As most of you know, the lower elementary grades at my children's school is putting on a short play this spring of the story of Peter Rabbit. Actually it is a play within a larger play, with the Peter Rabbit story being part of a bedtime story in the older children's play. I will be making the rabbit costumes, for which both the director and person in charge of coordinating costumes are very grateful. I haven't done costumes in a while, so this should be a little different than what I normally sew.
I will be starting with this costume pattern, Butterick 3238. Notice that it includes a suit, a helmet, mitts and spats.
My actors range in age from 5 to 8 years old, and reality is that these children will be roasting inside a full faux fur costume. Not to mention the expense of such a costume for five children. To help solve the roasted rabbit problem, I've also purchased this dress pattern, Simplicity 5483:
My plan for the four girl rabbits (Mother, Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail) is to have them wear only parts from the costume pattern plus a dress. Wearing less faux fur will hopefully make the children more comfortable, yet still have them be "in costume". Here are some of the things I have planned for the girls and some other details:
- eliminate the thumbs on the mitts. Real rabbits do not have opposable thumbs, nor will these rabbits need to use them.
- change the sleeve from having a cuff to an elastic wrist. The sleeve can then slip over the cuff of the mitt for a seamless transition between dress and rabbit paws.
- the rabbit girls will wear tights the color of their fur, plus the spats from the pattern over their shoes. They are performing on a carpeted stage and I'd rather have them wear shoes for safety. The spats will cover the shoes and give them rabbit feet.
- Mother rabbit's dress will look like three pieces, but be only one. The dress bodice will be light colored, the skirt will be red and floor length and include an attached apron.
- The girl rabbit's dresses will be knee length, with tulle to make them puffy, and with simple, but pretty trims. The colors will be bright pink, purple and turquoise. I chose these colors, as well as Mother rabbit's red and Peter's bright blue for visibility. Our auditorium seats around 800, so the characters need to visible from the back of the auditorium.
- The rabbit girls will have bows to match their dresses added to their helmets.
- All dresses will be modified to a back zipper for easier dressing and to have a center back seam in which to include a tail.
Add to all of that some make-up to give them noses and whiskers and they'll look great.
I've pulled out some stuff out of my collection as starter materials for the costumes. Some of this I found while cleaning up my fabric shelves. BTW, because some of you asked, no, I didn't find any hidden treasures, but I did find a lot of "why in the world did I keep that little bit of fabric?" pieces.
I don't know that I'll use any or all of it, but I am more than happy to donate it. I will need to make a trip to Martin's to see what faux fur they have left. I'd like to make a couple of tan rabbits, a couple of white rabbits and what would be really cute is a tan one with dark brown patches. I'm not sure that I can make that last rabbit happen, but couldn't you see such a cute bunny? One of the teachers has offered me her extra Jo-ann's coupons, so between those and my extra 10% discount, I should be in good shape to get this project done on a budget. Tuesday is the first day of practice with the piano accompianment so I'll be able to get the girls' measurements for the dresses.
Should be an adventure! Stay tuned for the next Rabbit Report.
Parting Shot: Valentine's Roses. My husband sent me these lovely roses for Valentine's Day. They're beautiful and he's extremely thoughtful.