Back in 2017, we worked with Harbor City Music Company, a Sweet Adelines Chorus, from a Baltimore suburb in Maryland with approximately 100 members. Sweet Adelines are the female version of Barbershop Choruses.
Are there challenges to custom fit approximately 100 stage costumes for groups that will wear their costumes for years to come? Yes, there are! It is a huge investment in time and money for all involved. A big help for their costume committee is that we, when asked, will construct show garments with easy altering options for their micro-fitting to each member’s needs.
So no, Satin Stitches does not do the micro-fitting, but talented Chorus members will add this to their group volunteer tasks. We make it easier by adjusting the seam allowance or seaming for easier future adjustments. We also provide this for high school show choir costuming, if the choirs desire this option. It may take our sewing production team a longer time to construct, but it is very helpful for volunteer booster parents to be able to micro-fit expensive costuming.
Satin Stitches has been working hand in hand with large Sweet Adeline-like groups since the 1980’s and continue to work with such local, regional and national performance groups. It is generally a long process, as these large choruses want to create fabulous stage costumes (that are dynamic and colorful) and will fit and flatter their entire group. Generally these groups have a ‘costume committee’ that leads the design process with our design staff.
It helps when working with one ‘spokesperson’ who is knowledgeable about costume fit, construction, design and stage requirements, and we had this with Harbor City. Deborah worked directly with Sharon Lancer through the idea presentation, sketches, samples, and then choosing sizes.
Sweet Adelines are composed of adult women who in former lives, were on high school dance teams, show choirs, and in community choirs and/or theatrical productions. They range from twenty-somethings to eighty-somethings. Sharon donated hours and hours of her time on this project. And at Satin Stitches, all of the ideas and sketching up-front time is always complementary for our clients. So we also worked hours and hours on the designing part of this project, as well. Why? …for a fabulous outcome for our clients!
How does Satin Stitches fit so many sizes and shapes? We are uniquely endowed with a vast knowledge of how to fit all sizes and shapes, starting with Deborah’s expertise for the last four decades. We have several professional designer-patternmakers on staff with additional expertise. We have been using our CAD pattern-making software and cutting hardware for nearly two decades, with our own custom-developed, proportional size charts for women’s sizes from XS through 6X (all Short, Medium and Long lengths). Additional custom lengths can be custom created via our CAD system or with hand cutting. We can also accommodate larger bust sizes, when needed.
We have developed a tool, the ‘Size Rack’ that is an extension of our multi-silhouetted ‘generic sizing samples’ that we provide for all groups to help choose sizes. This special ‘Size Rack’ is a set of actual group costumes, cut ahead of full production, with a wide size range. Group members have the opportunity to try on, and to see how each size will fit. This is economically viable for large groups of 60-100.
This spring, we were tasked with creating a tunic top that could coordinate with all of the dresses for spotlighting the front couple of dozen Adelines – to showcase more extensive dance moves to further enhance their performances. After their prototype was approved, we were able to skip the sizing process, as the sizes of their dresses were used as the sizes they needed, for their tunic order.
At Satin Stitches, we enjoy watching ‘our’ groups perform year after year, in our fabulous Satin Stitches’ costumes!