The date of our school musical is fast approaching and I volunteered to be on the costume committee. My job is to outfit the animal characters and the student playing the sun. I love creating costumes! Like my cosplaying daughter and her process, some parts are found/repurposed and other parts are made by hand with help. I scoured thrift stores all over the east end of the GTA (and even in Calgary) for furry bodies and my discoveries saved us time and money. No need to "reinvent the wheel" if you don't have to do so! My daughter helped me make the ears combining head bands with felt and we had fittings during recess this past week.
Although I announced which specific actors were needed in the library to try on their costumes, many more arrived. I believe it's because the students enjoy the special treatment. They want to feel like a star - being fussed over, and that their opinions matter on how their costumes fit and feel. They appreciate having an adult's positive attention focused just on them.
This was Aviva Dunsiger's observation in her most recent blog post. She reminds us to "slow down, listen to, and form relationships with kids". When we connect, value, and love them, so many positive things can happen. It can be challenging when they all want it at the same time and it's tempting to try and multi-task so you can "get more bang for your buck". However, a costume fitting forces you to narrow your focus to that one performer at that one moment in time. You can't divide your attention, or you might stick a person with a pin, or worse! My sewing teacher warned me about this - while showing me about how to quickly remove stitches with a rotary cutter instead of a stitch ripper (you can see a photo of this on last week's blog post), she told me that she took off a chunk of flesh from her finger because she was distracted by the TV while using a rotary cutter.
The more I use my sewing machine and the related tools, the more comfortable I feel doing it - and I have to admit, I like feeling like a "seamstress to the stars", with my measuring tape draped around my neck and my ideas becoming reality. The tails I've made this weekend (a beaver, wolf, and squirrel) are looking pretty cool and I'm nervously excited about tackling the wings of the owl, cardinal, and raven. I'll try and share more photos (even of the mis-steps) as we proceed.