rework items, and scrounge when necessary. But as our actors are growing all the time, we are often faced with the need to build from scratch. With such limited resources, however, when a mistake is made we need to do whatever we can to rescue the item. We don’t often have enough resources to allow for do-overs!.

So when I built this little vest with a small scrap of material from last year’s production I was feeling very proud. The young actor was excited to being wearing the same material that the young hero had worn last year.

And when we made the decision that not only this vest, but a second one were too short in the body and would need to be lengthened, I panicked. There was not enough fabric to recut either vest.

The first vest was striped and I knew that I could hide the extension in the stripe, but the second vest had a heavy brocade pattern on it and I wasn’t sure of how to hide a seam across the middle of the front plackets. I mulled on it for a few days while I re-worked the second vest, cut out a jacket, and sewed two Regency shirts and then decided to try hiding the join between the vest and the addition with a small welt-like pocket.

I am very pleased with this frugal result!

Here you can see the vest front with a hankie in the waist pocket.
Benvolio Vest

Here’s a close up of the pattern matching and seam.
Benvolio Vest

The light here shows the seam.
Benvolio Vest

I will use the back ties to help camoflage the seam in the back lining.
Benvolio Vest

I will do a final fitting on the actor tomorrow and then move on to the other costumes that are still in pieces in my workroom!