As Andy finishes up set design for our pilot episode, I’ve been arduously outfitting the puppet kids.
Right from the start of character design, we had fairly specific ideas for how each character should be clad. In most cases we found approximately appropriate garments at the thrift stores and then tailored them to fit. Since the color pallets are fundamental to the characters, I sometimes had to dye items to push them in the right direction. Trey’s pants were pretty spot on when we got them, but they could stand to be a deeper darker shade of purple to balance out his coiffure.
If you’re dying cotton Rit is where it’s at. All it takes is a pot of boiling water and about 2 minutes in the dye bath.
Patches absolutely had to be wearing a red and white gingham shirt. For America. For the eagles. Unfortunately, nothing came close in the thrift stores so I ended up buying the fabric and sewing it up from scratch. Clothing patterns were surprisingly expensive so I just bought a children’s shirt that was about the right size, deconstructed it and used it as a pattern. I was also able to reuse the buttons. Note also the khaki sash made from a bit of an old shirt that had fallen out of my favor.
When we realized James just wouldn’t do without a suit, I knew I’d end up making it from scratch. Unfortunately my sewing skills are fledgling at best and suit jackets are about the toughest thing to fabricate.
Using a torn up child’s suit as a pattern proved somewhat less effective than it did for Patches’ shirt because suits also entail a bunch of complex stitching I couldn’t begin to fathom. Basically, I made it up as I went along and have done decently well so far considering my considerable seamster shortcomings.
If a person were wearing it he’d look like a raggedy-assed hobo, but on a puppet it looks more than a bit alright. It still needs the sleeves hemmed, buttons, and olive green piping, but at this rate James should be dressed by the weekend. Just in time to sit at home, stare longingly out the window at the noonday sun, and wonder what the normal kids are up to.