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March 2017

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Crochet for theatre, part two!

Recall that, some posts ago, i mentioned a project i was doing for Well, an alarming looking crocheted acrylic vest in a vintage 1970s pattern, for one of the "flashback" characters.

There have been some new developments, and the vest is finally finished!

Recall my pattern:


Here's the finished product! (This vest is not messing around.)

In a perfect case of how theatre and real-life call for completely different clothing issues sometimes, we discovered in tech rehearsals that, because the vest was going on and off the actress several times in a performance in quick-changes, it was getting really misshapen by the end of the show, in an undesirable fashion--bagging out at the neck, "growing" in length and unevenly so. In "real life" a wearer would have the ability to take more care with the vest and put it (hopefully) to less on-off use between washing/reblocking it. In this case, it was on me to come up with a way to add some support structure and foundation to the vest so it would retain its shape through these multiple quick-changes.

I used a yarn needle to thread 1/4" elastic through the crochet.

This black elastic was woven through the crochet at the neck opening and hem to stabilize them, and also from the hem up over each shoulder and back down, to keep the vest from "growing." In this way, the vest maintains both its shape and its elasticity. Problem solved!

And, here's a stage shot of the vest in action, worn by a character who is a bullying child taunting the main character:


I'm told the vest got it's own applause once. That's always gratifying. :)

Well opens tonight. I'll have to raise a glass for the vest at the afterparty!


Hee. As soon as you described the problem, I thought, "Some elastic at the stretch points would help that." I'm learning! ;)

I had a vest like that, which is kind of depressing. But it's definitely true to the period!
By jove, Watson, i think you're getting a rein on it! ;D

And seriously, I don't know anyone who lived through the 1970s who is pleased about their wardrobe of the time. I remember a particularly foul pair of appliqued fuchsia corduroys, myself.
Should you wish to make one of your own, i would gladly fax you the pattern, or email a PDF or whatever! I would say it took me...maybe around 30 hours of crocheting. (If you are super fast, then less. I have to take my time due to RSI.)
Ah well.

It's probably for the best though; it seems like walking around with a bullseye target on one's chest and back is maybe not ideal? It kind of says, "Shoot me, please."

I really like the one that's based on a granny square, myself, though i think it would probably look dumbtastic with my stupid boobs.
What scares me is how much of that cra, um, stuff is back in style, and in the same crappy colors.