Wonderland Cirque Showreel!

Eek, so excited to have discovered this on the Scarlett Entertainment Website… this show has already undergone some re-designs but back when we first finished this originally designed show over  Christmas 2016,  this is what the end product looked like!!

Commissioned by Scarlett Entertainment, from original Designs by me! I was thrilled to see everything in actions… especially those Table Costumes. Also, how cute are this Cards?! I love their little tippy toes!

We have since designed and made Costumes for Scarlett including a Bavarian Dance Troupe and Beauty and the Beast and I can’t wait to share these too!

Happy stitching!

Moe Guys… Moe Costumes!!

Wonderful to see these Costumes in action… they look super snazzy if I say so myself!!

Five-Guys-Named-Moe-Festival-Square-Theatre-credit-Manuel-Harlan-700x455

Photo courtesy of The Stage.

Midnight Costume Services made the matching, colourful Tail Coats and Waistcoats you see in these pictures, working from the original Costume Designs provided by Underbelly Productions.

Each were individually pattern cut to the performers measurements, then hand tailored to fit in the workroom.

There was a fitting, which was helpful as the height of these performers ranged considerably! Big Moe was 6’6”!! Then they were shipped off for their Edinburgh Underbelly debut.

You can see more on how we made these fab costumes here.

maya55 maya33

(Left) Photo courtesy of Scots Magazine. (Right) Photo Courtesy of Maya Rose Costumes

Maya22 Maya11

Photos Courtesy of Maya Rose Costumes

These splendid Tail Coats were made by the in-house Team at Midnight Costume Services and I have to say we loved every minute! So colourful! If you would like similar Costumes check out our services, or contact us today.

Happy stitching!

 

Hand Purr-inting Catsuits!

We have been painting up a storm over at Midnight Costume Services this past few weeks for a production of Cats to tour Europe next year!

The brief was to create the Lycra suits and Tails, to fit in with pieces the production currently has. It was to be a cost effective way to revitalize Costumes the production had already toured with but felt needed to be *ahem* freshened up!

We have an amazing Leotard pattern over here, developed to be fitted but to allow a lot of movement so, after some discussion (as we had created a production of Cats in 2015 and we wanted to develop the techniques used on this), we decided to cut the suits, then paint.

   20161129_131724_32693113870_o 20161129_131736_32229652404_o 20161129_131740_32919107412_o 20161129_151013_32229657704_o

Two of the suits, front and back, as they’re painted.

We have a very large Pattern Table in the Midnight Costume Services workroom and we plastic covered it and were able to paint the front and back of each suit together, so we could ensure they matched.

We used a combination of textile paints and acrylics mixed with Textile Medium to create paint that would flex and move with the performer but also be hard wearing for the production run. We also used a lot, a lot, of different brush techniques to build up the patterns you see.

20161202_113615_32229679824_o

Heat fixing.

The bliss of the fabric paints we used is that they were heat fix-able. I always utilize the local laundry for my heat fixing. Each Suit was heat fixed, washed cool, and then heat fixed again. Just to be sure!

20161202_134121_33075144785_o 20161202_134241_33033530116_o

20161202_134339_32693152980_o 20161202_134440_32693156440_o 20161202_134538_32259675043_o

Each suit draped on a dress stand to check the art design and look.

We couldn’t resist taking a peek at the suits design and feel before we sewed them up. The heat fixing process alters the texture of the fabric and intensity of some of the colours used so this was a good way to discover if we needed to overlay more paint.

Ech suit was sewn up with stretch stitch, finished with an invisible zip, lycra bias binding at the neck and overlocked seams to provide a long lasting and durable Cat Suit. Re-sizing was also built in so that each suit can be taken apart and re-sized for future productions.

We were super happy with the results, can’t wait to see this in production!

Happy stitching!

See the final Cat Suits in the musical here.

A rainbow of Tailcoats!

These last few weeks Midnight Costume Services have been creating 8 matching Tailored Tail Coats for a new Cameron Mackintosh revival production of 5 Guys Named Moe!

20161024_144802_33031430036_o    20161024_144805_33073055915_o

We were sent the designs, measurements and a huuuge box of fabrics and I got started individually Pattern Drafting each Tail Coat to each performer. I drafted sizes 36” chest to a 54” chest! Wowzer!!

There wasn’t time for Toiles so my wonderful assistant Maya got to cutting the fabric- she was also on Waistcoat duty, as I had my hands full Tailoring!- and got stuck in.

20161027_173055_33031431126_o 20161028_180450_32227568454_o

Enormous stack of fabrics… and each Tail Coat cut, interfaces and Pad Stitched.

To be honest, this might fill some Costumers with horror, but I do love a ‘run’ of Costumes. You can really get obsessively ocd and I very much enjoyed creating the Tail Coats, so different individually because of each performers size, shape, shoulder slope or hollow back, to look sharp and exactly the same.

20161030_140035_32691013700_o 20161030_140043_32916825302_o 20161030_140056_33073098455_o 20161030_140126_33073098965_o 20161030_140109_33073098595_o 20161030_140202_32916827352_o 20161030_140241_32916828102_o 20161030_140221_32916828002_o

The Tail Coats cut, interfaced and Pad Stitched awaiting Collars.

There was an additional challenge as some of the fabrics sent were thinner than others, and yet more had a pronounced stretch which needed to be stabilized with interfacing.

Once interfaced, all were pad stitched with horse hair and cotton tape and- with a sigh of relief if I’m honest!- they started to look sharp and lovely.

20161109_113653_32946418771_o 20161109_120909_32257521163_o 20161109_121550_32946419641_o 20161109_121603_32257521673_o

Lined up and ready for sleeves… inserting sleeves… checking the drape… arm gussets looking swish.

Inserting the collars was a little tricky as the fabric supplied was slippery however; once tamed with yet more- you guessed it!- interfacing we managed beautifully.

There was an increased amount of ease to inserting the sleeves because I wanted to create a delicious roll to the sleeve head. I think we created a beautiful, clean line, despite having gussets inserted (which are imperative for dance performers).

20161110_134002_33073223565_o 20161110_133957_32227719814_o 20161110_133944_32946517231_o 20161110_133937_32227717544_o 20161110_133951_33031575666_o 20161110_133910_32946516241_o 20161110_133921_33031571886_o 20161110_133929_32227717634_o

Sharp, sharp, sharp! Collars in, welt pockets done, covered buttons covered and sew on.

To finish the client had requested Welt Pockets and the designs showed Black buttons. Because of the fabrics supplied we had to create faux welt pockets. We covered Buttons in the correct sizes for the Sleeve and Centre Front and, all together, I was super happy with how sharp it all looked!

img_20161104_222017_32916892452_o 20161110_134040_32227720664_o 20161110_134044_33031576426_o

Matching waistcoats with shawl collars and matching, covered buttons.

Matching waistcoats were also made in house. Again, they were patterned individually with shawl collars and matching, covered buttons.

I can’t wait to see pictures of these bad boys in production. From what I saw of rehearsals whilst fitting, this show looks amazing!

Happy stitching!!

You can see pictures of these wonderful Costumes in their stage show here.

Hollywood Old Timey Jazz Glam!

Given the chance to design a Chorus Line for a show I of course went Old Timey and pulled influences from old school Hollywood!

11-342784_0x440 624ebee3dd49e4d932371bf6c681d048 1002a9b6a88472a51de0c9a965081967 tumblr_mmz6fnxdBK1qf1hu0o1_500

Who wouldn’t, right?

Working with a very limited budget, I decided to create some stand out Tail Coats, then add different Costume elements to them to create different looks. Most of the budget for this show went into these Tail Coats, and I think they really sell the piece… not so much on this mannequin though! Why are store mannequins so weirdly shaped?!

13288826_10153581409531272_1990597414_n 13292857_10153581409601272_191919733_n 13293254_10153581409811272_1892463809_n

I thought that Black Sequin fabric was a super swell find, and would really pop on stage, but I didn’t want to over use it. The Black fabric was also sequined, but a little more gently, and simply shimmered but provided real movement.

We also made silver waistcoats, hot pants (girls) and trousers (boys) with silver sequin tuxedo stripes. For the more modern dance numbers which were a little more energetic we created t-shirts with stars and others with music notes on them, also from the silver sequin fabric (actually, the silver sequin fabric scraps! We were really using every last piece!!)

13289063_10153581409971272_1484358053_n   13236139_10153581409411272_1351522536_n   13282153_10153581409016272_1412618336_n

Finally, and I was super duper over the moon with these bad boys I can tell you!, I made some silver mini top hats with shooting stars… ta da!!

hat1 hat2 hat4

And put it all together and… … …

13292959_10153581409256272_77977494_n

That’s some pretty hot jazz!

Happy stitching!

Madonna Boobs!!

Quite often, Midnight Costume Services will be asked to create ‘runs’ of Costuming for various Production Companies, Theatre Productions and the like. Earlier this year we worked with Costume World to create multiple Madonna Cone Corsets. All identical, but in different sizes, from glittery sequin fabric ans stretch velvet. If I say so myself, they looked pretty spectacular!

32 31

Specifications from the Production Company included a zip front, no lacing, matching pants and for them to be as stretchy as possible! We were’nt told what they were for (so obviously Beyonce’s backing singers… right?!) but they all had to match but be made in various sizes.

I created the Patterns- cone boobs are pretty awkward, and we had a phase where they were super wonky and pointed in different directions!- then graded them to make the different sizes. We made a toile that got okay-ed by the production company, then got to stitching!

13250545_10153581431036272_1794750337_n 13289109_10153581430941272_1610650281_n (1) 13281836_10153581431241272_133061505_n

The cups were created with layers of Calico, Coutil, Wadding, Sequin and Lining, then sewn all about in a spiral. I wanted to make sure they retained their shape but- because we didn’t know what the Performers were going to do (we don’t want no-one stabbing Beyonce in the eye now, do we?)- I also wanted to make sure they were crushable.

Like I say, I was super happy with the result. My team and I created something I think Madge would be proud of!

Happy stitching!

 

Hail to the King!

Midnight Costume Services is finally at the end of a long run of Costumes for an Entertainment Park, and this job comes to a close with a Panto! Dick Whittington… and I thought I’d share the process of making some of the pieces, like King Rats Tail Coat!

Easily my favorite Costume to make so far, I decided to loosely Hand Tailor the Tailcoat to support a couple of incredibly dramatic Shoulder Pads. To get the right look I played about with layering existing Shoulder Pads and felt but in the end- even though it was more work- I had to resort to a more traditional technique and ended up layering the felt in decreasing sizes to build up a pointed, exaggerated Shoulder. As you can see in the first picture using the existing Shoulder Pads looked super clunky!

13330340_10153599195296272_2022633620_n 13330523_10153599195371272_1060407481_n

Using a mixture of hand stitching, machine stitching and a little bit of glue, each Shoulder Pad has about 20 layers of felt and is quite malleable, allowing me to gently sculpt a curve. I haven’t some this in a while and I was super pleased with the results!

 2

I found some (pretty disgusting, but amazing for the purpose!) quilted fabric which I thought looked a little like Bin Bags… it’s the kinda thing I thought the King of Rats’ would have a tailored jacket out of!! In a concession to the performers I created the sleeves from a stretch Leather- which is why they look a little like they’re pulling- but means the Jacket will fit multiple performers and wont restrict movement.

The mannequin this is pictured on is a little too large, but I think it still looks majestic!

3 64

I find Panto a difficult beast to design for, I want to do character analysis to find their motivation and design around that, which doesn’t really work here. It’s all a bit too tongue in cheek, shiny and primary coloured for me but in starting with King Rat I helped myself a lot! Deciding that as a character he would have had quilted and embroidered bin bags fashioned in to a Tailcoat got me on my way.

I also fashioned medals and ribbons for the lapel, because of course he would be decorated!, and used lace and matt black sequins to applique and embroider detailing in the lapel and jacket. With a final sprinkling of darkly glittery hot stones and a Top Hat I think he turned out to be quite the dandy!

5 7

The hat was hand stitched and created using strips and fragments from the Tail Coat machine embroidered on, with layers of sparkly net and sequins overlayed. Slightly battered- he does live in the sewers after all!-the ears were made from faux fur, a lot of dye and sprayed dye.

As I have a commission to create a White and Gold Louis XVI Sun King Tail Coat I am really pleased this turned out so well. The Sun King Tail Coat will have to be much more viciously tailored to create a base for a spectacular Gold Feathered Shoulder Piece, and I can’t wait to share it!!

Happy stitching!

Ding dong, the Witch is… sewn up neatly and shipped off in time thank you very much!

w6

I present… Elphaba! These photos were taken whilst we were constructing her (no sleeves!), and it took three of us about a week to make her… with a LOT of discussion, pinning, unpinning, more discussion and lots and lots of sewing!

w8 w9 w10

The Bodice was pattern cut, the pieces embellished with strips of sequin, lace, and other oddments in quite an organic way. It took time to place the layers in a way which didn’t add too much bulk to the costume- and therefore make the across look like she’s been eating all the pies!-  and there’s quite a few layers. Maya did the main bulk of the sewing for this section and I had to admire her patience!

We wanted to emphasis the ‘tornado’ effect, because of the character of Elphaba, which would pay homage to the original Broadway design but be a little different and put a Midnight Costume Services twist on it!

w5 w2 w3

The skirt was where we ran into some difficulties. We didn’t have enough time for this costume really, and we needed to some up with a solution which would look awesome, not use too much fabric and be quick… yeah, it was asking a lot, I know!

In the end we cut and alternately pleated and gathered strips, onto the panels of the bottom section of the Skirt. The top we stitched to match the bodice so it would ‘fish tail’.  The bottom of the skirt started to look do a really good impression of Madonna in her Material World phase and after panicking for a few minutes we discovered that sewing each layer down, and trapping some sequin trim as we did so, solved this issue whilst looking brilliant at the same time.

With a Crin underskirt, sleeves, lace tatters and some incredible Red Diamante Hot Stones which glittered brilliantly  we were finished and I promise to share pictures as soon as we have them!

Happy stitching!

A little of what’s been happening…

Well, ever since Laura After Midnight changed and adapted to become Midnight Costume Services and I returned to my roots Designing and Making Costumes for Stage and Screen we have been run off our feet! My little team is gradually growing and I just got back off of my first Holiday in years to Paris… but more on that delicious adventure later!

Since Christmas we have been building Costumes for a Holiday Park including mini versions of over 15 West End and Film Musicals, dream job, right?! We were also commissioned to make 8 matching Madonna Cone Bra Corsets for some Dancers, worked on an awesome Victorian BBC TV Show and completed more work for Celebrity Cruises on three more Cruise Shows and that’s not everything… phew ‘eckers!

I’m going to be sharing more over the coming weeks as I slowly get back in to this blogging lark- it’s been nose to the grindstone a bit, with 12 hour days, 7 days a week and I do hope you can understand why I haven’t been sharing the love on here so much recently- but I thought I would start with the Anna and Elsa Costumes I shipped this Thursday… because they are a treat!!

We used the Yaya Han Corset as previously talked about for the base for all three Frozen Dresses because we knew it fitted the performers really well. It also gives a great foundation to be built upon. All skirts and Cloaks were then hand drafted to measure. The most work went into the Elsa Snowflake Dress, which took three of us about 4 days to build so I thought I’d share the process…

21 22 23

The Corset for the Elsa Snowflake Dress has been made from 4 layers of fabric to build up the look I wanted. In the animation it’s actually illustrated as if it’s layers of square sequins however; anything like that that I tried to replicate was either too expensive (budget for this dress was about £100) or just didn’t move enough on stage and looked ‘clunky’ so the decision was made to emphasis the Snowflake aspect, which I think really worked.

About 200 Snowflakes were hot knifed from the Crystal Organza to use on the Silver Glitter Body Suit, the Corset and the Cloak.

24 25 26 27

Once I started sewing the Corset together I had to get it on the mannequin almost immediately to see how it looked! It’s not often I get this excited as there’s a lot of prep that goes in to a Costume so I normally have a good idea of how it’s going to look… but this was different! The layers of Organza and Satin looked amazing once they were sewn! I also started to play around with the placement of the Snowflakes at the neckline. Super exciting!!

15 14

Once the Corset was sewn properly, the Snowflakes were attached, and then Hot Stoned with Diamante Hot Stones, which really made the whole thing shimmer.

20 17 18 11

The neckline of the Silver Glitter Body Suit was also strewn with Snowflakes and then Hot Stones, as you can see from the far left and 2nd left pictures above the Diamante Hot Stones really make the whole thing sparkle.

Untitled-1 10

The final costume was gorgeous however; because of the tight deadline we don’t have too many pictures. We shall hopefully be rectifying this soon, as we hope to soon see the costumes in action.

8 7 9

As you can probably tell, I have tried to simplify the design of these Costumes. This is due in part to budget and time constraints however; it is also because I believe there is a risk in over embellishing Disney Costumes. Often the simpler they are, the more like the cartoon they look.

Above is Elsa’s 1st Dress, which has been colour blocked with the design hand painted to the front of the Corset. The thing I’m most pleased about? The Cloak!!

1a 5 1b

And last, but not least, Anna. I love the simplicity of this dress. Love it! I think the green stripes of the Skirt work wonderfully, and in person the hand painting on the Black Velvet Corset kinda glows, it’s a shame it’s not showing up so well in the photos.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into my fairy-tale world!

Happy stitching!