James and the Giant Peach is ‘sew’ 1950s!

Rehearsals are well underway for the Youth Theatre production of James and the Giant Peach which runs from 8 – 11 April.

The design and general feel of the production will transport the audience back to the 1950s. After watching the popular BBC programme the Great British Sewing Bee (which looked last week at 1950s patterns), Curtis (Head of Marketing and Sales at The Courtyard) who is an active blogger and keen amateur sewer, investigated the style of costume that would have been worn then by making the ‘walk-away’ dress.

50s patternjamesandthegiantpeach

The pattern for the dress is Buttericks and can be found on Amazon. Here is how Curtis got on with it:

My first step was to pick a fabric that would work well with a full bodied skirt. So, I picked a medium weight cotton fabric, one that I purchased from my local fabric remnant shop in Leominster. It has quite a loud pattern on with white, pink and black spots.

Front detail  Back detail

As I do not have a pattern, I draped the fabric over my dummy, cut out the neck for the front, and one half of the sleeve. I then cut out the other arm hole by folding it in half. To finish off the front I cut the length and then set in the darts, four in the centre and two on the side for the bosom.

For the back, I did the same (cut neck and arms), making sure that there is more width to come around the front under the breast. Sew in two darts to fit the back.

For the skirt, fold about 1.5 metres of fabric in half, mark the middle of the fabric, and then cut a small semi circle at the same side as half the waist size. Attach this skirt to the back of the dress.

Next comes the time consuming part – attaching the bias binding, around the neck and then all the way around the sides. Finally create about four button loops with small pieces of bias binding and attach buttons on the other side.

Hem and bobs your uncle.

Finished walk away dress Finished walk-away dress

The walk-away dress is designed so you can make it and wear it on the same day, so if you fancy coming to see James and Giant Peach, why do give it a go yourself, start it after lunch with it ready to wear by show time!

Tickets for the show are going fast some come along in your dress with all the family!