“Creativity is intelligence having fun” – Albert Einstein
This website is to help cosplayers, costumers and diy fashionistas improve your sewing & millinery skills, so that you no longer have to struggle to complete your own costumes/outfits that will impress everybody.
I’ll aid you along your journey through the creative world as much as possible (when you need it 😉 ). So let’s get creative!
Hi! I’m Mel – a professional seamstress and costume designer, having worked on costumes for various Broadway shows, Radio City Music Hall, The Blue Man Group, as well as puppets and their costumes for Avenue Q.
I’m also a fun, sarcastic & nostalgic chick who is young at heart (or so I’ve been told). 😉 Due to my career path and nostalgic passions, I use any excuse to dress in costume (my 80’s themed birthday party, Renaissance Faire, Christmas etc.), and Halloween is my favorite time of year. Never have I worn a store-bought costume. Once I went to my first Comic Con, I was also hooked on Cosplay being amazed at all the costumes people would wear.
I grew up outside of Rochester, NY and was taught how to sew by my grandma when I was 12. My grandma was a very talented woman, known throughout the family for sewing outfits for me and my cousins. Every Christmas and Easter as a child I would have a new outfit to wear that she had created and she even made my flower girl dresses for the two weddings I was in.
My very first sewing project was a costume. A pilgrim. Once my grandma shared her sewing superpowers with me, I fell in love with it, so I’ve been sewing ever since. (She will always be my idol)
In High School, I started sewing some of my own fashions, especially for “Dress Up Day” that my friends and I would have every Friday. We would dress in weird styles against “the norm” just for fun. Once I was sent to the principal’s office for something a wore for Dress Up Day (I didn’t sew it-it was my mom’s ankle length empire waist dress. Not revealing at all)…. but that’s a different story.
In college, I got a job at the theatre costume shop. I then switched my major to Theatre (from art education-my parents weren’t too pleased) I focused on costume design/construction (had there been a major for costumes at my college, I would have switched to that instead, but Theatre was the closest I could get.) I designed and created costumes for shows throughout my 4 years of college, and loved every bit of it.
My few years after college, while fighting depression and uncontrolled epilepsy, I got to work on costumes for different community theatres throughout Rochester. It wasn’t going to halt me from getting to my career! Four years later my epilepsy was under control so my confidence rose up and I moved to New York City.
The field of theatre is usually seasonal for each theatre, so actors and crew members (including costumers) hop from show to show (or shop to shop)
In New York, I got a job first as an assistant costume designer on an Off-Off Broadway show, called A Touch of the Poet. Once that was over, I had to live off of income from Catering gigs and financial assistance from my parents.
After getting a full time job at an answering service where I was making money, I took a certificate program at the Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.) for costume design/wardrobe specialist. The program lasted for two years and covered the gap in my resume of unemployment caused by the epilepsy, so more places were open to hiring me.
A few months later, after sending my resume out to various costume shops in the city, I was hired at Parsons-Meares. At this shop I got to work on costumes for The Rockettes, Broadway’s Aladdin and Lion King. The season ended, so I was let go.
After that, I was hired for a short build by The Lyon Puppets to work on puppets and their costumes for Avenue Q.
Next I got a temporary job at Jennifer Love costumes, where I got to work on costumes for Cinderella.
After that I worked with Cor Griffin on hats & headpieces for The Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular.
Then I got a job at The Workroom where I got to work on costumes for The Blue Man Group (as well as drapery & upholstery). I didn’t really like it there….
My next gig was Wardrobe Assistant for a production of Tamburlaine put on by Theatre For A New Audience (Brooklyn, NY)
Once that run ended, I was contacted by Arnold Levine L.L.C. to work on hats for various Broadway shows, Disney Cruises, The Today Show and The short lived Maya & Marty show.
Then on to a children’s theatre (Theaterworks U.S.A.) for costumes of various children’s book characters.
Along with these jobs I have always been fond of Halloween cosplay, and have now gotten to do more for NYCC.
I have learned many tricks and tactics throughout my costume career journey, and I would like to share them with you to help you be creative…. and different. 🙂