Amalgamation of Life, Costume Designer


Have I lost my integrity by gluing over 60 yards of ribbon onto 20+ skirts for a production?

I don’t know if I can reason my way out of this one. A professional costumer would have made the skirts from scratch. And, at the time of adding the underlying tulle, would have sewn on the exterior ribbon for theming and beautification. I have to roll with the capabilities I have and the time available.

When I started my gluing escapade, I had 20+ skirts that needed two different kinds of ribbons attached. As I was fortunate to find the skirts for the girls, and knew I could edit them as I saw fit, I had to deal with them not being custom fit for the girls I had in my production. The skirts ranged from size 0’s to 12-14. My girls are sized anywhere from 0 to about 16, but I had more skirts for 0’s than I had for girls in the range of 6-10 range. How does one fix that?

Ribbons. 1″ ribbons.

Now, I knew when I started the show I wanted to attach ribbon that would line the bottom of the skirts. It would catch the light and had a nice flicker of color when they do some of their dance moves. Once I was approached with the sizing problem (problem was with the available but limited skirts, not my girls), I had to think fast and act faster. When I saw the first skirt not fit, I knew that it needed an extra inch or so of something to tie/hold the skirt onto the girls.

It was like a lightbulb–more ribbon. More ribbon means more application time with, at the moment, less time available for application. I can’t tell you how many times I muttered ‘crap’ under my breath at the time of realization but it was a lot and ended up concerning me a lot. I had to work fast and how would I accomplish that?


It makes my seamstress heart cry and ache with regret but it’s a necessity sometimes. Do I feel like I lost all of my integrity? No, not all of them, but some of it is certainly gone. It’s something I am going to have muscle through for the rest of the shows production and maybe figure out a way to avoid this in the future. For right now, I am okay with how I’ve proceeded but I really don’t want to do costumes this way again.

I’ll wrap up with telling you that I can’t wait to show you what everything looks like, including the final skirt design. ‘Til next time.

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