Print Version

Effective: Summer 2015

Advisory: Advisory: Not open to students with credit in THTR 75.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Non-GE Transferable: CSU/UC
3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (72 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Successful students can demonstrate sewing skills through the use of the sewing machine and a variety of hand stitches.
  • Successful students can identify and produce a variety of craft applications used in costume preparation, including millinery/hat making, shoe modification, and accessory making.
  • Students can operate specialty equipment for costume preparation, including the overlock, blind hemmer, steam iron, garment steamer and pattern drafting tools.
  • Successful students recognize and use the costume process to prepare the costumes for a theatrical production.
Description -
An introduction to sewing techniques, pattern cutting, costume room equipment and the design and fabrication of clothing and costumes for the theatre and stage.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. research, classify and identify costume styles and periods for the theatre and stage.
  2. understand the practical elements of producing costumes for a show including creating costumes for the stage.
  3. identify fabric weaves, fibers, fabric names and uses.
  4. analyze and practice with the techniques of costume construction for the stage.
  5. develop techniques of pattern cutting, layout and sizing of patterns and clothing for costumes on the stage.
  6. interpret sketches and renderings of costume designs for theatrical productions, and understand the techniques used to create costumes for various regions and in different cultures.
  7. understand the organization elements in creating costumes for production
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
Studio facilities with access to sewing machines and tables, overlock, blind hemmer, industrial iron and table, steamer, and costume shop. Space appropriate for storing class materials and projects. Space appropriate for storing show costumes.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Research and analyze clothing for particular periods in history and the relationship to the theatre, stage and script.
  2. Practice body measuring, pulling costumes, fitting, garment measuring, garment alterations, show maintenance and laundering theatrical costumes.
  3. Study fabric basics, distinguishing differences in fabric weaves and fibers. Identify fabric names and their sewing properties and practical usage.
  4. Practice techniques of cutting, sewing, craftmaking (including textiles and millinery), and building and finishing the costume design using sewing machines, scissors, needles, threads, steaming and ironing equipment.
  5. Draft costume patterns for the stage by using paper,tape, tape measures, dress forms and muslin.
  6. Analyze the use of line, texture, color and form in the creation of costume design in American, European, Hispanic, African and/or Eastern/Asian theatrical societies.
  7. Analyze a script, create a costume plot, production schedule, and evaluate costs and budgeting for costumes in the theatre.
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. In-class projects
  2. Assigned construction exercises
  3. Project review
  4. Final exam project/paper
Representative Text(s) -
Cunningham, Rebecca. Basic Sewing for Costume Construction: A Handbook, 2nd Edition. Waveland Press Inc, 2011.
Ingham, Rosemary and Liz Covey. Costume Technicians Handbook. 3rd ed. Portsmouth: Heineman Drama, 2003.

The Ingham/2003 text is the current school standard, and needs to be included. Sewing techniques do not change much, and it's research and shopping sections are updated yearly online to keep relevant.

Disciplines -
Theatre Technology
Method of Instruction -
  1. Lecture presentations and classroom discussion covering costume research, technology and construction.
  2. Oral presentations of major projects followed by in-class discussion and evaluation.
  3. Instructor guided laboratory practice sessions.
  4. Instructor demonstrations of costume technology and techniques.
Lab Content -
  1. Supervised construction of related projects including racking a show and pulling existing garments, creating new garments and accessories and maintaining the show during its run.
  2. Post show projects include millinery and thermoplastic fabrication and advanced structuring such as tailoring and corsetry.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
  1. Reading assignments include reading a script and chapters from the textbook, as well as research assignments that include verbal and visual research.
  2. Students complete a paper that outlines the techniques they have learned in this class.