Friday, 22 April 2011

Questions and Answers

For the first time in ages I am not working at Easter. For the last two years I have been on tour with Dancing on ice at this time of year and other shows before that. This year I will be going to Wembley Arena again but to watch the show. I shall be wearing a guest pass rather than an Access all areas laminate and I am quite happy with that.

So for now I am sat in my nice new flat with my feet up. I have had the time to do a few things like make these cushion covers with fabric I bought in South Africa on the Mamma Mia International tour years ago. On Easter Sunday I plan to slob out eating chocolate instead of the usual two shows a day.

 I thought today would be a good time to address a few of the comments and questions I have had recently on my blog, so here goes.

 Leangel at cakes and bakesni

Thank you for the  nice words about my trunk (ooh er!) Your baking cupboards look amazing, you have so much kit it’s awe inspiring.

You have made me want to see the Royal Ballet too now and make my own comparisons, I’m intrigued.

The understanding that I have about the casts changing in ballet is to avoid injury. Someone may dance a smaller role for a few shows then a more challenging one . If the harder roles are spread between the dancers there is less wear and tear on their bodies.

Helga at helgavontrollop

I have had occasional problems with altering costumes due to weight loss and the opposite, replacing zips is often a consequence of this. It tends to be the costume being shrunk or ruined by washing or drycleaners that causes the biggest headaches, I have spent many hours trying to stretch things out to their original size again. 

Happy Easter everyone, I hope yours is as chilled as mine.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Swan lake at the Coliseum

swan headdresses

Not long after I was home from the Strictly tour I had another great weeks work with English National Ballet again. It was their production of swan Lake playing at the Coliseum on St Martins Lane once again. This time around I was helping look after the female members of the company. In recent times I have been solely with the men so it made a refreshing change. Mind you getting those wide tutus up those narrow staircases to the dressing rooms is quite a challenge I can tell you. 

A casting for 2 shows

We set up the show everyday by putting the correct costumes in the correct dressing rooms. Sounds obvious I know but as the roles are played by different people almost every show, costumes are moved around accordingly. I have touched on this before in a previous post here. The above paperwork shows a casting for Act 3 over 2 shows. Some names have been changed as the casting altered and there are some numbers relating to certain costumes.

During the show I spent much of my time refurbishing some Neapolitans headdresses. A very fiddly job but satisfying when finished.

tutu boxes awaiting packing

These tutu boxes are situated on a ramp and I had a comedy moment where I nearly toppled inside one as we were packing up at the end of the week. The last night was indeed unusual as the anti cuts protests were happening outside. We were vaguely aware of what was going on but it wasn't until we couldn't get near Charing cross station due to missiles being thrown that we realized the extent of what was happening. Glad to say we all got home safe and sound eventually.

At times ENB open rehearsals to the public and this production was one of them. Liberty London girl wrote a review of her visit to the rehearsal here

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Well to me it's worth treasuring!

My work over the next couple of months is keeping me at home for a change.  So tales from the roadcase becomes tales of the commuter really but it's all still costume related. It does mean though that my kit and equipment that I usually take on tour can be stored away and just used for domestic reasons. in my old flat it all just went under the bed. However my fella was given this amazing trunk by his best friend and he has kindly allowed me to fill it.

I can't quite put into words how much pleasure this gives me, it's quite infantile really.
Do you like my new/old storage solution?

Friday, 15 April 2011

Cheap tricks

A tiny bonus post today!

Got any low backed dresses that you can't find a bra low enough for?
If it's a glitzy number like this then do as we did for lovely Hayley the singer on the Strictly tour. 
We blinged up her bra strap to match the dress. 
Thats entertainment for you, smoke and mirrors!

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Strictly wound up

I have been laid up with the Lurgy all week, not good when you are a freelancer but i am finely starting to feel better so I have found some energy for a quick post.

I thought it was time I wrapped up my Strictly posts and moved on to pastures new. So here is a little more about Pamela who very kindly posed for me. Along with my last few nice photos of some of the rest of the cast.

This elegant dress really suited Pamela. The black and red are classic tango colours, I love the red frill down the centre back of the skirt. This was also an easy dress to maintain, it could be hand-washed gently when necessary.

James had a velvet waistcoat with a red back and a red tie to compliment Pamela. They looked fabulous, the dance was pretty hot too!

And now some warm and fuzzy pictures.

Kara & Artem

Ricky & Natalie in Glasgow in case you weren't sure

Jimi & Kristina

It was such a lovely cast and crew to tour with this year. There was the usual grumbles and politics that I won't go into but all in all a great tour.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Stretching Strictly

Before I get into my stride here I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for all the lovely comments I have been getting about the blog. I adore reading blogs myself and am so happy that people find what I have to say interesting. So thank you once again.

Natalie Lowe
The gorgeous Natalie Lowe was partnered with the equally lovely Ricky Whittle for this years tour. They had danced together previously were a stunning couple on the floor. This Jade dress was for their tango. It was a stretch lace with stoning. Towards the end of the tour the weight and stretch had made the whole dress drop. So we had to shorten it. Luckily it had a raw edge hem so it was just a matter of carefully cutting the scalloped edge off a couple of inches higher and the dress was back to its original length.

Gorgeous Zoe Ball

Zoe Ball was our fabulous host this year and opened the show in a dance with the professionals. This meant that she had to have a classy looking frock that she could move easily in. Vicky Gill created this column dress with a huge split up the back and batwing sleeves. We concealed 2 mic packs in the small of her back on an elastic belt and the cables were stuck to her side with micropore tape and a clip on her shoulder.  The fabric was a stretch sequin with added stoning. She looked amazing and loved the dress so much Vicky made her another one in red for the second half. The dresses also stretched though as they were worn for long periods of time rather than just the 2 minutes of a dance. The first adjustment I made was to herringbone stitch in some elastic down the open back. Later on I took the seams in around the waist and a small amount in the seams between the sleeves and the chest as it had grown quite baggy there. Even the sleeve length stretched so I had to trim off 2 inches at the cuffs. The last alteration was a flesh coloured elastic strap from shoulder to shoulder hidden by her hair. This was to stop the shoulders of the dress slipping off her shoulders. Reading that back it sounds like quite a lot but they were fairly quick and easy alterations and thats always the best kind I find.

Zoe Ball