Historical Undergarments and Fitting

Here are some examples of historical undergarment fittings using the techniques talked about in Historical Cutting for Theatre and Film.

One always has to set up a¬†temporary work station for a show in what is obviously a not a sewing room–in this case it’s a kitchen.

As you can see period patterns for Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9 take shape, are fitted on the wrong people… and then the right people. The challenge with that leather corset was to A) sew the vinyl¬†in a period way that also makes it look like leather on-stage and B) make it fit. The enlargement of the draft got Ricky less than perfect results– nothing that can’t be solved with a fitting.

 

This green suit is made in a late-1880s style and goes over undergarments. The chemise is not correct, alas it is a modern cotton jersey dress because it will never be seen.

All of those period undergarments had to then be enlarged for a 220 lb. ex-military man playing a demure woman. Needless to say, we did it. You might recognize the model in the second picture.

The last two pictures are fittings for the second half of the show which takes place in 1979. It’s interesting how different people can look in different clothing.