Our Construction Diary
Page 65

 

 

 

Ping Pong's Puppet Workshop

 

July 28, 2002

When you make renaissance marionettes, you have to make renaissance costumes for them. There is little difference between their costumes and costumes for people except for the size and amount of fabric and trim (and that you can't hot glue, staple or pin the costumes to people, although sometimes we sorely wish we could - it would make things so much easier).

We also build renaissance costumes for people, which are similar to the ones we make for our puppets. Our shop (as well as Dan DeMoy's shop) have built many of the costumes for St. Wolfgang's Bavarian Guild, (many of which you can see at our sister site: www.st-wolfgangs.org.) Below are some samples of our puppet and people costumes. At left, samples of the puppet costumes.

King Humphrey & Queen Selina Jannod & Carmen, the Gypsies

And then, some samples of people costumes. As you can see, they are quite similar to the puppet costumes above, except that they are bigger

Bobbi Overton as the Duchess

 

Wava Weiskopf as a lady in waiting

Pete Johnson and Chris Smithers, (the people we built the Quilly the Quail puppets for) decided to get married in a ceremony to be held in July. They also decided that we should build their wedding outfits and some banners to be flown at the ceremony. And so it began.

First we needed a design. Preliminary ideas were hammered out when we were down in Ojai California (where they live) in January, when we also took lots and lots of measurements of both Chris and Pete.

The final design was finalized by e-mail in early May. Since we live in Portland, Oregon, we were not going to have a lot of hands-on time with the bride-to-be to fit her dress to her.

In fact, we had only one session in mid-June when they came up for a weekend visit. That same time, we were rushing to get the Jester puppet finished for the Oregon Coast Children's Theatre and rehearsing and performing The Baby Dragon Finds a Job for the Portland Pride Festival.

The original dress design

 

Chris in the mockup

E-mails of trim and button choices had passed back and forth, and Chris had bought and sent us the main fabrics for the dress, found on a buying hunt in San Francisco.

Since the fabrics for Renaissance dresses are rather expensive, it is the usual practice to make a mockup out of cheap muslin fabric, make any necessary adjustments on it and use that for cutting out the good fabric which will become the real dress.

Thus, the dress is really made twice, once in muslin, and once in the good stuff. (Actually it is made three times, since the entire dress is also lined with a lighter weight fabric which has to be cut and sewn as well)

The mockup fit pretty well, and the adjustments were made in the muslin to get ready for the final cutting of the dress.

The Photos below cover the sewing and fitting of the dress, as well as Pete's outfit and the animal banners all of which combined together to make the magic of their wedding costumes.

The Final Fabric Selection

The Final Fabric Selection

Starting to cut and piece the good fabric

Starting to cut and piece the good fabric

The inner bodice ready to sew

The inner bodice ready to sew

The trusty old Pfaff goes to work

The trusty old Pfaff goes to work

Now if we just tuck this under here, nobody will ever know

Now if we just tuck this under here, nobody will ever know

I used to love sewing

I used to love sewing

Getting there -- the sleeves and outer skirt on display

Getting there -- the sleeves and outer skirt on display

Ta Da!!! -- the finished dress

Ta Da!!! -- the finished dress

A better shot of the finished dress

A better shot of the finished dress

Dan DeMoy working on the animal banners

Dan DeMoy working on the animal banners

The finished dress and Pete's finished shirt, vest, and pants

The finished dress and Pete's finished shirt, vest, and pants

Oh, I forgot to tell you -- the dress also had a cape

Oh, I forgot to tell you -- the dress also had a cape

Chris in the finished dress

Chris in the finished dress

 

At the ceremony -- I'll bet this is the ring going on

At the ceremony -- I'll bet this is the ring going on

 

Posing after the service --

Posing after the service --
now Mr. & Mrs. Johnson

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All text and photos © 2002, Olde World Puppet Theatre

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