Rae Stephens

Rae Stephens

Monday, 21 April 2014 00:00

How to Use a Steamer

Steaming takes less time and does not crush the garment as with ironing. There are several brands available and the Jiffy steamer is very common to many theatres and costume shops; indeed, it was the first brand I ever used. I was so impressed to be able to steam the garment as it hung and from then on, I dreamed of owning my own steamer. A few years later, I was gifted with a Rowenta steamer and it works much the same as a Jiffy steamer - although it is not pink, it does have a clear water reservoir so I can see the water level at a quick glance. 

Monday, 01 September 2014 00:00

Irons and Steamers


A friend of mine once gave me a great travelling tip; if I wanted to keep the centre crease in my trousers but didn't have an iron, I could simply place the trousers between the mattress and the box spring. While I slept, the trousers would become pressed and the centre crease would be restored. It sort of worked, except some wrinkles were pressed too. Too funny. 

Monday, 21 April 2014 00:00

How to make a Swing Tack

Before training as a costumer, the only swing tacks I ever saw were used as belt carriers on women's dresses.  I thought the wonderful little stitches looked just like a crochet chain; uniform, even and very strong. Besides belt carriers, swing tacks are used to keep two layers of fabric connected, but allows for some movement. For example, swing tacks are often used on dance costumes to keep the layers controlled, despite all the movement. Period costumes may incorporate the swing tack to keep jacket lapels, front aprons or sashes from flapping around and distracting the audience. A snap closure may be stitched to the ends a swing tack to work as a bra strap carrier on the inside of a costume. Use a heavy double thread for swing tacks; and wax if necessary. Practise making a swing tack so you are ready to repair or make one on the next wardrobe call. 

Page 337 of 347

The Costumer's Notebook,

The book The Costumer's Notebook is a 295 page comprehensive handbook for Costumers for stage and film including a full Glossary of stage and film industry terms. Sections include methods and tricks for laundry, dyeing, breakdown, Dresser guidelines and protocols for Stage or Film and various size charts for men and women from shoes to gloves. Other Sections include diagrams showing How to Iron A Shirt, How to Tie a Tie and How to Tie a Bow Tie. Costume fittings, costume lay out and costume storage are also discussed.