Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Engineering A Costume: Part 1

I felt great when I returned home after dance class last night. We have almost completed the choreography for our studio show in June (leaving only a few details surrounding the formation changes to be determined). It is going to be a fun piece with lot of character, and I am thrilled that it is coming together so nicely. We have one month before the show...

"wait... one month? I need to get started on my costume!!! "

This was last night's realization. I do not have a couple of free days in a row between now and then, so I am just going to have to do a little bit each day. Last night, I performed the calculations for my circle skirt. Oh, and I am an engineer, so I generated a schematic as well (click on the schematic for larger image).

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am basing my pattern on Shira's advice, but am making modifications. I will cut 8 pieces of fabric to the measurements in the schematic above. I will then have 8 pieces that are each 1/4 of a circle... this means my skirt will be two full circles. The radius for the large circle is a function of the length that I want the skirt to be plus allowances for the waistband and hemline. Given the arc length, the hem of this skirt will be 13.5 yards. (I am not entirely looking forward to that part, and I will need help cutting and pinning the hem. Any volunteers?) The radius for the smaller circle is a function of my waist/hip measurement (at the point where I want the skirt to sit on my hips) plus seam allowances. This number required a few trial and error calculations since Shira's website only describes how to make a single, or 1.5 circle skirt.

The next step is to cut these pieces out of some inexpensive muslin fabric, baste stitch the pieces together, and see if my calculations lead to a good fit. I will do my best to capture pictures of my progress.

1 comment:

  1. ah... when Math meets Art... I LOVE IT! :)

    I would volunteer to help, but I'm such a hack when it comes to sewing. But I'd love to see the finished product!