Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tutu Rentals

In the past 2 years working for the university, I would on occasion rent tutus out from our inventory. Most times the tutus would fit especially if the costume was worn by similar college aged dancer. But, and here is the dilemma I ran into, moms would find out I rent and call and hope that I would have something to fit their 12 year old. Hmm, highly unlikely. I thought wouldn't it be great if I had some tutus that would fit the younger dancer, looking for a solo tutu. So, in January I found myself with opportunity to acquire some custom made ones, some of which needed finishing work still or had missing parts but the deal was too great to pass up. Last month I finished most of them and along with some I already made, I had a little photo shoot with my friend Rachael Hodson and a young dancer. Here are the results. All of these tutus are available to rent. Please contact me for any inquiries at Some size adjustments can be made with provided measurements. I will send a measurement guide to use along with rental contract. If you don't see what you are looking for just ask. I also rent out ballet costumes from BYU. A minimum of two week notice is required for rental requests. More tutus to come, stay tuned.

Esmeralda, black, gold, copper, green.
bust 36, waist 26, high hip 34

Pale blue and white.
bust 31, waist 24.5, high hip 32.5


Peach and silver XSmall

Green size Small

Pink romantic/belle tutu Size Small

Thursday, December 1, 2016

A Few Projects...Done

I finished a few projects and wanted to share.

Tabula Rasa, Theatre Ballet, BYU
Shayla Bott, choreographer. Photo, Chris Peddecord

Now We Are Free, Homecoming Spectacular 2016
One of three Gladiators

Dress Rehearsal, Shayla Bott, choreographer

Roman inspired dress, Photo credit Chris Peddecord

Nutcracker, Utah Artist School of Ballet
Fritz's suit.
Clara's Party Dress. A remake of original.

Remake of original design. Suzi Wood, Artistic Director.

Rendering for upcoming costumes, Feb 2017

Pas de Quatre, Ballet Showcase, BYU

New Piece, Theatre Ballet, BYU

Monday, September 12, 2016

Tech Rehearsal

This week is tech for the upcoming Dance in Concert. The last two years, the craziness of this time of year made me sick and then I would question what have I done to myself and is this worth it. My kids were often somewhere in the house doing I have no idea what and I was caught up in some sort of vortex trying to swim backwards and forwards in thick mud. This year has been different in a good way. I have been so much more relaxed about what needs to happen, partly because costume requests came earlier in the summer and I could spread things out, getting what could be done early before auditions. There still was the very tight timeframe between casting and tech rehearsal but I had help from my over hire stitcher to complete alterations. There was also one number that was switched out for another last minute at the request of the director of the show. Luckily, it was for the film we just did featuring 7 dancers. Now being on a a large stage, the artistic director and I agreed that the entire cast should be involved to fill out the stage. I asked the cast to look in their own closets and then I shopped the rest to fill in needed pieces. I will post more photos soon here are a couple of highlights.

Costume sketches for Tabula Rasa. Choreographed by Shayla Bott

Lots of La Sylphide wings ready to be set in costumes. Made from 14g
wire, craft wire, angelina sheets, and puff paint.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


This last October, I worked with Garrett Smith to create costumes for the piece he set at BYU called Phases. His inspiration came from the lunar eclipse which had recently took place.... He had very specific ideas and colors to be used.  I had a very short time but his concept would not have worked with bought pieces; I had to construct them. So I got to work with sourcing burgundy and mustard velvet. I looked at several sources before I found the shades that would work, going by my instinct to make the final decision. When working with guest artist it is hard to show ideas completely via email, etc. Colors don't always look the same as they do in person.

Pictured above are three bodices in process. I went straight into fabric using a Travis Halsey pattern... and not using my own to save time. Here are the approved designs and the finish costumes below.

Finished costumes back stage

A Dance Film

The first project for the 2016 season was a ballet dance film. Originally scheduled for August was moved to the middle of May. I was given conceptual ideas three weeks prior to the shoot. The piece was a post-apocalyptic world, out in the desert. Here is a shot from one of the filming days.

Distressing is not one of my fortes but I think it turned out ok. I wanted some of the color distressing to be permanent so I used Deval fabric paint for upholstery in both black and brown. While the paint was still drying I powdered the areas with ash, giving it some highlights. The powder is really messy so once the costumes were done I wrapped them in a large queen size sheet and then placed the entire bundle in garbage bag. They cast was able to take this onto set and roll out the bundle on the ground.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The End of a Season- Part 2

Alice in Wonderland was the big show for the ballet area for the 2015 season. Grant money was awarded and budgets set. Design opportunities were given to students. Three students were chosen for costumes. I came in as a consultant and costume construction manager. I think there is a shroud of mystery that is assumed when approaching dance costumes and I have felt this too when I was a student. Even with my presentations on how to approach design and fabric considerations and movement considerations, they still came to me for our sit down cutter/draper meeting with not much to give me. Designs were done but for me only part way. An important aspect in designing is figuring out the materials and the trims and to some extent construction ideas. I put in a lot of hours figuring  this part out for them among other things. I'm not complaining and I am not sure if this is typical for beginning costume students. It is almost as if they can't get past the pretty pictures into the nitty gritty work. I hope my mentoring helped them to be better and that to me was the most important part of the project.

Flower tutu plates
The initial build for this show was around 75 costumes but through budget tightening/trimming I reduced the build to about 60. This was a brand new show and we had to build it. We also wanted to build it so the show could be remounted in the future. The main part of the construction took place in the summer from June-August. I had two student stitchers, a master tailor, and a master costume crafts person, with me being the draper. Our focus was to have everything built by the end of summer and ready for fittings when dancers were cast in September. One of our biggest hurdles was having a place to build. I work from home but this show would have been difficult to do that way especially with a student staff.

Alice bell tutu skirt
We worked in one shop on campus for a month and then had to move to another building and worked there for another month in half. By then the summer was over and I had to move out of the second shop as their season was picking up. I also started to lose my staff as they were either students or staff with other work they needed to move onto. I contracted two stitchers who could work from home and with their help we finished the show.

Flamingo bustle skirt

Rosebush skirt

In studio rehearsal

In studio rehearsal

In studio rehearsal

In studio rehearsal

Publicity poster 

Watch a Rehearsal video

Watch a Highlight Reel

Read a News article

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The End of a Season-A Look Back part 1

Work has been none stop for me since May. I have taken very few days off and some weeks I worked overtime. Work was so busy, they asked me why and I kindly reminded them about "The Big Show" Alice in Wonderland we were doing.  Most of the work I do is done from my home studio since there is no shop on campus for me to work out of. The production decided I should hire students to give them a mentoring experience. It was a lot of hard work and required many more hours of on campus work. I did for a short time through the summer have access to two different on campus costume shops and majority of the build was complete before fall semester. By September, I was ready for first fittings, no mock up fittings for us, since casting and tech and other shows end up right on top of each other. I also lost my student employees and so hired local professional contractors to help with the remainder of the build and all the finishing work.

We built 78 costumes for Alice In Wonderland, a completely brand new show for us. On top of this show, I worked on two new contemporary pieces by Garrett Smith and Duncan Cooper. Duncan's called The Gathering, is beautiful piece of people coming together. The women wore leotards and black footless tights wore over the top. They added black character skirts in the third movement.  The leotards had nude mesh shoulders and being at BYU I had to spray those a different color. I chose Design Master in Prairie Green. With lighting, the mesh looked grey which is what I wanted in the first place just couldn't get that color locally.  The picture shows cast in studio lighting so you can see the mesh as green.  The men wore fitted athletic shirts with grey accent stitching and color block leggings.

In studio picture of Company wearing costumes from The Gathering

A short clip of them in performance