The Best Gown of the Figaros…

…had to be the Count’s dressing gown, of course.

Hanging out. LIke ya do.

Hanging out, pre-painting.


Dulling down the pink, brightening up the yellow.

It’s long-past time that I posted some of what I worked on this Spring for the two new Stephen Wadsworth productions (Marriage of Figaro and Barber of Seville). These two monsters were, well, monsters. Far too large for our little shop to appropriately handle, but we made it through, somehow (lots of overhire! lots of overtime!).

One of my favorite projects to build was the Count’s dressing gown. Although it was a simple pattern, it was still intense. To begin, I had to cut it so that the largest flowers were offset from one another and went yellow-pink-yellow-pink around the body. There wasn’t enough fabric. (There’s never enough fabric.) But working together, my draper and I squeezed the pattern on and I cut it. I didn’t even close my eyes or look away, though I wanted to.

That managed and still alive, I had to hand paint each flower so that the pink flowers didn’t totally dominate the print. The pink got dulled down and the yellow got brightened up. This was by far my favorite part of the project. (Look how pretty those yellow flowers are!) And it wasn’t scary. It was, however, time consuming. Painting the flowers took a whole 8-hour day.

And then came the easy part–just sewing it together. Neal Bledsoe, who played the Count, makes it look stunning of course.

Before and after. Hand-painted flowers.

Before and after. Hand-painted flowers.

The finished product! Photo by T. Charles Erickson.

For more photos of the Marriage of Figaro and the Barber of Seville, head on over to McCarter Theatre’s website. I worked on a lot of the menswear, including Figaro’s amazing leather jacket.

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2 thoughts on “The Best Gown of the Figaros…

  1. Denise says:

    Gorgeous!!! So very very talented!!!!!

  2. Marcia says:


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