Beautiful Peasants


The great news is the Peasant skirts are finished except for the hooks and eyes and the hems.  Hip hip hooray. Svi and I also worked out the bodices.  They are very nice and they will also be very easy to fit.  Instead of adding an inch of lycra on the sides we are placing it under the chevron and adding an elastic cording to the front of the bodice.  The lace won’t be  black as shown in the picture preferably a more natural color.IMG_3103  The Peasant ladies blouses are already made, they just need trimmed and of course hardware.  Every thing takes a very long time to finish.





The video below is of Joanna trimming a Wili skirt.

Today I will hopefully work out the Peasant men costumes.   I already cut 12 yards of fabric off the bolt for Joanna to dye.  All fabric that is dyed has to be washed first.  The washing takes off any finish that may inhibit the dye.  They will be a shade or two darker that the Peasant ladies blouses.   Joanna has already dyed two of the six colors.  She will be dying up a storm next week.  This is a video of her dying the Peasant skirt layers.  We don’t always ask her to work that fast.  Good Job, or as Peter would say “Top Marks”.                                       

The park show for Hartwood Acres is all packed.  That was a challenge pulling together.We are doing LE CORSAIRE which we rented in April when we performed it and returned the rental, which means we had to pull costumes from stock to perform it.  We used alot of our own costumes in April but alot of what is in the performance is what we rented.  During the studio dress I counted 14 ballets that we pulled costumes from to put it together. (To name a few: CARMEN, ROMEO AND JULIET, THEME AND VARIATIONS, SWAN LAKE, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, SLEEPING BEAUTY and NAPOLI.)  It looks good, thank goodness.   BROOD is a new ballet choreographed by one of our talented dancers, Cooper Verona.  It is  a very nice piece.  It makes you happy to watch.  It only needed 12 costumes.  We pulled the pants and skirts and bought the shirts and blouses. Then FLAMES IN PARIS, we pulled costumes from stock and added red white and blue cumberbunds and sashes.  Another day in Paradise.  It will be a wonderful performance.  It is very refreshing to watch ballet under the stars.

Stay tuned for more updates, things are happening real fast,  we only have two months til opening night.  What happened to Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy days of summer?   GISELLE!





Patricia’s Gala and more on the Costumes

Last weekend we drove up to Saratoga Springs, New York to attend the Dance Museum Gala.  Patricia Wilde, our former Artistic Director (1982-1997), was inducted into the Dance Museum.  What a wonderful place.  I could have spent a week there, looking at all the displays and reading about all the dancers and companies over the years.  They had a wonderful display on Patricia.  I was very impressed and the Gala was wonderful!  What a nice time.



“Patricia Wilde is among the most superlative and important ballet dancers, teachers, and artistic directors of her generation. Her speed, power, clarity, versatility, and bravura in both classical and neoclassical roles was highly distinct. Coupled with her steadfast commitment as a teacher and artistic director to advancing and disseminating the art form, Wilde was fundamental in shaping the American ballet landscape in the 20th century.”


David and I enjoying our time at the Gala.

Post Gazette article on Patricia

Back in the costume shop…We are continuing to work on the Friends and Wilis.  They are almost totally completed–the ones we have already fit, that is!  Tomorrow we will pattern the Peasant women’s bodices, their skirts are being stitched offsite by our stitcher, Donna.

I ordered 10 yards of one of my favorite brocades from The Fabric Place last week.
Tammy called today and said that it was no longer available and the manufacturer had gone out of business!  Sometimes when you are building a costume you know exactly what you want but you can’t find it.  Boo hoo!!!!  Luckily I have 8 yards of the brocade I was dreaming of.  Is it enough?  I doubt it, but I will make it work!  I can use different fabrics that will compliment the brocade for the hanging sleeves and maybe a portion of the bodice. But first, we have to dye it.

It is so wonderful to fit the costumes, the dancers are so happy to try them on and move around to see how they move.  They love the new tulle that we used in the skirts and all the colors of the Friends and Peasants.

…I always say “nothing looks good on a hanger” and here’s proof!


(Below, Emily Simpson and Victoria Watford love spinning in their Wili costumes!)

We have to get a lot of work done by the end of August.  Hartwood Acres took more time than I wanted to put together.

After the Peasant bodices are cut we will start on the Court.

Back to PBT




The week on the Queen Mary was wonderful.a real relaxing restful week.  I went to watercolor classes all week and I did flower arranging also.  I look at my flower  garden in a whole different way now.
Monday was back to work.  I couldn’t wait to see all that was completed while I was away.
Everything looked great.  Bob scheduled fittings with Gabby, Victoria and Emily.
They were away most of the summer and did not have a chance to come in for a fitting.  We have now fit all the ladies in a Wili costume and some in a friend costume.  We now have 15 bodices completed, 25 Wili romantic skirts, 7 friend skirts,  19 blouses and 5 peasant skirts.  We are coming along.


Svi and I fitting Hannah, one of our principal dancers

I ordered the 10 yards of brocade for the Bathilde costume and another 200 yards of white tulle.  So far I ordered 975 yards of tulle.  That is a lot of tulle.
It is so rewarding to fit the costumes on the dancers.  Everyone is so excited about this new production.
Terry showed me a few photos of the painting of the sets.  They look great!!!  You can tell that they are Peter’s.
The most wonderful part of making costumes for dancers is they dance.  I have always felt that my job was to make everything that they did on stage look wonderful.  I always try to pick fabric that is lighter than air,  that will fly when they jump and float when they pirouette.  We also try to make the costumes so that they stay where they are supposed to.  Stabilizing jackets so when the dancers lift their arms you watch their arms move, not the jacket riding up.

In addition to our building of GISELLE we pulled and made costumes for the Hartwood Acres free performance on August 21st.  We hosted development, marketing and school personnel with wonderful projects that they were working on.  We also had 15 dancers under 5 years old visit to learn about the process of building costumes for ALICE IN WONDERLAND.