Monday, January 21, 2013

Funny Girl Costumes: Plans and Sketches (Step Two, Ongoing, and Many)

After gathering images to inspire my "vision" for the production, the next step I take is sketching out some designs in order to translate what is happening in my head into a medium that others can see and appreciate.

 My sketchbook for this show is a combination of rough sketches and finished sketches, a difference which is largely dependent on how concrete my thoughts are at any given time. I've been carrying my sketch pad with me at all times so that I can jot something down any time I am struck with inspiration. Some of these rough sketches later get fleshed out, particularly for items that I will be drafting patterns and building.

My first sketch for the dancers in "Rat-a-tat-tat"
My final "Rat-a-tat-tat" sketch, from which I've now I have sourced materials such as fabric, hats, and buttons.
Many of my most complete sketches are for the character of Fanny Brice.  While Funny Girl is a large scale production with a numerous cast, it is also very much a star vehicle, so most of my efforts and very limited time is focused on giving my star a very specific visual journey.


My thoughts for "Don't Rain on my Parade" are clearly a little less concrete than my thoughts for some of the other garments in the show...
I have also spent a good amount of time working on ideas for the various Ziegfeld Girl costumes, although as these will largely be sourced and constructed from existing stock costumes I have focused less on specifics and more on concepts.  For example, I really want to move forward with the classic arm drape and managed to find some beautiful mosquito netting for $2.00 per yard which has the perfect drape.


  1. love the sketches and your ideas ~ will you have to draft patterns and sew them for all 20 characters?

  2. Hi! I was doing some research and inspiration hunting for Hilliard (Ohio) Arts Council's production of "Funny Girl" and found your blog! I really love your work. We seem to think along the same lines. We are also a community theatre company and I totally sympathize with the limited time and resources dilemma. Would your theatre be interested in loaning or renting any of their wardrobe? Please email me at to let me know. I will be happy to drive to pick up and drop off any costumes that we might use.

    Hope to hear from you soon!
    ~~Mimi Ninde