The weekend before the show opened all the tickets sold out (4 shows at about 400 tickets each), and the Powers That Be decided to open up the dress rehearsal for anyone else who didn't get a chance to get a ticket -- reduced price, no programs, no concessions, some orchestra members missing, etc. But it was a great idea, since some of the cast members' families hadn't yet purchased tickets.
In the meantime, backstage a discussion was taking place that Judy Haynes had nothing to wear for that one scene in Act 1 where they go out to the barn. Oops! Since I'd been cranking out outfits for Susan Waverly with wild abandon, they asked it I could come up with something.
I hit up the Simplicity pattern catalog since Simplicity patterns were on sale. Simplicity 1882 has princess seams, which the actress likes, and looked like it could have a circle skirt put on it, which the actress also likes. We had decided that the dress should be blue, although not navy blue. A trip through the store for cheap, appropriate fabric revealed some quilting cotton that looked the right color.
I only had the high bust and waist measurements to go with, so I sewed the bodice front to the skirt front, then the bodice backs to the skirt backs, then sewed all the way up the side seams to the armscye. I reasoned that would make alterations easier. I also didn't actually hem the circle skirt, partially because I didn't know how long to make it -- I just serged around it. In spite of the wonky bow, the actress LOVED the dress, and the lack of hem wasn't apparent from the audience. It also fit amazingly well, considering it was straight out of the envelope with no alterations.
That dress was a twinkle in our eyes on Sunday afternoon, delivered to the theater for the Wednesday rehearsal, and the open-to-public dress rehearsal was Thursday. Fun times.
I also made a dress for Susan for the finale. In the stage play Susan is supposed to be about 9 years old, so something dressy yet age appropriate. I used Simplicity 1873 in a dull satin from Hancock fabrics. I added a taffeta sash and bow to give it some interest. The sash is bias in the front, but not in the back; the back isn't bias mostly because I didn't want to purchase that much of the plaid taffeta. Shown here after a show with General Waverly, her grandfather:
I love this dress, and dearly wish it had been done in time for our church's Christmas concert.
And a couple of shots of the finale (actually, these was taken before the Saturday matinee, which is why Susan's hair isn't curled yet. Also, the general isn't in the shots because he was taking the make-up ACT from when the ACT was snowed out the Saturday before -- he arrived during the photo shoot, ate lunch in the green room, then did 2 shows AFTER taking the ACT, which he took AFTER doing a show on Friday night -- YIKES!):
Behind the Christmas tree you can see the barn door they open in the final scene to reveal the snow -- and, yes, they did fake snow back there. Which ended up all over the building during strike. And, lo, there was much vacuuming.
The cast was about 50 kids. They all tap danced in the finale.
Thalia was in the chorus. I was thankful to have nothing to do with these dresses, as they involved much angst:
Overall a fun show! But really a big show to put on the weekend before Christmas.