“‘weeding’ the design” from Rachael Smith-Ferri

In Costume Crafts/Tech, Internship, Uncategorized, Wardrobe on March 26, 2017 at 10:28 AM


This week The Odyssey was in fittings. As such, there was not as much sewing that I was able to assist with, but there was quite a lot of fabric preparation. Depending on the type of yardage and how it was to be used, the preparation process varied slightly. Most fabrics got their cut edges overlocked and all pieces were labeled with the show, actor, role, and draper they belong to. If the fabrics were to be dry cleaned, they were labeled with any special dry cleaning instructions and put into a basket to be taken over to the dry cleaning facilities. Fabrics that could be cleaned normally were washed and dried in the shop. Once dried or returned from the dry cleaners, the fabric was ironed (if appropriate) and rolled onto a tube so that it was ready for the cutter/draper to cut out the appropriate pattern.
It has been very interesting to observe the vast array of yardages and the highly organized fashion necessary to keep track of each piece of yardage and how it is supposed to be prepared. The most exciting preparation method I was introduced to was the London shrink. The cutter I was assisting explained that the wool being prepared needed to be pre-shrunk slightly before being cut and assembled, but as it was going to be made up into a suit, it was very important that it keep its flexibility. Using the London shrink method would ensure it would not shrink too much and lose its malleability, and consisted of rolling the yardage in damp muslin and a tarp. It was allowed to sit for four hours, unwrapped, and the process was completed by allowing it to air dry.
In the dye shop this week I assisted the resident painter/dyer in altering a digital image in Photoshop that a designer wanted adhered to a piece of yardage. I learned about the importance of calibrating your computer screen and printer, as well as some of the basic tools in Photoshop. After the design was approved, it was printed on heat transfer paper, and I spent a number of glorious hours ‘weeding’ the design (in this case meticulously hand-cutting out the part of the design that was desired from the background) and then using the heat press to adhere the resulting images to the appropriate places on the yardage.

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