Changing Suit Collars Project at The Costumer's Manifesto Costume Design & Construction Changing Suit Collars Project (2D+8C)
One of the easiest methods for transforming or spicing up a suit for the stage is a collar conversion. You can make low-cut modern suits look more like late Victorian ones by forcing the collar to be higher, and adding buttons as in this case:
You can keep the collar where it is, but give it a flashy new lining:
Or you can pull out the whole thing, re-cut it, and put it back in in a totally different style like this:
What To Do:
Render your costume design on paper to give yourself a plan to work towards. You may end up changing your plan slightly, but starting without a plan is definitely a mistake.
Find a suit jacket that fits your performer. If you are going for a total transformation, use a seam ripper to pull out the original stitching, and save all the pieces you pull out. If you are either moving the collar location, or remaking it entirely, get the performer in the jacket so you can adjust the collar on him/her, pinning it in the style you want. If you are simply relining the collar you can do your pinning on a dress form, or the performer.
Lightly hand baste with big stitches your changes to the collar and press them in place. Put it on a form, or the performer, again to check that everything is working. Look at the suit from the distance you would see it onstage (this varies based on the size of the theatre) and check it against your original design. If it is working, do permanent stitching now, if not, twiddle it till it is working.
When it is finished, photograph the jacket and the rendering as jpeg files and post them to your File folder at the class
. Post a message to the group letting everyone know you have posted these pictures so you can get feedback.
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