Today, I want to share with you the tools of my trade. It's very important to come prepared to work. Each day can be different in the set of tasks that's performed. However, the job is always to make sure the costume & the performer looks good.
What's in my apron....
My apron, at the moment, has the bare necessities. These are the items I use on a regular basis. If I don't have these items readily available, it could mean making a performer late for their queue.
Be prepared for anything to happen. When you're not prepared, then the worst could happen. Your next project / job could reflect how well you're prepared in the job you're currently performing. Having an apron is essential. I'm constantly stuffing things in my pockets. I only have two hands. Having an apron allows me to carry bits and pieces on top of hauling an arm full of garments.
TOOLS OF THE TRADE - QUICK GO TO
These are just a few items I use on a daily basis.
- Small notepad and pen (pencil can be great because you don't run the risk of accidentally marking a garment) Having a sharpie & highlighter on hand is essential.
- Safety Pins. I keep them pinned at the bottom of my apron for quick access. Nothing is more aggravating than digging in my pockets for a pin.
- Multi-tool. Pliers & small knife can be useful for stubborn zippers and faulty hardware.
- Small extra sharp scissors. I have an extra sharp point on my scissors. It's served me well in last minute situations where I need to make a small snip on a costume that a performer is wearing. It's very important to develop safe habits. When you're not using the scissors, even for a second, always put the safety cap back on. No one likes blood, especially on the costumes. It's also good to have clear communication with the performer you're dressing. They may not be aware that you have a sharp object pointing at them.
- Seamstress tape and measuring tape. That may seem redundant, but I assure you, having both is helpful. I like having both options because measuring tape is stiff, where as seamstress tape is flimsy. It's important to NOT roll or fold seamstress tape because it'll curl & crease easily. Take care of your seamstress tape and it'll be easier to work with. It's not a cliche' to have your seamstress tape hang from your neck like an open scarf. In fact, it serves two purposes being there. It's easy access and protects the tape. Always remember safety. Depending on the task, having something dangling from your neck can be dangerous.
- Seam Ripper. This may seem redundant to the small sharp scissors. There's been plenty of times where I've found myself using my small scissors instead of a seam ripper. However. a seam ripper is still a tiny blade. There will be times where a seam ripper is needed because the scissors are too big.
- Pin Cushion / Pins / Needles: I love using a curved needle on everything. It's my personal preference because I'm able to work faster with one, especially on buttons. Be mindful of how much is in your pin cushion & how you're sticking them in. Again, safety first. Also, it's good practice to not have a lot of needles with thread still attached stuffed in the cushion. That's a good way of making a tangled mess. You'll spend more time fumbling with a nest of pins & thread than performing the needed task.
- Flash Light: I have two lights. I carry a head light. You can find these in sporting good section. I also use a small hand held flash light. Having good lighting can speed up the process of a task. Even if I'm in a well lit room, sometimes a flash light is used if I can't see down into a garment, especially if I'm having to look for something that is tiny or hard to reach.
Of Course, there are more supplies needed for the job. A lot of the stuff I use is supplied by the show. It's good form to always be prepared, even if you suspect that everything will be provided. It'll show your level of professionalism in demonstrating good habits. Good habits can mean better opportunities.