Jean Valjean’s new coat

I didn’t realise that it’s been that long since I posted something…

Let’s get the big news out: I have got a 6 months contract to work on the costumes for Disney’s Aladdin, which opens in Sydney next August. I have known for a bit, but it has not sunk in yet. And what’s more – as of Monday I will be making a new outfit for the male lead in Les Miserables. I am really besides myself.

Whilst my family went bush for a few days, I recovered from the Christmas/ birthday marathon. I never seem to manage to pace myself over the festive season – there is so much on, so many friends and family to catch up with, I enjoy all aspects of it entirely… But then I flake out.

So, I had real fun making the patterns for the outfit.image

imageimageAnd I made a fancy folder for the patterns.image

And this was my lunch when I paused from my very hard work.image

Getting my work stuff ready felt almost like a ceremony. I would have never thought I’d work again in this mad profession, I certainly wasn’t going to look for work, because usually it’s all word by mouth (you can look as hard as you like and just never come across the right people) you have to work your way up for years before getting on a decent show, etc. I wasn’t prepared to do that again here in Sydney after taking years establishing myself in London.image

So since I had a bit of peace and quiet on my hands, I decided to cover my pressing horse. This is mainly used to shape the chest canvas in jackets. You have to apply a fair amount of steam to work the canvas, a lot gets absorbed into the untreated wood, but more gets absorbed (and there is less a chance you burn yourself on the hot steam), if the horse is covered with wool.

I made the wool cover from 4 layers of an old woolen blanket. Three layers are cut to size for the top. They are densely stitched together on the industrial sewing machine to form a very firm layer. Doesn’t it look like a beetle upside down???image

The 4th layer is wider and hemmed, so a cord is threaded through the hem. When pulled tight, The cover fits snugly and the surface is smooth.image

I also made a cover from linen – it’s easier to wash.imageimage

Before Christmas, we had a wonderful week on the South Coast. We packed up kids & dogs on the last day of term. There was lots of sunshine, walks, surf to play in and beach babes to admire.image

There was also some successful hunting and gathering.imageimage

And I turned 50! Yay. image

Best wishes for the New Year to you all! May it be filled with much love, good health, fun and sense of purpose.

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