Profession costume maker

Costume makers construct, sew, stitch, dye, adapt and maintain costumes to be used in live performances and in movies or television programs. Their work is based on artistic vision, sketches or finished patterns combined with knowledge of the human body to ensure the wearer maximum range of movement. They work in close cooperation with the designers.  

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Personality Type

  • Realistic / Artistic

Knowledge

  • Dressmaking

    The craft of sewing clothes and dresses by following a pattern. This includes the assembly of cutout clothing parts.

Skills

  • Understand artistic concepts

    Interpret an artist's explanation or demonstration of their artistic concepts, inceptions and processes and strive to share their vision.

  • Prepare personal work environment

    Correct settings or positions for your working instruments and adjust them before starting operations.

  • Work ergonomically

    Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.

  • Keep up with trends

    Monitor and follow new trends and developments in specific sectors.

  • Draw up costume patterns

    Draw and cut out costume patterns using scissors and measuring instruments.

  • Work safely with chemicals

    Take the necessary precautions for storing, using and disposing chemical products.

  • Use manual sewing techniques

    Use manuel sewing and stitching techniques to manufacture or repair fabrics or textile-based articles.

  • Maintain theatre equipment

    Check up on, maintain and repair tools and machinery used for onstage purposes, such as lighting equipment, stage sets or scene-change machinery.

  • Sew pieces of fabric

    Operate basic or specialised sewing machines whether domestic or industrial ones, sewing pieces of fabric, vinyl or leather in order to manufacture or repair wearing apparels, making sure the threads are selected according to specifications.

  • Draw up artists' measurements

    Draw up the measurements and sizes of performing artists for clothing purposes.

  • Translate artistic concepts to technical designs

    Cooperate with the artistic team in order to facilitate the transition from the creative vision and its artistic concepts to a technical design.

  • Finish costumes

    Finish costumes by adding zippers, elastics, buttonholes, decorative stitching, jewellery, rosettes, and other decorations.

  • Manage personal professional development

    Take responsibility for lifelong learning and continuous professional development. Engage in learning to support and update professional competence. Identify priority areas for professional development based on reflection about own practice and through contact with peers and stakeholders.

  • Work with respect for own safety

    Apply the safety rules according to training and instruction and based on a solid understanding of the prevention measures and risks to your own personal health and safety.

  • Finish project within budget

    Make sure to stay within budget. Adapt work and materials to budget.

  • Work safely with machines

    Check and safely operate machines and equipment required for your work according to manuals and instructions.

  • Follow work schedule

    Manage the sequence of activities in order to deliver completed work on agreed deadlines by following a work schedule.

  • Meet deadlines

    Ensure operative processes are finished at a previously agreed-upon time.

  • Maintain rigging equipment

    Check rigging equipment before fitting up, and make small repairs if necessary.

  • Maintain workshop space

    Keep your workshop space in working order and clean.

  • Assemble costume parts

    Assemble cutout costume parts manually or by operating a sewing machine.

  • Adapt costumes

    Adapt, stitch or sew stage outfits for performing actors.

  • Perform costume settings

    Organise and manage costume settings.

  • Use personal protection equipment

    Make use of protection equipment according to training, instruction and manuals. Inspect the equipment and use it consistently.

  • Dye fabrics

    Dye costume fabrics for live onstage purposes.

  • Cut fabrics

    Cut fabrics and other wearing apparel materials considering measures, placement of the fabrics in the cutting table in multiple layers, and making the most efficient usage of the fabric avoiding waste. Cut fabrics by hand, or using electric knives, or other cutting tools depending on the fabric. Use computerised systems or automatic cutting machines.

Optional knowledge and skills

support a designer in the developing process adapt existing designs to changed circumstances work with the director of photography work with the camera crew organise costume fittings attend rehearsals define costume fabrication methods work with the lighting crew follow directions of the artistic director organise workshop space draw up costume sketches keep personal administration work safely with mobile electrical systems under supervision prevent fire in a performance environment plan workshop activity promote yourself manage consumables stock manage technical resources stock develop professional network