Posted by: Aunt Magaidh | April 4, 2010

Still working on costumes for the high school spring production of Les Mis

Still working on costumes for the Les Miserables play at the high school. Very few parents helping.  (Sigh. )  I am thankful for the parents who are helping.  I wish more parents would be involved, but by high school most parents are stepping away from involvement.  A sad but true fact of life.  Teachers know this one well.  Husby and I are doubly convinced to be involved because so many aren’t.  The lovely bonus is that Daughter reports that her friends think we’re “cool” for parents.

Dang there are a lot of costumes.

One parent was saying that it was a lot of work to do the two costumes that she planned to do for her son.  I had to explain to her that although she was going to do two costumes for her son, he had 6 costume changes and we had already been working on them.  Then I explained that we have about 7 kids that have about 4 costume changes.  She got it finally that there was still a lot to do.

The piles of fabric in my living room are decreasing, but the number of costumes completed are still not high enough.

Working on:

  • Convict pants – another mom is stitching these.
  • Dress for Cosette – another mom is making.
  • Vests for 6 men actors – another mom is making.
  • 3 partially sewn corsets – finishing what another mom stitched.
  • Shirts for men – not even cut out!
  • Blouses for women – not cut out yet.
  • Chemises for Fantine, Madame Thenardier – not cut out yet.
  • Jacket for Valjean – nope, not cut yet.
  • Finishing Madame Thenardier’s two dresses.  Partially sewn.

Next week I’ll go in and make an inventory of what is completed per actor and what is still needed.  So far it’s been about numbers of things, so it is time to put completed outfits together now.

Tonight is all about bum rolls.  No, they are not period appropriate, but I need to have more of a puffed out profile and this is the cheapest alternative to get skirts to poof out.  So, I’ll cheat.  No biggie.  It’s about the illusion, not reenactment.

Okay.  Back to the projects.  Lint time!

Aunt Magaidh

San Leandro High School’s production of Les Miserables

is April 21st through April 25th.  $10/tickets.

Support the kids, go see their play!



  1. Hi. I am currently in charge of costumes for les mis for our school production. cast of 82! any tips, short cuts patterns, photos very very welcome. I am in awe of the amount of sewing mentioned above! hope to hear from you, and hope you are well and not still recovering!

    • I not only recovered, I packed everything up after the show! Tip #1, get a binder, a sharpie, a roll of masking tape, a couple pads of post its, and a box of safety pins. Tip #2 – get names, character assignments, and measurements for each cast member and stick it in the binder! Tip #3, get names and phone #s of volunteers to help you with costumes! Then the fun begins! Tip #4 – Don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to. Find parts of costumes that will “read” from 20 ft away as “good enough”. We asked all the guys to provide one pair of dark dress slacks (no pockets), dark dress shoes (as simple as possible), and a long sleeved white or ivory dress shirt. We asked all women to provide white tights, black knee highs, nude, white or ivory camisole style leotards. #5 – LABEL EACH PIECE OF A COSTUME WITH NAME OF THE ACTOR USING THE MASKING TAPE AND SHARPIE. This will save your sanity at some point. #6 – Ask the actors and school community to donate fabric and old solid color sheets and curtains and tablecloths to make costumes with. We made so many costumes with recycled linens! Oh…this is getting detailed. I’ll email you instead.

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