November 27, 2011

The Days of Joseph...

All three kids decided to take the plunge and enter into the drama world.  They all tried out to be in the community play "Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat".  They all made it;  the boys into the children's chorus, and Adia into the general cast.  It was an intense play to be a part of because there were millions of hours spent at the high school practicing and there were millions and millions of Facebook messages sent out. I got real sick of those real quick! Most days the kids didn't want to go to practice but when they came home they couldn't stop talking about it. They always had a blast.

Of course Fallon is full of really talented people who spent hours directing, choreographing, costuming, set building, prop making, etc. Not only were there a ton of kids on stage, there were tons of people working behind the scenes to make it all come together. And it did come together.  I didn't get to see the first 4 performances. More on that later. But I didn't miss the last 4.  It was a pleasure to sit out with the audience and be entertained.

All 3 kids said they would enter the drama world again any day. Well, actually, they were pretty exhausted by the end, but they would be happy to do it again after taking a break for a few months.

As for my contribution to the play... The costumers asked me if I would be willing to take on a project. It happened to be a project I ended up loving. As I sewed my heart out, spending about 30 hours, maybe more, I was blessed to see many tender mercies come my way.  Who knew you could learn valuable lessons on listening to the Spirit while sewing a costume? I didn't. But now I do. Elder Richard G. Scott has said that we can receive direction from the Spirit while working on mechanical things just as we can while working on spiritual things. So true. (See the conversation with Richard G. Scott on the Mormon Channel.)

My job was to accomplish these 4 steps: (1) go shopping, (2) pick out fabric, (3) design, and (4) sew an Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. One that would fit the star of the show, open up into a perfect circle, handle some serious wear and tear, and allow for long, colorful streamers to attach to it during the finale. A challenge for any seamstress.

This is what I started with.
You want to know about all those tender mercies I mentioned before? They all started with the finding of the fabric.  I wandered around 3 different fabric stores for a really long time. I even searched a few thrift stores for fabric looking for things like old shirts, sheets, curtains, anything I could turn into an Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I love Home Fabrics. I was able to find really wonderful "gold" fabric on the clearance pallet. And I was "lead" to what turned out to be just the right accent fabric. At JoAnn Fabrics, I found all the colors of the rainbow satins (actually polyester) on a super, duper great Halloween fabric sale. I was trying to keep the cost down as much as possible. Just finding the right fabric turned out to be a miracle. Another miracle? I was buying fabric without knowing just how much I would need. Miraculously, I bought just the right amount of them all. That was a big tender mercy! I wouldn't have had another chance to run to Reno to pick up more if I had needed it. Step 1 & 2 were done. Phew.

Along with the beautiful fabric I picked out myself, the costumers gave me a gorgeous piece of Egyptian tent fabric. I loved this fabric. I didn't get a picture of it though. Bummer. Doing step 3 allowed for the inspiration to flow. I spent many an hour worrying and praying over the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat's design. I am good at following a pattern. I have lots of experience doing that, but I haven't had much experience designing, making up, or merging patterns. I'm quite new at that. And of course there wasn't an "Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" pattern in the Butterick, Simplicity, or Vogue pattern books. Miraculously it came to me piece by piece. Some in the middle of the night. Some in the shower. Some while sitting at the sewing machine. All of it came just when I needed it. I am grateful for those experiences where the inspiration flowed.

As for the sewing part... First, I had to cut out each part and piece of the coat.  I decided I would cut the pieces out as I added them to the coat. The reason I chose to do it this way is because cutting is permanent. You can't glue fabric back together if it gets cut wrong. And remember, I wasn't sure if I would have enough of the fabric even without making mistakes while cutting. I managed to cut things out perfectly the first time. A miracle when you consider all the geometry and math I had to use while trying to figure out how the coat might open up into a full circle.  And, while actually sewing I rarely made a mistake. I didn't have to unpick much. Truly another miracle.

My mother taught me that the inside of a garment you sew should look as good as the outside. And, this Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat really did! It was lined in gold, had bias tapes, perfectly matching designs, and French seams. It was sturdy too. I was even inspired as to how to add the loopy things on the inside which would be used to attach those fancy colorful ribbons at the finale. (That had to be changed later, but it was still inspiration.)

It was the afternoon of the day before the dress rehearsal when I received a telephone call from my Grandpa informing me that my Grandma was in the hospital. He didn't know what was wrong with her yet.  She was in the ICU.  That was all he knew. I wanted to leave Fallon and go help him. I was almost finished with the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. I needed to add the last of the bias tapes and then do the hand sewing. (The last seam of the lining had to be stitched down by hand.) I couldn't leave right then and there because I HAD to finish the coat first. I was beside myself. Turns out the timing was a tender mercy too because I ended up needing to pick my mom up from the airport in Reno the next morning.

Here are some pictures of the coat...
The sleeve at the shoulder.
The top front of the bodice.
The back of the coat bodice.
The sleeve cuff.
One of 5 large peplums. There were also 8 small peplums around the waist of the coat.
The whole coat. Front.
The whole coat. Back.
Now for some pictures from the actually play. Most of the pictures have dark heads in the foreground. At the last minute "Big Head Man" sat directly in front of me. I was annoyed.

Hamilton in the opening scene.
A blurry picture of Orin in the opening scene.
The coat makes its entrance.
The coat makes a beautiful circle!
Swirl Joseph!
I just wish the coat would have been velcroed correctly.
Orin watching on from his seat on stage.
Adia in the "Go Go" scene. I'm loving the pink hair!
Adia is the cow girl on the right hand side. She was hard to recognize with that mask.
A beautiful Egyptian.
I love Adia's expression in this photo. Something about it makes me smile.  She is right in the middle.
Hamilton in the finale.
Orin was a natural on stage. Here he is in the finale singing his heart out.
The coat with all the rainbow trimmings in the finale. And BIG HEAD MAN!! Sheesh.
I am grateful for experiences like the one I had with this play. My kids tried something new. I learned many lessons. And miracles happened.

good things:

1.  inspiration
2.  family
3.  talents
4.  miracles


JNS said...

You are amazing! I shouldn't be shocked anymore about all the great stuff you can do. That coat sure looked great on stage. I think I am a pretty lucky guy to have you!

Mary said...

The finish work on that baby is simply divine. Seriously, you're so talented. I understand how much work that is!! The cuff is perfect!

PS- I think we'd both be fine if we never saw another piece of Turkish trim ever again.

Jennifer said...

Wow! That is amazing! (Ha! Saw the pun after I typed that :) That is awesome you were able to get that done and that you were able to recognize all the tender mercies that came along with it. Well done!!

kate said...

I had no idea you made that. It was breathtaking on stage. Amazing work!
Your kids are so cute and did such a great job!

Tori said...

You did a fantastic job on making the coat and the kids look like they did great on stage.

Beth said...

Fabulous job--both you and your children. Congratulations on having such a talented family.

Amy said...

Gorgeous! There are no limits to tender mercies! I love it!

Jack and Annette Sommer said...

That was an amazing coat. So thankful to be there in person to feel the excitement of the kids as they sang the music before, during and after the play performances. Loved, loved being there to see the kids perform the closing night. I loved the truly made it amazing as are you.