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Thr 351 Costume Construction

Theatre 351 - 001
T/TH: 9:40am - 11:10am
Room: AC/W 17

Instructor: Kathleen Donnelly
424-7127 / Office ACW 220
Office Hours: M/W 11:30am – 12:30pm, Tues: 8:00am – 9:00am, or by appointment

TEXT: Rebecca Cunningham:  Basic Sewing for Costume Construction, A Handbook, 2/e

Based on goals established by the Theatre Department, the goals of this course, for the student, are:  1.To have a broad knowledge of the processes of theatrical production; 2. To be able to analyze and communicate a dramatic text to an audience; 3.To develop a commitment to the pursuit of artistic excellence and integrity.

Theatre is a collaborative creative process requiring a broad knowledge of the human condition to be successful.  The importance of theatre in society is well documented, and understanding the role it plays in society contributes to the development of a well-rounded citizen. Theatre, as with all areas of the Liberal Arts, is most effectively employed when it is built on a broad base of knowledge.

The goals listed above will be achieved through the following objective of this course:  to introduce the student in theatre/film/video to the techniques and skills required to construct costumes. These principles will be demonstrated and tested through projects, exams and practical application.

At the beginning of each topic, a lecture/demonstration will be given to familiarize the student with the purpose, demands, and techniques required.  It is important to realize that this time will be spent establishing the base of knowledge required to execute the technique.

There will be five projects required in this class.  The purpose of these projects is to give the student the basic construction skills and techniques used in costuming for the stage and screen.  A production project will be included which will provide the student with a practical application of the skills learned.

There will be a midterm and final exam in this class.  These exams will cover reading material and information given in class lectures.

Consistent attendance is critical to understanding the process, and techniques, of costume construction. If a student is absent for a lecture/class, they need to contact the professor in advance of the class. The student is also responsible for getting the material that was covered, and be prepared for the next class. Two unexcused class absences will not affect grade, however unexcused absences in excess of two will decrease your overall class grade by two points for each absence thereafter. 


Project 1.  Hand Sewing Sampler- due: 9/19
The objective of this project is to provide the student with the basic hand sewing stitches and techniques needed for the construction of costumes.  The student will produce muslin samplers which will demonstrate the stitches and techniques learned.  Projects will be graded on neatness and proficiency demonstrated.

Project 2.  Machine Sewing Samplers – due: 10/10
The objective of this project is to provide the student with the basic machine sewing techniques needed for the construction of costumes.  Ten samplers demonstrating proficiency in these techniques will be required.  Projects will be graded on neatness and proficiency demonstrated.

a. Machine control
b. Plain seam
c. Flat-fell seam
d. French seam
e. Serged and pinked edge
f. Overcast and bias tape edge
g. Gathering
h. Pleating and darts
i.  Buttonholes
j   Zippers

Project 3. Production Project - due: 11/5
The objective of this project is to provide the student with the practical application skills in the area of costuming.  The student will create a costume piece to be used in a future department production.  The project will require 10-15 additional hours of supervised practicum in the costume shop to complete project.  Project will be graded on neatness, and proficiency demonstrated.

Project 4.  From Pattern to Finished Costume - due: 12/5
The objective of this project is to provide the student with the skills and experience of costume construction, from pattern to finished garment.  The student will use a commercial pattern to create a modern garment.  Project will include: laying out the pattern on the fabric, cutting the fabric, sewing the garment, and finishing work. Student will provide the fabric for this project.
Project will be graded on neatness and proficiency demonstrated.

Project 5. Costume Accessory Project - due: 12/10
The objective of the project is to provide the student the experience of constructing accessories for costumes.  The student will create a hat based on the techniques learned in class. Requirements for this project include: paper pattern(s) used in creation of the hat, instruction sheet detailing the steps in creating the hat, and the finished hat which includes finished edges and trim. Projects will be graded on neatness, accuracy and creativity.

Grading for projects will be as follows:
10% - Project 1: Hand Sewing
20% - Project 2: Machine Sewing
20% - Project 3: Production Project
15% - Project 4: Construction Project
15% - Project 5: Accessory Project
10% - Midterm Exam
10% - Final Exam

Letter Grade Scale:
A    94 - 100%       
A-    90 - 93.9%
B+    87 - 89.9%
B    84 - 86.9%
B-    80 - 83.9%
C+    77 - 79.9%
C     74 - 76.9%
C-    70 - 73.9%
D+    67 - 69.9%
D    64 - 66.9%
D-    60 - 63.9%
F    Below 60


9/5         Tools of the Trade/ Appendix 1 (pp 155-161)
9/10        Hand sewing stitches  / Chapter 1
9/12        Hand sewing closures / Chapter 2
9/17    Parts of the machine and types of stitches/ Chapter 3
9/19    Pinning and Sewing/ Chapter 4
9/19        Machine sewing - Seams / Chapter 5
9/24        Machine sewing – Seam finishes/ Chapter 6
9/26       Machine sewing – Special Techniques/ Chapter 7
10/1    Machine sewing – Advanced Techniques/ Chapter 8
10/8    Fabric – Chapter 9
10/29    Using Commercial Patterns/ Chapter 16
11/5        Measuring the Actor/ Chapter 10
11/7         Pattern Making Basics/ Chapter 11
11/26       Hat making/ Chapter 10

Costume Construction: Semester Schedule - Fall 2013

September 5        Introduction to costume shop, tools, personnel
September 10            Hand Sewing:  stitches
September 12            Hand Sewing:  closures
September 17            Machine Sewing:  Intro to the sewing machine & machine control
September 19            Machine Sewing:  Seams / (project 1 due)
September 24            Machine Sewing:  Seam finishes
September 26            Machine Sewing:  Special Techniques

October 1                  Machine Sewing:  gathering, pleating and darts
October 3                  Machine Sewing:  buttonholes and zippers
October 8                  Intro to Fabric: natural and synthetic: properties
October 10                Fabric: grain, layout, weaves / (project 2 due)
October 15                Introduction to Production Project
October 17                Production Project Workday
October 22                Midterm review/Production Project Workday
October 24                Midterm Exam
October 29               Production Project Workday
October 31              Intro to Commercial Patterns

November 5              Taking Measurements (project 3 due)
November 7             Intro to Project #4: Constructing a garment: layout and cutting
November 12           Constructing a garment: sewing, lining and interfacing
November 14            Constructing a garment: finishing techniques
November 19            Construction Workday           
November 21            THANKSGIVING BREAK
November 26            Intro to Project #5:  Costume Accessories & Hat Making
November 28            Accessories & Hat making - patterns and materials

December 3               Accessories & Hat making - construction and finishing techniques
December 5              Costume Accessory Workday/ (project 4 due)
December 10             Project 5 due/ Final exam
December 12             Final class meeting

by Alderson, James M last modified Aug 18, 2013 06:40 PM