ARTIST INSTRUCTOR: LELA STAIRS
February 4-6 and 11-13, 2022
Participants learn how to interpret a two-dimensional design and render it into a three-dimensional costume pattern in this double-weekend workshop. Stratford Festival Cutter Lela Stairs teaches the skills of interpreting sketches, drafting patterns, mocking up blocks and cutting a costume. This course is ideal for those working in costume or wardrobe departments, and those who build costumes for community theatre.
1. Friday (1/2 day) - What is cutting? Introduce block development/custom patterns for actors; examine sketches and discuss sketch interpretation; practice taking proper measurements (which measurements and why); look at body types and discover how patterns work.
Skills Learned: what is a cutter? the importance of measuring properly; the differences in body types; sketch interpretation
2. Saturday - Finish up with measurements and pattern drafting all day. Establish size and ease, dart manipulation; examine different sketches and see how they translate to a bodice; begin to establish style lines and period features within your basic block; begin cutting out and mocking up the loose-fitting bodice in muslin.
Skills Learned: drafting, dart manipulation, style lines that are period specific, translating a sketch to a pattern
3. Sunday - Continue cutting out mockups and completing pattern drafting. Sew mock ups and begin fitting them (this is establishing a base for size and shape); discuss fittings and the importance of them, and learn what to look for in fittings (drag lines, placement of seams and darts).
Skills Learned: drafting, cutting out a mock up and why, discussing fit
Home work during the week (not compulsory): Finish sewing mock up, if incomplete. Complete drafting to bring to class for the next weekend.
1. Friday (1/2 day) - Complete fittings. Continue to sew and fit any bodices that were not complete. Return to patterns for pattern alterations and adjustments; talk about fitting room etiquette.
Skills Learned: fitting, fitting etiquette, pattern adjustments
2. Saturday - Return to blocks to start looking at how that basic block turns into a period bodice, corset, blouse. Start interpreting a sketch into the blocks and spend the day looking at different ways to manipulate the block; draft new patterns from the blocks; if time allows, begin cutting out mock up for costume bodice.
Skills Learned: changing style lines on your patterns to suit a period or design
3. Sunday - Continue drafting and mocking up costume bodice. Do fittings if time allows; wrap up and conclude; option: introduce draping, if time allows and participants are ready to advance.
Skills Learned: seeing the changes made to a basic bodice block to suit period/design; draping, if time allows
These will be included with the letter of welcome to participants in early January.
Under guidance from Huron Perth Public Health,
Off the Wall is requiring proof of vaccination for all students attending this course.
Friday PM, Saturday and Sunday
9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Desmond Heeley Studio,
163 King Street
Stratford N5A 4S2
Target enrolment: 6 students
For more information contact:
Susan Starkweather, Program Advisor
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