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Costume fabric and patterns

Discussion in 'Costumes' started by Pinky the Clown, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. Pinky the Clown

    Pinky the Clown New Member

    I was wondering if anyone knows much about costume fabric for clown costumes. Fabric that can handle the clown movements, washable, cool, comfortable, durable etc....I am also looking for a seamstress. I am trying to find patterns but haven't found something in my size. It's annoying that the seamstresses I know just do not seem to have an idea about what a professional clown costume should be. I am open to any and all suggestions for my costume makeover. I don't have finances for something like Mooseberger but I want something that will last and look professional.
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  2. Plywood

    Plywood New Member

    I'd suggest getting fabric that's a bit heavier. A dress I had made is just light cotton fabric, so I get nervous that it will rip if I get too vigorous in my movements. On the other hand, my new overalls are a heavy fabric and will last years, I'm sure. See if you can find a pattern that isn't necessarily meant for clowns, but still has the right shape and style. Imagine how it would look in clowny fabric. Sorry I'm not more help! I hope you find something!
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  3. Poopsie

    Poopsie New Member

    I'm having a costume tailored, and i'm having a bit of a hard time providing information about the specifics of what i want. I'm also curious what fabrics would work best, and whether the costume should be reinforced anywhere. Are there features that anyone suggests be included that have proven to be handy?
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  4. Special K'z

    Special K'z Well-Known Member

    One thing to keep in mind is you might want to get extra of the fabric if you happen to want to make any repairs or add a new piece such as a hat, pockets on a contrasting jacket to kind of tie it in, etc. Now as for buying the whole bolt. Well I kind of think that might be over kill. I guess if you want to be sure and you absolutely love that fabric. I don't know cause fabric even left on the shelf will wear especially at the creases. I think if you kept it bolted that would help some if you invested in the whole bolt. But be careful about buying fabric from India. If you do you'll just end up being Sari.
    Sara K.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
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  5. Pinkie Bee

    Pinkie Bee New Member

    hi pinkie I was thinking something like this for starters can be an affordable beginner costume. all you have to do is add a pocket and some bows and buttons maybe a collar a fun hat. its all about refurbishing and this is on ebay now under square dance an XL will sell for about $50 and has top, skirt and crenolyn. would make a very girlie clown


    Attached Files:

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  6. Tilly

    Tilly New Member

    As for patterns, a lot of clowns use nightgown patterns with a simple apron and bloomers. These can be found at any craft or fabric store. This is what Tilly's costume is made from.

    I wish you'd mentioned this at the fling because I'd have given you a copy of my pattern and costume layout. Pm me your email and I'll see if I can send it to you.
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  7. Jodie

    Jodie New Member

    Study the pictures of the Fling to get a ideals of what you might want. Then sit down and draw a picture of what you have in your mind and take it shopping with you. Be sure to include the color and print in your pictures.
    Also visit the thrif stores to see if you might put something together there.
    GOOD LUCK ! You can do it !
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  8. Doolittle Klown

    Doolittle Klown New Member

    The material that I find to work best and hold up,wash and wear and still look good is called Trigger material. This is pretty much the same material that Betty used and what Tony Jones and Kitty from Sunshine and Company uses.
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  9. Peaches

    Peaches New Member

    I as well am looking to make a new costume... does anyone know anything about what fabrics are breathable? which fabrics show sweat marks? are the krynolyn skirts warm?
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  10. Tilly

    Tilly New Member

    Cotton is most breathable and just fine for everyday use and less likely to cause overheating on a summer day. Now for a competition based costume, trigger material is more desirable as it does not show wrinkles as much and is bright. However, trigger material is heavy, warm, and comes in a much more limited selection of color and print.

    Hope this helps!
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  11. Sir Toony Van Dukes

    Sir Toony Van Dukes Well-Known Member

    I don't think there is a right or wrong answer for costumes... if you can make it work for you and your character, it is the right costume.

    I would suggest not skimping on fabrics. Buy quality fabrics and the costume will last you for years. Just like I don't wash my winter coat often, I don't wash my clown costume all of the time. I will wash the shirts, wig cap, etc. after each use, although I usually have a t-shirt and shorts under my costume.

    Most of the fabric/craft stores seem to cater to quilters or dress makers. There aren't as many cotton/polyester colors and patterns availalble unless you special order. I have fabrics that I hope to use to make a pair of pants and maybe a shirt. I don't have a pattern, but I do have a few pieces from Pricilla Mooseburger and others that I can use as the template.

    If you don't have something to base your costume on, start looking at what others are wearing. Hospital scrubs sometimes make a good starting point for pants. I made an elf costume based on a roman tunic pattern. If you are going for a character, you can be a chef... Sorry, I don't know as much about girly/dresses... When using a pattern, I would suggest making it a little bigger than the pattern suggests. This will give you more flexibility to dance and move around. Of course, not so big that it falls off.

    One major consideration when planning a costume is where you plan to keep your keys and wallet. Many of the professional costumes have an internal pocket with a zipper to keep such items safe. This leaves the outside pockets for magic tricks and other such items. And it is hard to have too many pockets or pockets that are too big.
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  12. Finney

    Finney New Member

    I agree with the thrift store advice, Pinky... the jacket I was wearing at the Fling was $2 from a thrift store, and the pinstripe pants were part of a $6 suit (Bonus: I still have the jacket and vest to use in other costumes!). I hemmed the pants shorter and added the buttons to the jacket myself.

    Also, I would definitely suggest that any clown would be greatly served by learning basic sewing skills, not only in order to alter/clownify existing clothes, but to do emergency repairs... DIY is the way to go.
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  13. Pinky the Clown

    Pinky the Clown New Member

    Any design considerations for a female juggler? Any costume designs that tend to be hot?
  14. Alex

    Alex ...much nicer in person!!!

    That's pretty hot.
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  15. Plywood

    Plywood New Member

    You might want to consider designing your outfit so that it has layers (like an onion, though you don't want it to smell like an onion). Pickles sometimes wears her costumes with short-sleeves. Having the option of long or short-sleeves, having it baggy enough that you could wear flannel underwear or shorts underneath, etc. might be nice.
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  16. tim

    tim Have red nose, will travel

    This way it also works quite nicely for performing burlesque.
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  17. Pinky the Clown

    Pinky the Clown New Member

    Sometimes my best laughs come from people completely misunderstanding what i am trying to say. You're not suggesting I wear that? That would be as bad as Wal Martians. (You tube video).
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  18. saphireSue

    saphireSue True Blue

    Pinky you asked for Hot..... LOL now I've really got the giggles, good one Alex.
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  19. DJReuben

    DJReuben New Member

    OK. Make sure you have enough room in your outfit to move around, have internal pockets, make sure outfit fits with full pockets (balloons, tricks, ...). So you need to add maybe two sizes to your normal size. Bathrobe patterns work great, as do nursing Scrubs patterns. If you buy or have an outfit you like, clone it! Use it to make a pattern. Any seamstress worth her salt will be able to do this. If they can't, they just follow patterns. Try Big and Tall patterns. If you can wear your outfit without suspenders, or place you hands inside when buttoned, then it's too tight for a clown outfit.
  20. Snoetje

    Snoetje Well-Known Member

    I don't have pockets, I just sewed a little bag to bring with me.

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